Gamification: Problems and Challenges
The problem with gamification stemmed from the fact that it took over the world suddenly and eventually was overused to the point that it became annoying. While it was primarily visible in mobile apps, its use also extended to marketing and also within the company, seeking to achieve greater productivity from employees. What started off as a method to increase customer engagement ended up becoming another annoying trend that has thankfully died down considerably.
However, now that the hype has passed, a fresh glance can be cast at gamification. It augments the desire to learn new skills and master them while competing with others. Being able to share this new-found skill only increases the temptation to master it. Interactive games help people kill time while engaging in a creative and entertaining activity. This increases customer engagement and gives them the extra push that might result in effective goals—increased hype about a newly launched product, or a rise in sales caused by redeeming customer points.
In the current scenario, gamification can be effectively reintroduced inappropriate places. When the principal is applied in the right areas, it can actually make otherwise boring activities fun. There are now sufficient examples, both good and bad, in understanding gamification and its applications, to understand how to use the technology properly. Applying this technique subtly is the key to long-term customer engagement. Furthermore, the change in performance following the introduction of the game has to be measured from time to time, and once its effectiveness ends, it should seamlessly make way for something new.
The challenge with gamification, then, is to understand when and how to use it (without overusing it), and to know when to pull it back.