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12/12/2013
02:04 PM
Rob Howard
Rob Howard
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4 Ways Gamification Can Help Your Business

Badges and other game features keep your customers happy and your employees engaged.

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robhoward
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robhoward,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2013 | 1:35:02 PM
Re: Customer-facing games
Hi Kristin,

I agree - gamification can be seen as a gimmick if it's too obvious or is used as a barrier / paywall to prevent use of the community.

We have many customers that lead initial discussions with gamification and we always tell them that great communities start with great, unique content; gamification only helps ampify what is already there.

To use a cooking analogy: gamification is a spice, not an ingredient...

Rob
robhoward
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robhoward,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2013 | 1:31:46 PM
Re: Customer-facing games
Chris -

Yes, EpicMix* is a great example of gamification. Sites like this make it look easy, but we've seen it be just as succesful for less obvious customers (such as one of our customers that runs communities for CPAs).

Gamification is all about pixels not pennies. My first experience was 2001 when I was at Microsoft and we just started using blogs and forums. We added badges for our MVPs and saw use explode.

Cheers,

Rob

* disclosure - our software does run part of that site: buzz.snow.com

 
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
12/13/2013 | 9:51:05 AM
Re: Customer-facing games
I used EpicMix when I was at Vail a few years ago -- it was fun to see how far I skied and how much terrain I covered, all while the mountain collected valuable information on wait times, popular slopes, that sort of thing.

For a gamification initiative to to be successful, there needs to be an even quid-pro-quo and enough of an incentive for people to engage and keep engaging (the latter of which I think is key). But there is that subset of people who say that gamification is a gimmick and if you need it, you're not really addressing the reasons why people aren't engaging with whatever you want them to use.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
12/12/2013 | 3:17:55 PM
Customer-facing games
I did just think of one customer-facing use of gamification that I've seen work beautifully -- the Vail Resorts ski/snowboard app, EpicMix, where a guest earns badges by doing various feats like riding every lift in a day. The data is collected automatically via your RFID-tagged lift ticket, and you decide whether to register and play along. It's fun for those who like that sort of thing, inocuous for those that don't.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
12/12/2013 | 3:15:46 PM
Not a gamer
The article says that aligning games and behavior is critical, but it's harder than it sounds. One example noted here is increasing communication with employees and customers -- but more isn't an indication of better, and rewarding more could cause more problems than it solves. So am I just a gamer grouch, have you seen gamification work powerfully in employee environments? 
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