Mygamification is alive! Some of you might have noticed that the mygamification blog and social media stream were a bit quiet last week. I apologize for the sound of crickets, but am happy to announce that I’m now back and ready to post lots of juicy gamification content!
The past week, I was on a road trip from Seattle, WA to New York, NY in a 7 day whirlwind helping a friend move. Since even when I’m not in the BigDoor office, I can’t help but think about the cool stuff we do here for customer loyalty, I found myself noting some things to share with you that I learned on the road.
#1 – Loyalty Matters
Being a Seattleite typically means having a coffee addiction. Having a coffee addiction and a love of loyalty programs, quickly led me to become a gold card carrying member of the Starbucks Reward program. I love the perks, free coffee and status I get at Starbucks with my gold card, and will typically go out of my way to drink coffee there above any other place. If you’re familiar at all with the states of Montana, Wyoming or South Dakota, you may know that Starbucks locations are few and far between. While it might have been easier to settle for a coffee elsewhere, I found myself driving out of the way, or waiting longer distances just to add another gold star to my rewards account. While I’d like to say my loyalty to Starbucks stems only from their delicious coffee, I’d be lying. I’m loyal because I like the status and I like earning free stuff, so it’s worth the extra effort. Bottom line, create reasons for your customers to return to you and they will, even if it means driving across a barren wasteland while jonesing hard for an iced Pike Place Brew coffee with light soy.
#2 – Onboarding Matters
Pretty much anyone under the age of 25 has bought something at Ikea. During this trip, we made a stop at the Brooklyn Ikea and I was surprised to see signs for their Loyalty program. Ikea’s loyalty program (called the Ikea Family) is pretty standard for a retailer, discounts on certain purchases with some free stuff thrown in (coffee is one of them, if you’re curious), but what really impressed me was their flawless onboarding of new users. Most people go to Ikea irregularly, and likely wouldn’t see the value in signing up for a few discounts at a store they see maybe once or twice a year. But upon walking through the front doors, visitors are greeted with large colorful signs, pointing to kiosks to sign up. The kiosks are not only located in the perfect spot (before you shop), they also clearly spell out what you get. Best of all, they allow you to input your information, print out your new rewards card and start shopping with discounts in a matter of minutes. How many of us have been interested in a rewards program, but irritated by difficult or slow onboarding? Most Ikea visitors might bypass a mail in rewards form, or a clunky slow system, but Ikea managed to make the process so easy, everyone I was with signed up. Onboarding users into a rewards or loyalty program should be easy, it shouldn’t deter your users and it should give them a hint of what using your product or consuming your content should be like, namely enjoyable.
#3 Hype Yourself
Are you awesome? If you read this blog, probably, but do your users know it? Do they know about the cool customer loyalty program or gamification solution you have spent time putting together? A loyalty program won’t do you any good if people don’t know that it’s there or what it can do for them. Cue Wall Drug. If you haven’t heard of it, you’ve probably never driven the I-90 corridor between Michigan and Montana, because if there is anything Wall Drug is good at, it’s making you aware of its presence. Miles of billboards tell bored, hungry or sleepy drivers about the wonders that await them should they get off the freeway and spend a few moments at the tourist trap/food mecca that is Wall Drug. By the time you hit the exit, travelling East or West, you are craving their fresh donuts, can’t wait to see their T-Rex, or just excited for a cup of coffee or some free ice water. While Wall Drug was probably one of the coolest things I saw on the drive to NY, I would have never stopped, bought my share of donuts and ice cream or seen a giant Brontosaurus, if Wall Drug hadn’t spent 15 miles telling me about how I couldn’t live without them. It’s ok and should be encouraged to tell users how cool you are, and get them excited for the things you are doing.
While I don’t advise driving across the country in a giant rental truck in the middle of summer for everyone, I can advise keeping your eyes open for new and old techniques that we can apply to the online world to increase user engagement and loyalty. These are a few of the techniques and things I noted about loyalty in the past week, but I’d love to hear yours!