Gamification can greatly enhance companies' ability to meet their business goals, but they must first define their objective, identify the brand mission, determine gaming components and create an effective design.
• Cognizant 20-20 InsightsGamification: It’s all About ProcessesBy defining the business objective, identifying the brand mission and payingcareful attention to program design and game mechanics, organizations canuse gamification to motivate behaviors that elevate business performance. Executive Summary enabling applications to motivate user behavior in a positive way. As a buzzword, “gamification” has started to gain momentum over the last year or so, but it is still For example, most people are inspired by a not a mainstream applications development and challenge or the promise of a reward, and they business process reengineering concept. When feel gratified when they win something — whether gamification is discussed, people immediately it’s a few dollars in gift cards or a million-dollar think in game analogies — a jazzy user interface, jackpot. These basic human tendencies can be rewards, progressive challenge levels and channeled into behaviors that are rewarding not multi-player components. But on deeper exami- just to the users (be they employees, customers nation, gamification is a concept that extends or business partners), but also to the company, beyond these elements. itself. For most companies, it makes business sense to invest in strategies and process enablers Gamification is a way of using game mechanics that reinforce behaviors that help meet corporate (e.g., competitive challenges, recognition and objectives rather than merely executing rewards) to improve a business process, with processes. the goal of fulfilling business objectives. This white paper explores the roadmap that must The Gamification Journey be carefully followed for any organization that The key elements of gamification programs wishes to excel at gamification. include an objective, a mission, gaming Why Invest in Gamification components and a well-thought-out design. Let’s look at these elements in more detail. Organizations have invested considerable sums of money in creating IT systems that enable effective business processes. However, these • Objective: What is the business objective that the organization is trying to achieve using gam- systems don’t motivate people to perform at their ification? This is the key to business process highest levels or fulfill underlying business goals; adoption or change. Sample use cases include: they are aimed merely at process execution. With the use of gaming principles, an intuitive design >> Improve adoption rates: Companies have and an environment of healthy competition, invested in social collaboration platforms to however, it’s increasingly possible for process- propel customers and/or employees to work cognizant 20-20 insights | may 2012
Samsung’s Social Loyalty ProgramFigure 1 more effectively and efficiently; the ques- explore everything Samsung.com has to tion is, how do they ensure these platforms offer (see Figure 1). Watching videos, com- lead to an overall improvement in user menting on articles and participating in adoption and engagement scores? user-generated Q&As are just a few ways in which visitors are rewarded.1 The answer: adding gaming mechanics to an internal community that acts as a social intranet can improve collaboration • Mission: Establishing the brand mission is the most important element in the gamification across employees and identify leaders in program. Each brand can have various and the knowledge community. Employees can simultaneous goals, whose fulfillment relies be rewarded for their contributions to the on customers performing a set of related tasks community, which helps the organization that achieve the business objective. Missions not only increase adoption rates but also can have different levels, and companies can meet other business objectives. offer rewards for each level or mission. >> Improve brand awareness: Companies If we look at LinkedIn, the professional spend millions of dollars every year to fulfill networking and career site, for example, we marketing goals of creating a strong brand see a few elements of gamification in use. The image and improving awareness. More of- company’s mission is to have users fill in and ten than not, they invoke tactics such as share as much of their profiles as possible. To mailers, TV commercials, webinars, etc. do so, users have different tasks to complete, These all are important parts of the market- and their percentage of profile complete- ing mix, but businesses today cannot ignore ness is displayed. Every time a user sees this the value of user-generated content (UGC). percentage, he is motivated to fill in a few more Companies of all sizes and shapes must tap details to attain the 100% completeness mark. into UGC to learn what makes customers tick and influence them to be brand advo- • Components: The following components form cates, thereby burnishing a positive image the operational part of any gamification in the marketplace. This is quite doable us- program: ing gamification tactics. For instance, with >> Badges: Badges are a way of recognizing Samsung’s social loyalty program, called users who have achieved an expert level Samsung Nation, participants can unlock within a specific area or leaders within a badges, earn points, move up levels and cognizant 20-20 insights 2
certain geography or team. These com- >> Players: These are the participants in the ponents are very important because they gamification program; clearly, it’s important help motivate users and provide them with to keep the players in mind when design- a sense of pride. When badges are shared ing a gamification process. As described in with a network of friends — on either an in- Bartles Player Motivations theory,2 3 game ternal platform or external social network players can be classified into four catego- — it provides the user with positive recogni- ries (see Figure 2). For example, “killers” tion and a reward, which are motivating fac- are those whose only aim is to win; they tors that influence desired behavior. hunt for the weakest link and go after it. “Explorers” are players who like to discover>> Levels: Just as video games offer various new things. levels of accomplishment, so should gamifi- cation programs. And as with video games, When designing or testing the gamification business games should also involve some process, we advise companies to identify degree of uncertainty as to how one moves the explorers early on because these from one level to the next. If there are no players thrive on finding something new or levels and no unknowns, users would be- designing a new way of doing something, so come bored after a few weeks of perform- they are eager to play. Badges, levels and ing the same task again and again. It’s al- points are important to them, but they are ways good to have a bit of intrigue in any not everything. gamification program to ensure users will return to learn, and achieve, more. • Design: Many organizations overlook the crucial component of effective design. If the>> Challenges: Users should be challenged overall design is not thought through — from to perform certain activities in return for the UI, to the player’s journey, to rewards earning a special badge or progressing to and awards — the entire process can fail. It’s a new level. For example, an organization important to first design the entire program can offer a challenge in which top perform- at a high level, including defining the mission ers for the quarter receive a paid vacation and tasks to complete the mission, the badges in Hawaii; a more overt challenge would for recognition, a network to enable virality, involve displaying the daily score for each the uncertainty zone to create a meaningful team as part of a leader board. It is human challenge and, most important, the ease of use nature for individuals to try harder when and access through an intuitive UI design. they see where they stand in relation to their co-workers.>> Leader boards: This is another key compo- nent of any gamification program. Leader Classifying the Players boards help do two things: provide a sense of recognition for users in the leader posi- tion and create a competitive environment Acting for others to reach the top. Since leader boards offer greater visibility than one- on-one appreciation or compliments, they encourage users to go that extra mile to Killers Achievers achieve desired behaviors. Players Consider a scenario where a customer who World is enrolled in a hotel loyalty program has a status of “silver.” When the hotel informs the customer that by spending one extra Socializers Explorer night during the month he can upgrade to the “gold” level, the customer is encouraged to book the same hotel on the next visit to achieve the higher level. This achievement proves to the user that he has moved up the Interacting leader board and now has access to more valuable benefits. Figure 2 cognizant 20-20 insights 3
Applying Gamification inforce reps’ motivation to attain the busi- ness objective.To succeed, organizations must embrace anend-to-end view that ties together gamifica- >> Players: In this scenario, players are the calltion’s four components. Here’s an example of center reps. Their needs — including accesshow gamification could be applied to a call center to information to close calls more quickly —operations process. need to be kept in mind as the program is conceived and evolved.• Objective: To improve customer service rep • Design: Since reps are the players in this game, call rates. it’s important to emphasize ease of use. For• Mission: Achieve 30 calls per day; receive five example, an intuitive process workflow and positive customer feedbacks; achieve 100% technical integration can ensure that reps don’t first-time correct calls. have to perform extra tasks to achieve badges. Other useful features — such as easy access on• Components: mobile devices for viewing leader boards and >> Badges: Rewards are given to daily and the ability to comment and share on badges — weekly leaders and are displayed on an in- should be designed in from the get-go. ternal application, along with the rep’s pro- file. This provides a sense of pride for lead- Looking Ahead ing reps. When applied well, gamification can greatly >> Challenges: Challenges are organized by enhance your organization’s ability to meet the hour, day or week. Examples include business objectives. By understanding your closing the maximum number of calls or company’s multiple missions and tactics, obtaining the maximum positive feedback gamification can influence desired behavior per day. from employees, customers and business partners to achieve your business objectives, >> Leader board: These could be used for optimize employee performance and improve either individuals or teams, such as iden- tifying reps with the maximum number of the customer experience. Attention to these closed calls. Rewards with some level of attributes will enable organizations to focus on intrinsic value need to be provided to lead- business objectives, identity which processes ers, since virtual points are not perceived to to gamify and inform investment decisions for have true value. For instance, points could designing a successful program before moving to later be converted to dollar amount or gift implementation. cards for a longer lasting impact and to re-Footnotes1 “NY Times Features Badgeville Customer Samsung Nation,” Badgville blog, Feb. 20, 2012, http://blog.badgeville.com/2012/02/20/ny-times-features-badgeville-customer-samsung-nation/.2 Wikipedia definition: “The Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology is a series of questions and an accompanying scoring formula that classifies players of multiplayer online games into categories based on their gaming preferences,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartle_Test.3 Richard Bartle, “Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players Who Suit MUDS,” MUSE Ltd., http://www.mud.co.uk/richard/hcds.htm.About the AuthorAmit Shah is a Manager with Cognizant’s Customers Solutions Practice, who works within its Digitaland Social Sub-Practice. He specializes in social CRM and gamification engagements for customersacross vertical industries. Amit can be reached at email@example.com; follow him ontwitter @amits_28. cognizant 20-20 insights 4