One thing your customers and staff both want

There are not many things your customers and staff both want, but young or old, product or service, everyone wants to have ‘fun’!

Of course the natural question is what’s meant by ‘fun’. Well fun can involve: winning, solving problems, exploring, chilling out, teamwork, recognition, triumphing, collecting, surprise, imagination, sharing, role playing, customisation.

But what does enabling people to have fun have to do with business? By enabling fun you can create an emotional content with the experience and get people engaged. When people are engaged they are more likely to move towards your objective.

Here’s a practical example. The progress bar on LinkedIn was introduced to get more people to complete their profile. By people completing their profile they are more committed to the site, it makes it easier for others to get good results, and it creates more data for LinkedIn to target users. Completing profiles went up by a very impressive 20% when LinkedIn created a very simple Profile Completeness bar. It’s not what most of us would call fun or gamelike, but it has enough to engage people to get them to do more. Specifically the completed to date (feedback), the recommendation for what’s next (progression) and your next level (completion).

The fun does not need to completely enthral people or have them regard it as the most thrilling thing in their life, it can be far simpler.

While fun is broader than just having a laugh or making something whiz bang, to be successful fun needs to be designed into the process. Further, fun can be challenging and there are many kinds of fun.

For example having customers provide responses to other customers’ questions is now not uncommon. Many organisations have created a gamelike forum where those responding do the work that would normally be done by the organisation. But in these cases the knowledgeable customers share because they regard it as ‘fun’.

I’m talking about ‘Gamification’ of course. Fun is the core element of Gamification. The term is relatively new today and often regarded as a distinct discipline. However, just as Artificial Intelligence was a term that previously had its own focus but is now part of the business mainstream, Gamification’s integration is already happening. It’s starting to become an integral part of everyday software.

So what does Gamification mean for business? As always know your customers, or staff if it’s an internal focus. Know your objectives, and introduce elements of fun into what you want customers or staff to do to achieve your objectives.

Go 2 Market principle: no one doesn’t want to have fun. Fun can mean a lot of different things, so think broadly. And by enabling fun you can make a huge difference to the fun your bottomline will have.

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