Loyalty – from engagement to Cult Loyalty – Part 2

In our last blog we learned about the concepts of Engagement and Intrinsic motivators as levers for Loyalty Programs. In this article we would introduce Gamification and how it could be put to use to build an effective loyalty program framework

A game always triggers the intrinsic motivators in people. It stirs competitive spirit, gives a purpose and gets the individual instantaneous recognition. Gamification is not about creating a game but learning from the concepts of games and taking those concepts into business scenarios.

Following the 5 guidelines below would enable you to gamify your loyalty program and improve customer engagement.

#1 Keep it Simple
Like in any successful game, players should be able to understand the rules and playing environment easily.

How do you feel of games you cannot understand? Do they motivate you? No.

Similarly your loyalty program should be easy to understand, do not complicate things like how points are earned and burnt. The program should be such that the user could self-learn without any assistance. Provide customers easy options to get quick feedback, if your customers are smart phone savvy, choose an app else invest in an SMS messaging solution to update your customer on points he earns. Provide him inputs on his current standing and a “to do list” to reach the next level.

Introduce competition which could be weekly/monthly based on the no. of points they earn or other things like the no. of likes they provide or the no. or referrals they give you.

# Set clear Objectives/Benefits
Make sure the benefit of participating in the program are communicated early and clearly, this should ideally be done while onboarding the customer to the program. Look for ways to encourage team participation, could you think of a locality wise team and publish a locality wise dashboard or could it be based on gender, age, time of purchase. Game spirit gets amplified when players are in a team setting.

Next you need to think of the benefit to the winning team and how can all this be done transparently. Benefits could be a simple free cup of coffee to a badge on the leadership dashboard for the winning community.

# Increase rewards based on progress
Make sure that your reward program is progressive this would challenge the customer to upgrade to the next level and not get complacent. Again the customer should be periodically reminded of the specific actions that would get him to the next level and also the accompanying benefits. This should all add to the recognition the customer would get as a part of the reward program. Surprise the customer with new rewards and recognition and keep communicating so that the program does not get monotonous or stagnant.

# Encourage Competition
Competition is the Key element of a game. Stand in a room of people and randomly divide them into two groups, you would automatically see an adrenalin rush in the group as it is our natural instinct to compete to win. To encourage competition in your loyalty program think about leaderboards on your premises, customers should also have access to the leader board from a website or a smart phone through an app so that you could constantly communicate program updates.

# Provide Social Recognition
Finally, make sure that your customer gets recognized in the community. Recognition could be provided on Social media like the company’s facebook page or by setting up a hall of fame or on the company’s website or by recognition given to him in a customer gathering. Regular recognition should be given by effective usage of badges and leaderboards as explained earlier. Another often missed opportunity for recognition is when your customer moves up a level, this also provides others the motivation to keep trying to move up.

By using these principles of gamming innovatively in your loyalty program you should be able to keep your customers hooked on to your program and to your brand. Remember to keep introducing new elements like rewards and upgrades to keep the fun alive and avoid monotony.

Be Innovative and “gamify” your loyalty program today. Let the games begin!!!