How instant gratification is the key to successful customer engagement

What is the biggest benefit of your application? Why should a customer download it? What is the main reason for not staying at the home screen level and going deeper into the solution? Each product is focused on its main value that may attract the user’s attention, encourage clients to visit the solution and check out all parts thereof. In gamification, the biggest value the user gets is appreciation - for how good they are, for the things they have already achieved within the engagement script or for the time they spent within the solution.

Customer gamification software uses various tools to make the user feel appreciated. Points, badges, trophies, material rewards. There are many ways but the most common one is to reward the user here and now.

Points, badges and other achievements

The main idea behind virtual rewards is to send users a clear signal that they are doing well and push them towards other actions such as ‘take a task’, ‘read an article’, ‘share on Social Media’ or ‘invite more friends to the application’. They are often rewarded immediately after they complete the action: points for finishing the task, a badge for making a purchase or for regular visits to the application five days in a row.

Some of them may also act as an indicator of the user success or competences like a badge for the best player of the month or a trophy that stands for the mastery of one’s knowledge about traveling. Such achievements serve to appreciate particular users among others and point their unique competences.

All of the above elements may relate to different game rules and conditions denoting when and to whom given rewards should be granted. Despite such differences, virtually all rewards encourage users, motivate them to stay and move further within the game scenario. For this reason, rewards should be granted immediately after performing required actions by the user. When the user finishes one action, all he/she needs is a little push towards another one to progress in the application.

Material rewards

We usually compare material and virtual rewards in gamification to a reward program, in which you need to maintain your high position in the overall leaderboard for the whole year to get the main reward - a red Ferrari (or other fancy car brand, choose the one that appeals to you the most). The goal is clear. And obviously everyone would like to get such a car. But one year provides 365 opportunities to feel a drop of energy and, subsequently, give up. That is why the program is also supported with virtual rewards to send a clear message: “You’re doing well!”, “Keep moving!”, “You still have a chance to win!” and push the user to stay in the game and be active.

Material rewards, most of the times, are related to the main goal. They are the main reason to sign up and take advantage of the solution. But not for everyone. It is crucial to match rewards with preferences of a target group. The more personalized the reward is, the more users will want to get it.

Instant gratification

In the era of millennials, generation Z and a TL;DR attitude, the user’s attention span is really short. We only have a moment to get them interested, encourage to take an action or persuade to our solution. So, our gamified system should act fast. Every time the user has performed some action, whether it is finishing a task, winning a duel or something else, the system should reward them immediately. Instant gratification is a way to keep users motivated and constantly willing to explore our gamified solution.

Using virtual and material rewards as a form of instant gratification is a way gamification may appeal to potential and current customers and encourage them to stay in the solution. Recall when was the last time your earned enough points to get a discount or a giveaway at a shop. Now consider whether you could still be happy if you received it few days later. Rewarding changes everything. It can make your customers stay longer in your solution; they may become fans of your brand, or they may just leave it and forget about the whole experience. The choice is yours.

This post is brought to you by Comarch.

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