Gamification, Agile Content, and More: This Week’s Great Reads

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As we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at some of the news, articles, and blog posts that caught our eye over the last few days. 

Are You in the 91% or 37%? (Be honest, we won’t tell.)

There was a lot of chatter this week over Oracle’s recently released customer experience report. The takeaway message is that failing to provide a good CX will injure your company’s bottom line. (But you knew that.) The results of this study make it pretty clear that although most businesses (91 percent!) want to provide an optimal customer experience, few actually execute strategies to make that happen. In fact, a surprisingly high number of companies (37 percent!) are only just now getting their acts together to implement a CX plan.

Bran Curran, VP, Customer Experience Strategy for Oracle told CMSwire:

“It’s shocking how many companies said they haven’t gotten formal customer experience programs… A brand should engage when a customer asks about a product. This means companies should do things like monitor product communities and customer commentary on social networks, as well as engage customers when they ask a question on a company’s official website.”

Notice Curran says companies should engage customers when and wherever they’re talking about your product. That “wherever” ought to be primarily arenas you’ve created with amazing authoritative content. Put reliable, useful, easy-to-find documentation out there and customers will come to you first for the information they need. Then you can keep on engaging them ad infintium.That sure beats spending all day combing through obscure forums and Twitter hashtags, right?

 

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Speaking of customer experience, apparently the banking industry is considering ways to incorporate gamification into its user support strategy. The idea hasn’t made a lot of headway in the U.S. yet, but it’s making a big splash in other countries. Banktech’s Jonathan Camhi says:

U.S. banks may have been slower to adopt gamification so far because they have a more cautious attitude toward digital interaction with their customers, says Stessa Cohen, research director at Gartner, an analyst firm. “U.S. banks are a little more reticent. Look at how they use Facebook. They use it to push info; they don’t engage [with customers],” she points out. But Cohen predicts that banks here will have to take a serious look at gamification and how banks in other countries are using games as they try to outdo each other in digital customer experience. “I think we will definitely see more banks incorporating gamification. The focus [U.S.] banks are putting on customer experience will definitely take them there,” she says.

Whether gamification is appropriate for your product depends on several factors, including user demographics, your business objectives, and whether you’re able to provide incentives customers actually want. Think carefully before adopting this strategy because some people really hate it.

 

Can You Hear Them Now?

Are you talking to your customers, or at them? To be the authoritative voice in your industry means listening to your users and, equally as important, responding to them. A stellar content strategy means being ready to talk to customers about what concerns them right now, not simply telling them what you think they need to know. Sure, users must be able to access fantastic documentation, but they also want a rapport with their product or service provider that let’s them know the company is proactively listening.

Digital agency Firstborn’s Alex Krawitz and Eugene Chung say getting good at agile content development helps you meet this goal.

“Agile means using real-time interactions and behavior monitoring to drive a more agile approach to creating and deploying branded content focused around the consumer. It seems obvious now that any effective approach to content has to put the consumer at the center and must be able to adapt based on cultural trends and consumer insights.”

Are your content creators agile? Can they twist-and-pivot as the customer culture and climate dictate? The article is filled with terrific tips and real-world examples of companies who use this approach with great results. (We’re not entirely convinced that “figital” is a word, though.)

Image: Toms Bauģis

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