Over the past ten years, the design trend of gamification has spread over all sectors. Gamification tactics use tried-and-true methods to draw people in and keep them interested. Developers gamify their creations using components like badges, points, performance graphs, leaderboards, and much more.
Why do these components function so well? It’s because they employ powerful psychological tricks like the variable incentive, the enticing delay before the reward arrives, the impulse to contrast with others, the need to finish a task, and others that are impossible to resist.
Gamification is becoming increasingly popular across a variety of industries, but the Telcos market has been notably stagnant in adopting it. Telcos might entice users to engage with their platforms frequently by gamifying the customer experience. The increased user engagement that results should provide substantial new value. Let’s examine the actions the Telcos sector is taking to incorporate gamification features.
Gamification: An Introduction
In 2002, Nick Pelling coined the term “gamification,” which he defined as the application of a game-like fast UI design to make electronic payments quick and fun. Implementing game mechanisms in different scenarios can keep customers interested.
Designers of digital products are aware of the impact of this effect. Consider LinkedIn as an example. It had an issue a few years back. It was aware that users were more inclined to use the service if their profiles were comprehensive. How might it encourage new members to supply all the necessary information? The progress bar provided the solution.
LinkedIn positioned a straightforward, color-coded bar above the profile rather than writing overbearing reminders. It bet on users preferring to finish their sign-up process over having their profile bar hanging. It even gave out an achievement badge at the end. The percentage of finished profiles increased because of this tactic.
Gamification is a powerful marketing strategy that has become more popular in the smartphone era. 80% of smartphone users, or people who use their smartphones daily, enjoy mobile games, as per Forbes.
Furthermore, both men and women use mobile gaming apps on an equal basis. While grownups use these applications at a rate of 62%, kids use them at a rate of more than double. The largest contributor to the video game market is mobile games, according to these statistics.
Today, gamification has become so popular that it has spread outside the tech industry. Many different types of businesses have now committed to the idea. The badges given out by fitness tracking gadgets and applications are another example. By monitoring the user’s exercise routine, badges are given based on the accomplishments reached, which can also result in product discounts.
The cycling and jogging application Strava was one of the first to present awards for predetermined accomplishments. Its ardent devotion to gamification contributed to its growth as a billion-dollar brand.
It is now used in banking as well. Challenger banks are leading the charge here. For instance, Revolut allowed its clients to participate in competitions last year to win points for carrying out transactions, transferring funds, introducing friends, and saving. Customers could enter a weekly prize draw using these points.
SAP, a leading provider of enterprise software, has gamified the process of allocating leads to salespeople by developing Lead-in-One, a golf-themed app that allows sales managers to drop a golf ball into a hole. Compared to Excel, it is more effective and entertaining.
Moreover, many language apps also using gamifying elements. Due to its all-out effort to make learning a language enjoyable, Duolingo has transformed the way individuals approach doing so. Duolingo recognized that learning a completely new language might be difficult, so they linked language lessons with game-like challenges to aid in improving users’ information retention.
The entire learning process can be made more engaging for users by gamifying it with badges, points, social features, learning streaks, awards, and other features.
The Need for Gamification in Telcos
You may assume that telecoms might be heavily into gamification, considering its importance and usefulness. But, in practice, telcos companies lag in implementing this kind of technology.
Although telcos have introduced a variety of user-friendly new digital channels, including apps, online platforms, kiosks, and bots, these products typically place a greater emphasis on customer service than on displaying new services, developing special offers with affiliates, or incorporating cross-platform loyalty programs.
Think about the carrier-owned apps that cater to customers. These items have been downloaded by millions of users, but they are rarely opened. This is a chance that is lost. Telcos could redesign these apps with the careful application of gamification to increase customer engagement and unlock a variety of advantages.
Advantages of Gamification for Telcos
Gamification engages clients on a variety of levels and tempts them to return for more. A user’s perception of recognition and reward increases when they win games, which increases their responsiveness to the platform that is hosting the game.
For example, the telecom operator can offer consumers a game incorporated in the message rather than a standard payment reminder that allows them to decrease their payment. Businesses can use gamification to customize messaging and games that meet the demands of their customers.
Telcos can provide intriguing data and gamified information, like the number of nearby individuals with similar interests, the highest scores, or the best ten-game leaders. Some folks might find such information to their delight and benefit.
Telcos may utilize gamification to understand the client, given the wealth of datasets that they have available. For instance, if a man was broadcasting late-night soccer finals and he left just as many other streams were about to do the same, machine learning (ML) would be able to deduce that this may have been the result of a low point in the game when many anxious fans switched off.
In return, it might send him a motivational saying or digital greeting that highlights times when his team has made a strong comeback. Some of this would have seemed like blind optimism or a wild story a decade ago. However, with current developments in data processing abilities at length, the development of ML and AI, and a growing emphasis on personalization, these situations are well within telecoms’ reach.
How can Gamification be leveraged?
Gamification enables service sectors to enhance consumer engagement and gain access to precious data. Telcos are aware of this need, and several have made investments to include gamification within their platforms to boost client retention.
The telecom sector may help in personalizing the consumer experience, promoting brand involvement, establishing a strong connection, and generating new revenue for enterprises by utilizing upcoming technologies like metaverse, artificial intelligence (AI), artificial reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR).
Telcos should consider gamification from the perspective of the customer, not the business. Instead of using gamification to sell better, they should approach it with the customer experience and loyalty in mind.
The question is, “How might gamification assist in improving and engaging meaningful customer experiences?” Telcos can broaden thinking and investigate broader adoption outside mere loyalty, building on the lessons learned from how other sectors have used gamification, including retail.
The following are some of the ways telecom firms can use gamification to remain competitive in the market:
Telecom firms can employ this service, sometimes known as games-as-an-offer, to increase client loyalty.
Telcos can pique customers’ enthusiasm with their offerings and then use the interaction to provide data that can be used to acquire actionable insights to comprehend what the customers want in terms of product, pricing, location, and promotion.
New Streams of Income
Telcos can utilize gamification to develop a new revenue stream by selling marketing customer data about their spending habits, spending preferences, and political opinions.
Games can be used by telecom firms to advertise themselves and market fresh goods or services.
Because games are interactive and have designed incentives and recognition, businesses utilize them to boost employee engagement and the effectiveness of internal training. Telcos can provide staff with personalized digital personas that represent their areas of expertise, performance badges, interactive tests, ranking charts, and more.
By examining customer-shared permissions-based data, gamification can help a business gain insightful knowledge about its user base. While participating in various interactive tasks like trivia and question-and-answer sessions, users provide their agreement to share this data.
Organizations may tailor their products to serve consumers and provide messages in line with certain marketing strategies thanks to user data analysis.
Gamified Marketing and Campaigns
Customers are opting out more as a result of privacy laws. Marketers can stop this trend by using game mechanics. For instance, customers may receive incentives for finishing their account profiles.
Immersive technologies are frequently used by major consumer businesses to allow buyers to virtually try their products before buying. Communication service providers (CSPs) can accomplish the same thing.
Journeys for Gamified Services
When self-service is done properly, customers adore it. CSPs can help the consumer develop a sense of achievement in them by using resources like engaging quizzes and visual aids.
Better and more unique experiences ought to have more success with customers. The decreased turnover rate is a normal and expected outcome.
Lower Onboarding Expenses
Gamifying the new client onboarding procedure ought to increase completion rates. This will lower marketing and sales expenses as well as the volume of customer service inquiries.
Higher Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)
Gamified client journeys can be examined by CSPs to help them create genuinely individualized experiences that they can tweak over time. Clients will react by increasing their purchases.
Increased Client Value
Gamification doesn’t just improve onboarding in the near run. If done correctly, it ought to maintain a customer’s interest over the long run.
Initiatives using Gamification in Telcos
Ready Telco One
A TM Forum proof-of-concept Catalyst project with a specific focus on this subject was carried out to help people better appreciate the possibilities of gamification in the telcos sector.
Members of the TM forum, particularly Microsoft, Orange, Radisys, and Netcracker, initiated the project, dubbed Ready Telco One. Using a variety of methods, this gamified digital award program gave users of telcos apps points that they could redeem for deals.
Additionally, the program collected insightful behavioral data that, when paired with AI and ML models, optimized loyalty programs and suggested fresh experiences to users.
According to estimates, this type of gamification may bring telcos one million new app users, a €0.55 increase in ARPU, and €18 million in additional monthly revenue. The TM Forum soon after released its white paper. In addition to giving an outline of gamification principles, the paper demonstrated how telcos could apply them to boost customer retention and develop new revenue sources.
As a result of such efforts, CSPs are now studying the best ways to use gamification in their particular operations in order to increase user engagement and make it more rewarding and enjoyable.
Low user involvement was a problem for the US telecom company. It made the decision to release the gamified interactive application Verizon Insider. The platform sponsors fascinating social initiatives, contests, and events.
Users can participate in events, play online games, or write a review to gain points that they can use to purchase badges and enter global leaderboards where they can compete for special offers.
Verizon also offered consumers the option to log in using their social media accounts, and customized user encounters based on preferences and geography. As a result, there were more users on the platform.
Located in India, Airtel has an interactive game available on each of its platforms. A highly participatory in-app quiz-based game named Airtel TV Free Hit was introduced during the cricket season.
The startup provided big rewards along with daily cash awards, which caused the platform’s user base to grow rapidly.
AT&T, which has operations in Canada and the US, has put $3.8 million into its AT&T Aspire gamification project. The platform funds research and awards grants to universities and nonprofit groups.
Engaging gamification methods are used to tackle difficult issues in the educational system. As a result, AT&T was able to establish itself as a humanitarian company.
Vodafone, a major telecom company, has successfully incorporated gamification into its infrastructure and launched several initiatives to enhance consumer involvement. It has partnered with Sony Pictures and will assist millions of young aspirants in determining their skills and locating employment that suits them.
A gamified digital tool called The Future Jobs Finder has been made available in 20 different nations. Vodafone may have access to facts about the demographics, social behaviors, and interests of the millennial working population that would allow the business to tailor its offers in addition to improving its brand image.
Everybody wants to have a good time on the internet. All social media and application product designers are aware of this. They are implementing gamification ideas into their products to increase engagement, reduce churn, and increase sales.
Several telecommunication firms are behind a bit. It’s not quite late, though. The know-how and resources are there and ready for use. The businesses that do so can get a number of advantages and perhaps even earn an achievement badge.
By including game-like elements to encourage user participation on its corporate website, Samsung led the path for gamification in the telecom industry in 2011. Members of the “Samsung Nation” might accumulate points, activate rewards like badges, and appear on the leaderboard by partaking in a variety of tasks like watching videos, leaving comments on various articles, choosing social media-specific activities such as liking posts, and even taking part in user-generated Question/Answers on Samsung’s American website. Additionally, Samsung added some sweetness to the mix by giving away three Samsung Galaxy tablets to lucky participants in the contest.
Today’s telcos sector is firmly rooted in the gaming industry. Consumer spending on mobile games has surpassed that of console games in recent years. However, the majority of CSPs have so far been unable to figure out how to incorporate the fundamentals of play within their own and affiliate products in order to improve the customer experience and add new value.
But it’s not too late. They merely need to uncover them in order to go on to the next level in order to access the available tools and knowledge. To address any gaps in the consumer experience, telcos should keep up with their personalization initiatives and think about increasing their budget allotment for gamification.
When properly implemented throughout all phases of the customer life cycle, gamification can assist telcos in recouping lost market share while also improving routine experiences and interactions. Organizations’ perspectives on user engagement have evolved as a result of gamification. In order to draw visitors and convert them into devoted consumers, modern, game-derived techniques have replaced more conventional marketing strategies.
Recent developments in the telecom sector include incentive-based loyalty programs that have increased user numbers and permission-based sharing of information, which has provided businesses with helpful data. However, this is just the start. Many stakeholders in the existing telecom business will soon jump on board as gamification tactics develop.