Gamification: Delivering Winning Social Customer Experiences


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Gamification is a social online community strategy that incentivizes your customer network to post product reviews, help other customers solve problems, provide sales advice, come up with new solutions and product innovations. Learn how the introduction of gaming dynamics into online social experiences can reap enormous benefits for brands by reading our whitepaper.

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Gamification: Delivering Winning Social Customer Experiences

  1. 1. gamification: delivering winningsocial customer experiences
  2. 2. share this whitepapercontents 1 intro 2 trust: a social business must have 3 rank and reputation: getting social customers to engage passionately 5 gamification under the hood 6 conclusion subscribe to request a demo SocialMatterswe help companies unlock the passion of their customers.The Lithium Social Customer Suite allows brands to build vibrant customer communities that: reduce service costs with grow brand advocay with drive sales with innovate faster with social support social marketing social commerce social | © 2012 Lithium Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved 2
  3. 3. share this whitepaperintro Humans love games. There’s all kinds of math and science Game Play Develops Trust and Cohesion. People who play behind why, but the bottom line is—games are fun. Games games together enter into a social contract when they agree provide an opportunity for us to enter a highly rewarding to the collective terms of play. mental state where our challenges closely match our Games Surface And Cultivate Your Superfans. Your abilities. Renowned game designer, Jane McGonigal, writes superfans are that extremely valuable 1% of customers—your that games offer us “blissful productivity”—the chance to most committed and active community members across your improve, to advance, and to level up. entire social footprint—who circulate 40-60% of your content, If you’re trying to get your social customers to post product actively advocate for your brand, and continually bring new reviews, help other customers solve problems, come up customers into your business. with new solutions, provide sales advice, or help you Games Introduce Addictive Fun. Games deeply, productively, innovate new products, introducing games—the chance for and increasingly engage social customers over long periods. blissful productivity—into the experience can provide the Games move people from like to love to crave. Games right type of incentives that pave the way to higher, more increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, sustained interactions. customer lifetime value. Gamification—the introduction of gaming dynamics into Points, badges, status, progress, customization, pleasant online social experiences—reaps enormous benefits for surprises—they’re all part of gamification. Giving social brands because: customers a chance to improve, advance, and level up motivates them to do good things for each other—like help each other with common questions. And good things for the brand—like help you to innovate faster. 200 million people 42% of online the average young gamers are female.3 play games on person in the United States Facebook monthly.1 will spend 10,000 hours gaming by the age of 21.2 1
  4. 4. share this whitepapertrust: a socialbusiness must have It’s easy to create a network connection, but important to remember that what you’re getting has only latent value—a beginning, but a dormant seed. Unless you interact with that Facebook fan who “Liked” your brand, or better yet, get your Facebook fans to interact with each other and build trust, nothing grows. Network connections offer the potential to interact, but without the right environment—without trust— the interactions won’t happen. Social customers who trust each other are more likely to engage, more likely to ask for and follow recommendations and advice, and more likely to talk about their engaging and beneficial experiences with their friends. If you’d like your customers to engage each other around your brands and products, it’s essential to find ways to get them to trust each other. In order for online community interactions to sprout and blossom into trust, for a network of connected people to become a vibrant active social customer destination—a brand nation—we must give them reasons to engage passionately. how can i grow trust? • make it easy for members to recognize each other • motivate members to interact with the brand and each other • reward participation 2
  5. 5. share this whitepaperrank and reputation:getting socialcustomers toengage passionately Community rank and reputation are the online equivalent of the gold star, the framed degree on the wall, the eaglet on the shoulder. They are easily recognizable symbols of status telling community members who they can trust. the early stages, but more difficult as they progress. Providing They’re sought after, coveted even, and instantly imbue their continuous opportunities for that highly desirable mental owners with community respectability. Providing social state where abilities and challenges are closely matched customers with symbols of rank and reputation in online means presenting social customers with increasingly tougher communities introduces key conditions for trust-building— challenges as they level up. mutual recognition, reward, and status—and motivates social customers to engage passionately. Confer Meaningful Privileges Upon Superfans. While some superfans are motivated by points, badges and status, others Rank and reputation are desirable rewards that motivate are motivated by increased authority—the ability to move or participation, inspire passion, and are at the root of gaming delete content, to edit or write knowledge base articles, to mechanics. Social customers who actively compete for rank post comments without moderation, and to discipline social and reputation spur trust-building interactions across the customers who cause trouble. Offer rewards that fit with your entire community, turning a network of individuals into a contributor’s motivations. brand nation. An effective rank and reputation system will: Offer Multiple Paths to Success. A brand community is a Reward Members For The Right Behaviors. Encourage complex ecosystem. Some people may be experts in one online actions that drive real business outcomes. Reward product but not in another. Some may be great at starting your members not simply for posting comments, but discussions; others may be great at answering questions. for posting comments that others find useful and make Still others may be great ambassadors—friendly, welcoming, unassisted customer support possible. and encouraging to new members. A vibrant community needs all of them, and you want them all to feel as though Motivate Members Continuously With Greater Challenges. they are winning. Deep at the heart of gaming mechanics is the ability to keep users engaged by progressively increasing the difficulty in A well executed reputation system delivers tremendous leveling up. Games should be easy to learn, easy to advance in return on investment by empowering the smartest, most committed members of the community to take on much of the responsibility of managing the site and driving its business objectives. 3
  6. 6. share this whitepaper what should i reward my social customers for?▪▪▪▪ ▪▪▪▪ building a knowledge base for ▪▪ making your community more vibrant unassisted support and engaging to new visitors ▫▫ leading discussions ▫▫ sharing ▫▫ providing solutions ▫▫ giving kudos ▫▫ voting ▫▫ domain expertise ▫▫ commenting ▫▫ ▪▪▪▪ accelerating innovation customer loyalty ▫▫ suggesting ideas ▫▫ minutes online ▫▫ ▫▫ age of account▪▪ driving SEO ▪▪ ▫▫ forum posts ▫▫ blog posts ▪▪ brand engagement ▫▫ ratings and reviews ▫▫ event participation ▫▫ ▫▫ kudos received ▫▫ visits to stores▪▪ ▫▫ Foursquare▪▪ ▫▫ mayorships▪▪▪▪ 4
  7. 7. share this whitepapergamification underthe hood ability gamification trigger Rewards in the form of status or increased authority provide the motivation social customers need in order to engage, but there are three components to the gamification experience and all must be present. The other two are ability and trigger. motivation If a community member is asked to contribute beyond—or beneath—his or her ability, it’s game over. If the trigger isn’t properly timed or convenient, game over. When matching triggers and motivational offers to ability, consider your social customers as four distinct personae: Achievers. It’s all about public status and rank for these folks. These are your social customers with certificates on Explorers. These social customers are motivated by a sense their office walls, who still have all their Eagle Scout badges. of discovery. They love uncovering the new, the unique, and They collect achievements, collect the symbols that represent the previously unseen. They can be Methodical Experts, early them, and display them proudly. Achievers can be Prolific adopters, and are excellent folks to ideate with. Experts and contribute greatly to your knowledge base. Socializers. These are your social customers with 973 Facebook fans, who tweet from every event they attend, who love to give kudos, share, comment, and vote. Passionate Brand Advocates can be found among your socializers. They’re an enormously valuable resource for word of mouth marketing. who are these people and what can they mean for business? Killers. Killers are the most competitive of the bunch. They achievers, explorers, socializers and killers are also: like quick action, and are indeed full of passion. They like frequent offers at chances to win and they love winning big. ▪ prolific experts help develop your knowledge base and It’s all about the big score for killers—the higher the score, pave the way for unassisted customer support. the greater their loyalty for your brand. ▪ methodical experts help you to solve problems and innovate new products and market solutions. ▪ passionate brand advocates increase demand for your products by word of mouth. 5
  8. 8. share this whitepaperconclusion The opportunity for pride, achievement, and belonging is what provides addictive fun—all key ingredients for vibrant social gets social customers to interact, keeps them coming back, destinations that offer experiences social customers crave. and gets them to engage in more behaviors that benefit the The path from like to love to crave is the path from network community. Delivering that sense of pride, achievement, and to community to brand nation. Social customers expect more belonging is what gamification does. than just information and service online. They expect to be From a customer relationship standpoint, gamification presented with engaging experiences, motivations to interact, pushes brands to level up from like to love, and level up and opportunities to contribute and to be rewarded for their yet again from love to crave. Gamification builds trust efforts. Gamification delivers on all of the above. and cohesion, finds and cultivates your superfans, and resources 1 games/ 2 Jane McGonigal, Reality Is Broken—Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, The Penguin Press, 2011. 3 Lithium social solutions helps the world’s most iconic brands to build brand nations—vibrant online communities of passionate social customers. Lithium helps top brands such as ATT, Sephora, Univision, and PayPal build active online communities that turn customer passion into social media marketing ROI. For more information on how to create lasting competitive advantage with the social customer experience, visit, or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and our own brand nation – the Lithosphere. | © 2012 Lithium Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved 6