Gamification is here: embrace it and you win

  • Posted on August 19, 2015

GamificationWe all know the insurance industry is changing, and that everyone is more “social” than ever before.  But so what, what’s next?  Oh it’s your turn; roll the dice. [Let me see if I can say this without dating myself]. Do you remember the James Bond movie where 007 bet a fortune on a single-roll of Backgammon dice? Well, I feel like this is the same situation that C-Level Executives face today with their insurance business – if they take a big risk and they’re wrong it is Game Over.

With all this in mind, how does an insurance business leader properly choose the destiny of their company?  We all know the future company will focus on technology, knowing your customer, and gumption.  Since not every executive wants to be just like James Bond and “roll the dice” on their business, insurers can incrementally add some fun and excitement to their product line while at the same time build their brand and improve customer loyalty.

Many carriers now provide customers with reward systems as Nic Merriman rightly points out in our June blog; by driving rewards, affinity products, or discounts on future insured products. As the Internet of Things continues to grow, access to any amount or type of data to fuel a reward system becomes a reality.

Property and Casualty (P&C) is ripe for this next phase of customer engagement.  Think about light and relaxing driving games on Facebook (not the “Fast and Furious” version where you speed and hit things), or virtual driving tests that people play casually and rack-up points over time to gain driver discounts. P&C umbrella companies tend to have more depth and breadth of understanding about its clients by nature of the collective information gathered from multiple policies. How about discounts for people who reach achievements such as being a good citizen or ‘Den Leader’ of their son’s Boy Scout pack? If the undying theme is something wholesome and nurturing, people would accept the use of their data, and by putting money back in their pocket, would be glad they did.

These examples are similar to how emergency medical services (EMS) use training games to educate new hires – give it a try, it’s hard but a fun way to learn. Also, the U.S. Army uses training games to educate personnel. And Touch Surgery uses an iPhone application to improve surgeon’s decision-making and technical skills.

The approach, which I firmly believe will significantly change the insurance industry, is gamification layered in with digital business.  In 2013, Gartner described gamification as a business as “near the peak of the Gartner Hype Cycles,” meaning they don’t see a near-term potential in gamification. I agree due to the timing of digital business, which currently is in embryo stage. The point I’m making is that insurance providers must FIRST bring themselves into the digital world and THEN put the right type of games in front of their customers so they’ll keep coming back time and time again. To play the game, now that is customer loyalty. If you keep or enhance customer loyalty, you are actually reducing your risk by increasing market share by gaining new viewership.

Now is the time for the insurance industry to WIN as well.

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