The value of CRM in business has been well established, but how can gamification of CRM practices improve your customer service experience?
The value of CRM in the marketplace comes from the ability to make connections between investment and return. While it was once a prohibitively difficult metric to track, the advent of online analytics makes it easier than ever for businesses to build portfolios of customer data that provide comprehensive views of their clients. They can also provide statistics and trends concerning client satisfaction, average handle time and employee productivity. Knowing is half the battle, and effective CRM strategies can provide a wealth of information towards improving your customer experience.
With this knowledge in mind, businesses have begun a new trend of applying this data to encourage customer-business interaction and brand loyalty. This is known as “gamification,” or the utilization of game theory and practices to increase user contributions and solve customer issues.
Applications and Gamification Practices
Gamification of CRM practices is a relatively unexplored idea, yet one that can yield great benefits. A cornerstone of gamification involves analyzing trends and setting reward systems that provide incentive for various actions, many of which are of little to no cost to the consumer. These rewards have the effect of releasing positive chemicals in the brain, increasing a sense of accomplishment and self-efficacy along with creating loyalty to the business that rewarded them.
This is a tactic used heavily in marketing, with a multitude of businesses utilizing criteria-based rewards across websites and social media. Filling out surveys, providing service feedback and tagging businesses in online posts are all ways that call centres have found to involve customers and engage them on a level beyond the basic transaction.
With these techniques in mind, it’s important to remember that statistics and graphs aren’t worth much if your agents aren’t properly trained to synthesize and incorporate the information into their customer service practices. Without this ability, the real value of CRM and gamification falls flat.
Taking the Initiative
The ability to use CRM data to your advantage lies in agent initiative. That is to say, having trained contact centre representatives who are familiar with the statistics and possess the aptitude to inform their customer interactions with the appropriate knowledge. But, applying the information isn’t enough. Your agents must be able to empathize and engage with your customers in order to meet their needs.
Clients don’t appreciate mechanized scripts that treat them like numbers instead of people. When they’re calling your centre, they expect empathy and creative solutions that effectively meet their needs. This is where theory-based CRM can really shine.
Coming Back For More
Your data may have provided you with statistics concerning how often the customer has called, how long their problems have taken to resolve and their overall satisfaction with the experience. Agents can use these metrics as tools to gauge how best to interact with the customer and what strategies might be most effective for solving their problems.
Gamification can be utilized here by creating incentives designed to foster brand loyalty, such as providing benefits to frequent callers or giving rewards to customers who provide customer service feedback. The goal is to use the data collected by CRM to locate where the strongest and weakest links of the chains are, and apply strategies to strengthen the relationships between them and the business. People enjoy feeling valued, so reward them for their brand loyalty!
The Future of CRM Integration
The future of CRM in an increasingly mobile world relies heavily on integration across systems and customized content. The “one size fits all” approach doesn’t apply here; multi-platform interfaces are necessary in a society where mobile device use is on the rise.
Using game theory to build customer loyalty is a trend that seems perfectly tailored for the mobile application boom. Mobile applications are designed to provide simple, streamlined services that are easy to use and can be accessed at a moment’s notice.
These ideas fit well within the constructs of game theory, as the basic actions required to activate reward systems are often as simple as clicking a button. Applications are popular as well; popular enough that nearly three times as much revenue was generated in 2013 from mobile apps as opposed to mobile ads, according to a report from Kleiner Perkins. Clearly, mobile apps are here to stay, and with them the potential for businesses to exploit their simple nature to create revenue-generating ideas.
Though the idea is still in its infancy, utilizing game theory via CRM for your business or contact centre can boost your customer experience and give them reasons to return to you time after time.