Do you remember the last time you had a really great customer experience? Maybe you were greeted by a friendly salesperson when you walked into the store. Or perhaps you received excellent service that made you feel valued as a customer. Chances are, if you had a great customer experience, it was because the company took the time to focus on its user experience (UX).
Let’s discuss why user experience is so essential to the success of every business, and we’ll also look at ways to gamify your user experience to increase engagement.
To increase customer engagement, businesses need to create an engaging user experience. Unfortunately, most companies have low to medium levels of customer engagement because their user experience is not engaging enough. The most effective way to increase customer engagement is to gamify your user experience.
Gamification is the process of using game mechanics in a non-gaming context. When used correctly, it can be a powerful tool for increasing engagement and improving the user experience.
Let’s begin by explaining why user experience is essential to the success of every business.
Why is user experience critical to the success of every business?
The user experience is how a person feels when interacting with a company, its products, or services. It includes everything from the initial contact with the company to post-purchase support. A great user experience is essential to the success of every business because it helps to build customer loyalty and repeat business.
A study by Forrester Research found that companies that focus on the user experience see an increase in revenue of up to 15%. In addition, a study by IBM found that every dollar invested in UX design returns $100 in ROI.
So, as you can see, the user experience is essential to the success of every business. Here is a summary of the benefits of having an engaging user experience in your business;
- A good user experience can differentiate your brand from your competition
- A good user experience can increase customer loyalty and repeat business.
- A good user experience can lead to increased revenue for your company.
- Designing a good user experience can streamline the design of your product and reduce development costs.
- A good user experience can increase your lead conversion rate.
- A good user experience can also increase return on investment (ROI).
Now that we are on the same page about the benefits of having a good user experience, let us explore why most companies struggle to create an engaging user experience.
Why are most companies struggling to create an engaging user experience?
Most companies have low to medium levels of customer engagement because their user experience is not engaging enough. This could be a result of the following issues with the user experience;
- The user experience is boring and repetitive.
- There is no reward for returning customers.
- The user experience is not easy to differentiate from your competitors.
- The customer journey is too long, which affects the user experience.
- The user journey is complicated to navigate for first-time users.
- There are service bottlenecks that cause users to disengage.
- Users don’t feel valued by the business.
- Users don’t feel like they are part of a community.
- Your user experience does not make your customers feel distinguished or exceptional.
- The users don’t feel like they have decision-making autonomy.
As you can see, most of the reasons for low engagement with your user experience can be solved by gamification. So let’s look at how you can use gamification to improve the user experience and increase engagement.
How to leverage gamification to improve the user experience and increase engagement
Gamification can be used in many different ways to improve the user experience and increase engagement. However, to effectively deploy gamification in your business, you need to have a working understanding of the Octalysis Framework. Therefore, let’s introduce you to the Octalysis Framework, which you can use to understand human motivation.
What is the Octalysis Framework?
The Octalysis Framework is a gamification framework that can be used to increase engagement and improve the user experience. The Octalysis Framework was created by Yu-kai Chou, who is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on gamification.
The Octalysis Framework is based on eight core drives which are the primary motivators for human actions and behaviors. It is these motivators that games have leveraged to be so engaging and fun for users. So it is not necessarily the game-play aspect of games that makes them engaging and keeps users coming back. But instead, how the game appeals to and satisfies these core drives of human motivation.
Here are the eight-core drives of human motivation as explained by the Octalysis Framework;
- Epic Meaning and Purpose:
This drive is about having a sense of purpose. We all want to feel like we are doing something that is important and has meaning. This drive is about feeling like we are part of something larger than ourselves. It’s about feeling like our actions positively impact the world around us.
This drive is about a sense of progress and accomplishment. We all want to feel like we are making progress and that our actions lead to some tangible result. This drive is what keeps us going when the going gets tough.
This drive is about a sense of control and agency. We all want to feel like we are in control of our destiny. This drive is what allows us to persevere in the face of adversity. It’s what enables us to overcome challenges and obstacles.
This drive is about a sense of ownership and investment. We all want to feel like we have a stake in something. This drive allows us to put our heart and soul into something. It’s what allows us to be passionate about something.
- Social influence and social status:
This drive is about a sense of social influence and social status. We all want to feel like we are respected and valued by our peers. It is also what makes us feel like we belong to a community. Finally, this drive allows us to build strong relationships with others.
- Scarcity and impatience:
This drive is about a sense of scarcity and impatience. We all want to feel like we are getting something that is rare and valuable. This drive is what makes us want to act now and not wait. It makes us want to take advantage of an opportunity before it’s gone.
- Avoidance of loss:
This drive is about a sense of avoidance of loss. We all want to feel like we are not losing something important to us. This drive makes us want to hold on to what we have. It’s what makes us want to protect what we have.
- Curiosity and unpredictability:
This drive is about a sense of curiosity and uncertainty. We all want to feel like there is something new and exciting to discover. This drive is what makes us want to explore and take risks. It’s what makes us want to learn and grow.
As you can see, the Octalysis Framework provides a comprehensive framework for understanding human motivation. It is also a powerful tool that can gamify your user experience and increase engagement.
If you want to learn more about the Octalysis Framework, I recommend checking out Yu-kai Chou’s book, “Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards.”
Every successful game in history leveraged some combination of these eight core drives to create and sustain user engagement. By understanding these eight core drives, businesses can gamify their user experience in a way that is most likely to engage their customers and ensure that they keep coming back for more.
Now that we are on the same page on the Octalysis Framework, we can explore some specific examples of brands that have introduced gamification into their user experience and improved their customer engagement.
Examples of brands that have integrated gamification into their user experience
Porsche / Volkswagen Group Boneo
In order to gamify their user experience and increase customer engagement, VW and The Octalysis Group created an online game called “Boneo.” This game is gives drivers the ability to participate in daily tasks and challenges while competing againstand collaborating with the rest of the VW driver community.
Drivers can win various rewards and points that can be redeemed for things like a free car wash, free service and maintenance. This game helps drivers create communities of VW drivers in their areas while playing fun games and achieving real world rewards. Not only does this game engage users, but it also teaches them about the features of VW cars and how to maintain and take care of them properly.
Running is often seen as a solitary sport. Nike+ gamifies the running experience by allowing users to track their progress and compare their times with their friends.
This sense of competition and social interaction makes running more enjoyable and engaging. As a result, Nike+ users are more likely to stick with running and continue using the Nike+ app.
H&M’s Scratch & Win
In order to gamify their user experience and increase customer engagement, H&M created a scratch & win game. This game allowed customers to scratch off a digital card to reveal a discount code that they could use on their next purchase.
This game was successful in engaging customers and increasing customer loyalty. It also helped increase sales and brand awareness for H&M.
These are just a few examples of how brands can gamify their user experience and increase their customer engagement as a result. However, as you can see, there are many ways to integrate gamification into your user experience and user journey and what worked for one company won’t necessarily work for another.
Therefore, it is crucial that you identify what works for you before investing time and money into gamification. The Octalysis Group can help you with this.
If you are looking to gamify your user experience, contact our team of experts today. We can help you create an engaging user experience that will increase customer loyalty and brand awareness.