Using Technology to Improve Customer Loyalty

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The cloud helps to measure various data on customers. With big data, you can assess who to target, where, and when. There’s another technology in town that promises to change how customer loyalty is gained – gamification. Can games be used to drive customer engagement? Many are finding so.

Gartner, a consumer marketing research company, predicted in 2012 that gamification would play a larger role by 2020. It cited a Pew Research Center study that indicated 53% surveyed believed gamification would be a widespread phenomenon. Gartner itself predicted in 2011 that over 50% of companies would gamify their innovation processes by 2015.

Moving Beyond Predictions and Statistics

Companies are using gamification in many ways today. It’s changed customer engagement in various ways. One is training. Brands are including demos and explanations in a gamified environment, teaching customers how to use a product. This involves concepts as simple as making instructions interactive, recommending updates, or renewing subscriptions.

The gamification concept is useful for B2B products, but interactivity is especially engaging for consumers as well. Some forms of consumer engagement include:

· Encouraging them to answer questions
· Asking for referrals
· Sharing your company with others online
· Offering chances to earn points and rewards for doing so

Gaining Loyalty

Loyalty programs are an example of gamification. If customers can earn points or stars for making a certain amount of purchases within a month or year, they are motivated to keep buying. This is especially so if there’s a promise of something free after a given number of purchases.

Companies are even finding ways to engage customers while they wait on the phone. AMEX, for example, encourages people to tweet things about its brand. They can post on other social networks too. These are tracked using hashtags, so each person who posts can gain points. If they earn enough, customers can redeem points for products, gift cards, and discounts.

Some even have recorded messages as someone waits for a representative. If they get answers right about product information presented, they’re offered points or some reward or discount.

You can also reward customers for self-service. Many companies have a limited customer service staff. You can turn this into a positive thing by rewarding customers for seeking help from an online knowledge bank or via email. Points and discounts are great ways of boosting customer retention.

Other Perks to Gamification

When customers are challenged with information, they learn more about your product or service. They can do many things with increased product knowledge. Of course, they better understand the product in relation their needs. Also, they can communicate the features and benefits more effectively by word of mouth.

Gamification also integrates very well with big data. Businesses can track behaviors by capturing how consumers or employees respond. By analyzing these data, companies can shape the experience accordingly and increase their sales. They can also see the content, activities, and other aspects that are engaging their subjects more.

Gamification provides a way to generate valuable data. You can not only see how users behave, but gain an understanding of why they do it. Creative initiatives can be used for improvements that boost customer loyalty.

This technology is not to trick your targets or customer base into purchasing. It does, however, motivate them to interact and taps into their personalities. You must first understand these concepts well as you integrate them with what is cloud computing. If so, then it’s possible to motivate people to continue interacting and be loyal to your brand based on the feeling that it is being sensitive to their needs. There is indeed a psychological component. Gamification is mainly an encouragement and rewards-based technology that boosts loyalty, and in turn benefits your company.

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