When communicating a message to customers, companies want to be funny, smart, and interesting. They want their customers to be engaged. In his recent article on Tech.Co, How Big Brands Are Boosting Customer Loyalty Through Gamification, Andrew Fayad offers a brief summary of gamification elements that large companies are utilizing to keep their customers engaged. If these methods work for customers, wouldn’t they also work with learners?
This article cites the Nike+ community that was created in 2007. Runners from all over the world (and our office) are able to track and share their stats, which helps them motivate others and stay motivated themselves. Fayad even states that “since the creation of the Nike+ community, Nike has increased its share of the American running shoe market by 14 percent.” These results show that virtual communities where users can interact with each other have real-world results.
You can build a community for your learners as well. With a custom portal, learners are able to keep track of their progress in courses, start discussions with each other about topics they need help with, and compete for achievements with the community.
Users are engaged with the content through a community built around it. It’s not just something they need to get through—it becomes something fun that learners want to take part in.
Fayad uses the example of a loyalty program as a way to reward customers for interacting with a company. Customers can earn points or badges that can be exchanged for items and tracked online. “Rewarding participation…encourages program loyalty and ensures that people are willing to visit—and revist—in order to earn points, badges, and other rewards.”
This is exactly the type of behavior that you want out of your learners. They should be excited to visit (and revisit) your course. And one way to promote that excitement is with rewards. Maybe learners earn points in mini-games and can compare scores with other learners. Or maybe they are rewarded with badges for exploring resources on your portal.
Rewarding learners for participating in your course is a great way to keep them engaged and excited.
Though less directly related to gamification, simulated scenarios are a great way to get customers engaged. Fayad uses the example of a recruiting game that was so successful it “is now being utilized as a training tool by the U.S. Army.” The Army saw that the simulation was engaging potential recruits so well that they decided to use it with their learners!
You’d never talk down to your customers because they are smart people who believe in your product or service. Don’t underestimate your learners either.