How can gamification decrease the opportunity cost of onboarding?

Have you ever calculated the cost of an ineffective onboarding process? Or do you think that your company uses its potential to the fullest?

Let us imagine now a different situation. All newcomers are introduced to their workplace so well that they can carry out their tasks effectively right from the very beginning. Knowledge trainings produce sales representatives who offer high customer service right from the start. Employees know details about each product from the portfolio and represent the company and its mission in the best way possible. If the description above is not about your company, it is high time you considered introducing the employee gamification software.

Companies that focus on an effective employer branding strategy see some potential in engaging newcomers. That engagement, during their first days at work, may involve meeting the team and preparing the work equipment. But not only. Gamification may also be an interesting layer to knowledge or skills trainings needed to carry out all work duties in a proper way.

A smooth start in a new workplace

Meeting new staff members, preparing the work equipment, installing all needed programs or setting up an account in the main messaging tool used by the company. All these actions are simple but, without proper instructions, they may be stressful and take way more time than you would initially expect. However, by boosting the employee engagement we may turn those activities into an excellent step by step guide, appealing to our new employees. For this reason, we have come up with a ‘welcome game’. A small app where each new employee may enjoy learning all the information they need to start their work by playing games.

The result was nearly 100% of newcomers participating in the game and acclimatizing to their new workplace within the first week at work.

Gaining knowledge as an adventure

Do you use e-learning programs to train your future sales representatives? Or do they receive leaflets, catalogues or other materials to become familiar with your product portfolio or customer service tricks? What results do you get? One of our clients approached us to ask whether we saw a possibility to improve his current results in knowledge training by combining the educational content from e-learning platforms and marketing materials with engaging solutions to create a universal tool to encourage sales forces to improve their knowledge and skills by participating in a gamification scenario.

We implemented a gamification platform that pushes the content about client’s products, customer service and the brand. After adding the fun factor, entertaining storyline and a bit of rivalry, users visited our platform regularly and took as many actions as they could to discover the new content.

The more we know about the users of a gamified solution, the better we can inspire them to undertake specific actions like reading about new products and their competitive advantages.

In our project, we analyse users’ activity month by month and adjust our gamification mechanics to it. Our work brought the following results:

  • a 28% increase in the weekly frequency of visits owing to the introduction of a new feature – educational duels between users,
  • a 198% increase in the monthly number of openings of the educational content following the adjustment of task mechanics to the users’ preferences.

Information about your employees and their most effective ways of learning can be used to increase the performance of newcomers at work and to plan subsequent trainings aimed at developing their skills.

An opportunity cost of onboarding

Each employee engagement software may have various forms and be used to achieve different goals.

Gamification may have impact on simple tasks connected with starting work at a new company. It can also be a core of the knowledge training program. The right question to ask is not whether to introduce gamification, but what is your current opportunity cost connected with an ineffective onboarding – and how do you decrease that amount with engaging solutions?

Text prepared with cooperation from Comarch.

Brick and mortar still key to winning retail customer experience

87% of retail disrupters say that they believe in the benefits of physical stores and will continue to try and open them in the future. While much has been made about ecommerce’s continued chipping away at retail sales, many retail brands still think that a physical store is an important part of creating attractive experiences for customers.

The data comes from the 2018 Retail Disruptors Survey from JDA Software, who interviewed over 100 retailers worldwide. Disruptive brands are categorised as those, ecommerce-based and not, that provide high quality products and services, are faster and more responsive than their rivals and have “fundamentally changed the customer experience”.

And rather than abandoning bricks and mortar, disruptive retail brands see stores as an important part of the multi-channel approach. 71% of them believe that cross-channel fulfilment such as buy online, collect instore drives foot traffic into stores as they continue to grow in popularity.

60% also thought that loyalty programmes and interactive technology are also good ways of getting shoppers into stores.

“The results of this survey are clear: Disruptors are more willing to sacrifice a faster growth trajectory to achieve the customer experience shoppers expect, with a mix of human- and data-driven insights for the perfect blending of art and science,” said JoAnn Martin, vice president, retail industry strategy, JDA.

“Retail disruptors realize that technology is a strategic enabler and not just a cost to be managed. This will be absolutely critical to success in an evolving and turbulent time for retailers.”

Focus on experience

Two factors seem to be setting retail disrupters apart from their non-disruptive peers: a focus on customer experience and a willingness to invest in tech to help make it better.

“Disruptors are more willing to implement new technology to improve the customer experience, but they’re also quick to change course when they don’t see benefits they anticipated. And disruptors right-size to hone in on the right technology mix that yields the best shopping experience,” noted Martin.

The kind of investments that are working for disrupters include end-to-end supply chain visibility (49%), regional and localised distribution centres (38%), and partner collaboration with vendors (38%).

Investing in customer acquisition priority areas is another key part of creating the right kind of retail experiences. 58% focus on engaging lifestyle content, while 57% are investing in customer-focused events and activities.

“So, where do retailers go from here, especially if they want to be disruptors? They need to live and breathe the intersection between products and customers, finding the right balance between human- and data-driven insights. Deploying new technologies quickly – while also changing course if they aren’t working – will also be important to keep speed and agility top priority in order to support their stay ahead in an ever-changing retail landscape,” said Martin.

– by Colm Hebblethwaite

Facebook seen as least brand-safe platform

Linkedin is viewed as the platform that provides brands the most safety, according to a new survey by AI company GumGum.

The company interviewed more than 200 industry professionals in the US, UK and Canada as part of it’s The New Brand Safety Crisis report. Among the respondents, Facebook was viewed by a wide margin as the most unsafe platform for brands (-23), followed by Twitter (-11), publisher sites (-10) and YouTube (-8).

The results suggest that despite its numerous and very public issues with brand safety over the last few years, YouTube is still thought of as relatively safe place for brands. It seems that Facebook’s prominent roles in the ‘fake news’ scandal has done significant damage to the company’s brand.

And the problem is clearly a pronounced one. 75% of respondents reported that their brand (or one they worked with) have had brand safety issues, with 43% saying it had happened more than once. 44% said that they have problems with brand-unsafe imagery, while 32% reported video as the main source or danger.

And while 45% have been employing technological solutions to try and protect themselves from brand safety issues, 15% are not currently using any at all.

“Epidemic levels”

When asked what kind of content they considered to be the most unsafe to their brand, the respondents put hate speech (34%), Pornography (17%), and violence (13%) at the top of the list. The kinds of unsafe content that they had actually encountered, however, tend to be that relating to disasters or tragedies (39%), divisive political issues (39%) and fake news (39%).

The effects of brand content appearing in the wrong place can be significant. 47% of respondents said that they received negative social media blowback, with 25% claiming this lead to actual negative press. Only 13%, however, lost any revenue due to the incident.

“When brands are damaged, we all suffer,” said Phil Schraeder, President and CEO of GumGum.

“With brand safety now reaching epidemic levels, we need a comprehensive understanding of how these issues occur in the first place and impact the brand ecosystem. Based on our findings, we are able to identify ways to limit brand safety exposure, with computer vision as a leading solution.”

When it comes to what potential solutions to the problem might be, 59% of publishers thought that direct relationships are the most effective way to ensure ads are appearing in the right places. Other potential solutions include blacklisting (31%), ads.txt (24%) and keyword detection (22%).

– by Colm Hebblethwaite

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