When a new customer service representative joins a service team, a new sales rep joins a sales team, or even when a new user starts using our product/service, we need to take them through an on-boarding process. This process allows them to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills.
Tactics used in this process include formal meetings, lectures, videos, review of printed materials, or computer-based orientations. However, in many cases the process may lead to discouragement and frustration.
Gamification can improve the on-boarding process. A game-like user experience is used to improve the self-learning process, in order to save money and time as well as improve the training success rate.
Here are five tips for using gamification during the on-boarding process:
Create exploration-style games
According to Bartle, game-players can be divided into four basic types: Killers, Achievers, Socializers, and Explorers. In the on-boarding process the player will always be an Explorer, because they need to explore procedures, rules, guidelines, applications, etc. Prepare a short game for them (either online or offline) which have an exploration theme (treasure hunt, jungle exploration…), with clear progress indications.
Use baby steps
The “player” is new to the company/community, so their tendency will be to quit when failing (see Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow Theory). Therefore the game needs to start slow and easy, to not discourage them. A great example is Angry Birds, where you start with one type of a bird, a slingshot and an easy target. Using baby steps and simple shots the game gradually evolves and guides you through scenarios which become increasingly complex over time.
Work with a (virtual) coach
Add a virtual coach or mentor to the gamification process. If there’s no real person readily available, the coach can be a fictional character who interacts with the player: explains, correct, supports – and celebrates achievements. People love to interact with other people (or with furry animals).
Make it Fun
Dopamine is a chemical which our brain releases when we encounter something pleasurable. The chemical is hugely important for acquiring learned behavior and for creating motivation to persist in a task. So one must take special care to make the newcomer’s gamification experience fun.
Tell a story
It is better not to restrict the experience to simple games but rather build the game based on a full-fledged narrative. Dealing with complex challenges, which tie into each other, will assure that the player does not lose interest in the game.