Gamification is a term used by companies to describe turning day-to-day tasks into games. By doing this, companies help their employees stay motivated and encouraged to collaborate with each other. Gamification makes training and skill development more fun.

Gamification is about taking the core mechanics of gameplay, like a timed challenge or beat-the-clock scenario, and applying them to better engage and motivate people to achieve certain behaviors or goals. In this sense, gamification doesn’t mean “to make something a game” so much as “to implement the fundamental mechanics of a game.”

From Zelda to Super Mario Bros. to Pokémon, we’re all familiar with games. Many people look at the time they spent playing games with fondness and excitement. As you can imagine from its upsurge in popularity, gamification provides many benefits in the long run for field service companies willing to invest time and money. In fact, organizations that exploit this new tactic boost their engagement by 48 per cent and lower turnover by 36 per cent, according to a survey done by the Aberdeen Group.

When making the switch to gamification, the main incentive is to create an entertaining environment that will motivate the field staff. The potential increase in effectiveness, scalability and differentiation when applying this concept also helps convince organizations to make the switch.

So, what if those feelings could be brought into field service work?

Gamification strategies offer a way of molding your field service technicians’ behavior and work habits. According to the Aberdeen report, “Flash Forward: Is Gamification Right for Service in 2016?”, the field service organizations that are best-in-class are more than twice as likely to have a gamification strategy in place for their service team, 32% over the industry average 14%. In 2016, companies plan to increase the usage of this strategy.

For example, a company that has a lot of drivers doing truck rolls could use a driver safety mobile app to reward their workers for good driving behavior. On a macro level, this helps drivers feel like they’re a part of a team and they are motivated to receive positive feedback by driving well. On the micro level, individual drivers who participated in gamification will spend more time learning how to perform better since the app could show them what areas of their performance they need to improve.

Also, HVAC & Plumbing companies can make use of field service gamification software to track customer visits and see how many attempts it takes your field service worker to fix a problem for a particular customer. For workers that have successfully achieved multiple first-time fixes, a company can give those techs more points. Accumulating points can lead to bigger rewards down the road such as salary bonuses, higher marks in an annual review, or other free prizes.

Still, gamification is not just for the bottom-line of your business or your service technicians. Ultimately, your gamification strategy is for your customers’ happiness

Areas Field Service Companies Can Integrate Gamification

According to Gartner, there are four general areas where companies have found success using gamification, both internally and externally. First, the technique can be used to engage customers and build brand loyalty. Companies can also enable product innovation by crowdsourcing problem-solving or design.

Internally, companies have used gamification for process innovation and to engage employees in training, performance, recruitment, and even healthy lifestyle initiatives. In areas like field service, gamification can be used to help measure success at achieving goals (like reducing vehicle idling or meeting service level agreement requirements), change management, or for encouraging employees to complete administrative tasks like timesheets or vehicle logs.

“What if you livened up [these tasks] a little bit and made it more compelling by adding a competitive element to what you are doing?” Bouhnick says. “And if you made your employee feel appreciated for doing such tasks? We have begun to see businesses doing just that — companywide league tables charting who is best at one task or which division is doing something better or faster than another. A little healthy competition goes a long way to bringing people together.”

Gamification can even be applied to customer service via customer feedback scores. This allows employees to see who is performing well and rewards top employees for their results. The important point is to make sure employees are receiving enough feedback and incentives to engage with the game or activity and work toward both their individual goals and the overall corporate goal.

There’s a reason many corporations use team-building games to bring colleagues together. As many field service companies struggle to retain trained employees and attract younger field service workers, gamification is one way to keep existing employees engaged. Because some of what field service engineers do can be long and arduous, making service calls more competitive is one way to spice things up amongst your workforce, and keep them wanting to do more work.

“Your field personnel are your most valuable players and are often the only physical representation your customer has,” Bouhnick says. “Using gamification needs to be just as much about encouraging compliance to new policies and procedures as it is about having fun. Having happy field personnel means increased productivity and a sense of pride that will in the end drive superior customer service.”

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