Making CRM Fun: Using Gamification to Engage


Making CRM Fun

Just getting up to speed on social media and Web 2.0? Feeling pretty savvy? You are already behind. The next new thing in the evolving world of web engagement is gamification.

Gamification is about introducing gaming concepts to tasks that have traditionally had problems with traction or compliance in the enterprise, like consistently updating contacts, making notations in the customer relationship management system or getting customers to provide feedback on engagements. We knew were keeping that sit-n-spin around for some reason.

Enterprise 2.0 – Office Hopscotch? Not Exactly

Don’t strip off your Dockers in favor of your favorite shorts and free vendor t-shirt in preparation for a day filled with nostalgic hopscotch and office laser tag just yet; that is not the sort of games we are referring to in this case.

We are refer growing trend of embedding games, rewards to incentive workers. According to  Gartner, “By 2015, More Than 50 Percent of Organizations That Manage Innovation Processes Will Gamify Those Processes.

If you want to really drill down on this concept, check out this in depth, 59 minute video.

Consumer loyalty programs are one very successful example of using gamification; the airline industry has used it for decades to engage customers with frequent flyer programs. Other opportunities include:

  • Training
  • Collaboration and knowledge sharing
  • Customer loyalty programs
  • Customer relationship management
  • Sales automation
  • Nurturing leads

At its core, gamification, it is about making task employees or customers may not find desirable, repetitive or tedious things a bit more fun and engaging. The audience for gamification is anyone you want to engage repeatedly in order to elicit a particular behavior. People like to play.

As with all new technologies and concepts, there is a bit of hype. Let’s examine what gamification is, why it works, its constraints and opportunities and how you can use it to increase productivity of your CRM workflow process.

Gaming your way to Enterprise and Web 3.0

definition of gamificationResearch shows that fastest learners, with the highest performance, will voluntarily engage in challenging tasks only motivated by intrinsic factors or social status – bypassing the sense of entitlement often created by external rewards. Gamification can be applied across a wide range of situations where individuals need to be motivated to perform a certain set of actions:

  • Sales staff, partners and other resource can be motivated to nurture leads to improve sales automation and to increase sales via competition and challenges.
  • Departments augmenting customer information in a customer relationship management system based on completeness and accuracy of information.
  • Call centers and customer support organizations can be motivated to deliver superior customer service through a customer feedback mechanism or other metrics.
  • Employees can be motivated to pursue optional training initiatives that enhance their careers and make them more valuable to the company.

A key strength of gamification is the interactive nature of teaching rules and objectives. Well-designed games require much less upfront training than traditional time intensive techniques used to learn even the most basic CRM functions. Users play, discover, fail and most importantly learn to use CRM, or other processes, optimally with game mechanics, the games challenges, and game dynamics, use of positive feedback like points and status, to build loyalty and engagement.

Game Mechanics Game Dynamics
  • Points
  • Levels
  • Challenges
  • Virtual goods and spaces
  • Leaderboards
  • Gifts and charity
  • Reward
  • Status
  • Achievement
  • Self-expression
  • Competition
  • Altruism


Getting badges and achievements in games, and recognition via social media, even when it’s internal to the organization, keeps people coming back and working harder.

Is your organization exploring implementing gamification to drive process adoption? We’d love to hear about it.

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2 Responses to “Making CRM Fun: Using Gamification to Engage”

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  1. Len Kamerman says:

    Lindsay, great post! Your article has sparked my interest in the topic, I’m going to check out the full video later (just saw the first couple of minutes for now) and will likely get the book.

    I would love to kick around ideas for an ACT! AddOn to implement some type of scoring.

  2. I’m up for that!

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