Customer experience

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). 

In this blog post, we’ll 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. One of the  most effective ways to increase customer engagement is to gamify your user experience with Octalysis Gamification.

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 customer and user experience see an increase in revenue of up to 15%. In addition, a study by IBM found that every dollar invested in successful 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 will 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. 

  • Accomplishment: 

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. 

  • Empowerment: 

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. 

  • Ownership: 

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 ways you can introduce gamification into your user experience. We shall begin with the easiest, implicit gamification. 

Explicit versus implicit gamification

One of the next steps is choosing which of the various gamification tools and approaches best suits your business needs. One angle is to choose either implicit or explicit gamification design. 

Explicit design 

  • The experience feels like a game
  • The experience looks gamey or magical

Best suited for: younger people (below 45 years of age) and for products that are not ‘serious’.

 

Implicit design

  • The experience feels clean
  • Aims at creating efficiencies mostly
  • Art work is minimalistic

Best suited for: older populations and for products that are serious like banking and insurance.

 

There are many more angles to creating truly engaging Gamification designs, and figuring it out by yourself is not easy. So, 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.