One of my favorite business books is called “Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless.Customer Loyalty Is Priceless,” by Jeffrey Gitomer. While I am personally thrilled that Gitomer wrote an entire book on this premise, I think he could have just wrote that one sentence and then taken a vacation and the message would have been just as powerful.
In today’s marketplace, credit unions should be focused on creating more loyalty from both their members and employees. Why? Because let’s face it – satisfaction is fleeting and short-lived. Loyalty involves a commitment, trust, a willingness to follow, and the fortitude to stick with an organization even through the rough patches.
One way that companies (including credit unions) are creating loyalty and engaging their customers (members) is gamification. Essentially, they are appealing to an individual’s playful side. By letting people have fun, they are creating memorable and educational experiences for the “players.” Oh how I miss the days of playing Atari and the original Nintendo. You know…playing Atari Basketball which consisted of two stick figures bouncing a ball back and forth. And Nintendo players can never forget trying their hardest to keep Mario and Luigi out of trouble! Well, gaming has come a LONG way since the days of actual joysticks and every time my kids or my nieces and nephews try to get me to play a game these days, I just feel REALLY old.
But I digress….
There have been several reports that confirm that many companies in the Fortune 500 and Forbes 2000 groups are adopting gamification to build more customer loyalty as well as to better engage and motivate their employees.
Credit unions are using games as well to reach existing and potential members. While gamification can be used in many different capacities from account opening to employee training to project management, it is the Social Media space that is responsible for most of its allure. Some examples of gamification in action include contests, website scavenger hunts, trivia, puzzles, etc. Essentially, the credit union creates a “game” and promotes it through their website and social media platforms. People are attracted to it because it’s fun and there is usually some incentive for completing the game. Perhaps when a player finishes, he or she is entered into a drawing for a cash incentive or other prize. And don’t forget that if your game is designed well and offers great incentives, chances are that the word will be spread (rather quickly) that you are doing something creative. Hell, you could give prizes based on your members inviting other people to play the game by tweeting about it or sharing it on Facebook. Talk about outreach!
A major goal of a gamification initiative should be to collect consumer data and then analyze and use that data to help with your marketing and delivery channel strategies.
There are a lot of resources out there that can give you some direction. As mentioned above, several credit unions are implementing some form of gaming in order to engage and attract. Consider this and the fact that Fortune 500 companies as well as organizations around the world are using these tactics in large numbers, it is obvious that ROI can be measured and goals are being reached.
So go play. Have some fun. Create the loyalty that you need to survive!
Who’s up for some “Legend of Zelda”?