How gamification can stop your CRM from failing


Customers are the driving force behind a company’s success. In the current day and age, customers have more and more power over businesses, which means that understanding what makes your customers tick has never been more important. Every thing a business does, they need to know that it will resonate with their customer’s interests.

Cue a large increase in demand for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. “Great, we have a database of all our customers, now we can gain valuable insight into their behaviour and improve engagement, marketing, service and loyalty.” Alas, it isn’t that simple.

Your CRM could have all the bells and whistles you need to manage your customer data accurately and improve all the things mentioned above; as long as people are using it. Many business owners I have encountered have said their CRM system failed due to lack of staff  buy-in, leading to minimal day-to-day use, and therefore lack of quality data.

Independent analyst firm Ovum suggests that poor-quality data is costing U.S. businesses around $700 billion a year, or 30 percent of the average company’s revenue. Actions and engagements based on inaccurate data can frustrate customers, who expect greater return out of the personal information they supply businesses.

But there could be a solution: Gamification

There’s no denying that games can often be addictive: 120 billion minutes, that’s 2 billion hours, are spent monthly on average on Xbox Live. There is also no denying that CRMs are resoundingly non-addictive. Gamification takes the same design and mechanics of these addictive games, and transfers them to a non-game context to help achieve a meaningful result (business growth, for example).

Rewards, achievements, points and other game-design concepts can increase users engagement with the CRM. A great example of a gamified CRM is Zurmo, which combines everything you need from a CRM with usability and industry leading gamification elements.

If you are looking for a CRM which actually encourages user participation and provides you with extremely valuable and accurate data, then think gamification! 

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About the author 

Pete Baikins

Pete Baikins is an international authority on gamification, a lifelong gamer, successful entrepreneur and a lecturer. As CEO of Gamification+ Ltd he mentors and trains companies world-wide on the use of gamification to solve business challenges. Gamification+ won the Board of Trade Award from the UK's Department of International Trade in January 2019.

Pete is co-host of the health gamification podcast Health Points and is also Chair of Gamification Europe, the annual conference for Gamification practitioners.

Pete is an Honorary Ambassador for GamFed (International Gamification Confederation), having previously been the Chair from 2014 to February 2019, whose aim is to spread best practices within and support the gamification industry.

After 15 years as a Lecturer on gamification and entrepreneurship at the University of Brighton he now guest lectures on Gamification at King’s College London and at ESCP Europe at post-graduate and under-graduate levels.

Over the past 20 years Pete has built and sold two businesses. One was in security software and the more recent one was a telecoms and internet connectivity business. He is also an Ambassador for Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

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