In part one of this series we looked at gamification and built some understanding on what it is, and is not. In part two we look at the areas of business that could benefit from using gamification and now, in part three we'll look at a few customer stories to get a better understanding of how these techniques and technologies can be used. I have to give a shout out to the folks at Badgeville for sharing some of their case studies with me for use on this post.
The first use case we'll look at is increasing employee performance by leveraging game mechanics. The organization for this example is Deloitte, or more specifically Deloitte Learning Academy (DLA). The DLA provides digital executive development education programs through a variety of content types. Their challenge though, was to get busy executives to actually take advantage of the content for professional development. With lots of competing priorities personal training and development investments often fell of the to-do list. DLA implemented a solution that utilized the concepts of points, achievements and missions to draw executives into learning activities. As the executives interact with content they receive points and achievements that are displayed on the users profile. A series of missions were created to provide a guided learning path and a leaderboard is used to create competition for expertise in several key areas.
As a result of the gamification efforts DLA saw solid results in only 3 months, including increased user retention and ongoing engagement as well as rapid adoption. Return rates increased to >46% daily and >36% weekly. Active users unlocked an average of 3 achievements and some of the top users exceeded 30 achievements. Within 6 months a user had unlocked the top achievement, a milestone that DLA thought would take twice that amount of time and users were using words like addicting and fun to describe using the training content.
The next example is using gamification techniques to increase external community engagement and use. The company is Engine Yard, a platform as a service (PaaS) provider. Engine Yard provides subscription based access to it's platform tools to a community of ISVs which includes active support and training for the developers. In what is becoming a common approach to support, Engine Yard wanted to build a customer community that would enhance their customer's experiences while reducing the support burden somewhat. They also saw opportunities to leverage a community for greater innovation and product feedback and improvement, as well as provide a vehicle for recognizing active contributions. Engine Yard wanted to encourage and reward specific behaviors including engaging with content, utilizing the knowledge base, complete surveys and participate in forums, report bugs and submit feature requests by using reputation mechanics. The solution included achievements to reward the valued behaviors and missions to draw customers into completing surveys and providing feedback. As a result of this gamified community environment Engine Yard saw a 20% reduction in support tickets, 40% increase in forum and knowledge base use and 40% reduction in ticket response time by its own support team.
In these two examples you can see good returns and results in customer community engagement (business process optimization) (Engine Yard) and improved employee performance (DLA). These aren't the only use cases of course. Internal communities, or enterprise social networks (ESNs) can benefit from gamification, for example EMC used gamification to increase employee collaboration measured as a 41% increase in employee activity in its employee community. Here are links to some additional case studies from Badgeville and Bunchball.