How Gamification Makes Financing Fun
It's on your cell phone, your wrist, your social media, and even in your office. Gamification is everywhere, and that's a good thing. Gamification is simply applying gaming aspects into everyday situations. Tracking your steps, watching your calories, learning how to play an instrument, checking into a favorite restaurant, earning frequent flyer miles, and even strengthening an online profile have all become prime examples of gamification in action.
Many companies have begun exploring aspects of gamification as they start to see increased benefits. However, it has become less about transforming into a gaming company and more of how to incorporate gaming mechanics to obtain the desired outcome---building higher levels of engagement with information and learning by adding an element of fun. This is particularly the case in a media snippet world where attention spans have shortened.
For Synchrony Financial, encouragement comes in the shape of a web-based gamified learning experience called Synchrony Sling. It is a program that focuses on financing education for associates, managers, and owners.
"Gamification is another way for Synchrony Financial to connect with our partners," said Jennifer Hatcher, AVP Small Business Training for Synchrony Financial. "We serve a fragmented audience across the country in all different industries and varying levels of sales and financial backgrounds. It is important that Synchrony Sling can serve these audiences efficiently.”
Generating Gamification Growth
Many experts have begun watching gamification after its growth in 2010. They note that the worldwide gamification market grew from $242 million in 2012 to $2.8 billion in 2016, and predict it to climb to $11.1 billion in 2020 according to a survey conducted by Fleming. The edge that companies gain by utilizing gamification as a tool for learning shines in the overall engagement from microlearning. Many, including millennials, respond well to microlearning.
Microlearning offers a holistic approach to delivering content efficiently, by using small chunks of information. By changing the speed, impact, and accessibility of how we learn, gamified learning experiences like Synchrony Sling can provide beneficial information more efficiently than traditional ways. "If we can provide information in 60 seconds to 5 minutes, individuals are more likely to use and retain information," Hatcher said. "Every day, we forget about 70% of what we learn. Microlearning and repetition of information are important because associates, managers, and owners need to learn important concepts but only have limited time between customers. We don't know how much time they have, making accessibility and faster delivery of information absolutely imperative."
Measuring Synchrony Sling's Impact
For Synchrony Sling, the gamification approach serves both long-term and short-term goals. The primary objective serves a variety of partners whose associates had limited digital access or time to learn and how they could help. By creating a web-based app that runs on smartphones, computers, and tablets, Synchrony Sling is readily available and teaches the basics of offering finance.
"The immediate goal is to engage people in a fun way that appeals to a broad audience including sales associates who discuss financing with customers every day," Hatcher said. "We want all our partners to be comfortable and confident with offering financing to every customer."
"The long-term goal is to provide more in-depth content in the form of levels for users," Hatcher added. "Leveraging the foundation built, we have the ability to serve different audience needs. It may be that we deliver different information or modify to serve a particular audience. The possibilities are endless. From independent owners to larger partners, we have the ability to tailor more specific versions to their needs."
There are many different ways to measure the success of gamification, especially in the business-to-business space. Typical metrics can show how many people are engaged in the activity, how long they played, and new vs. returning users.
User feedback is one of the critical pieces the Synchrony Sling team analyzes, as it gives a clear look into what Synchrony Financial's partners need and want from their experiences and content going forward. Gamification is a tool that can continue to shape and empower their partners when time is their biggest investment.
"Dealers and owners are excited, and they love the idea of learning in a gamified experience," Hatcher said. "After engaging in the game, partners have found themselves more comfortable and confident offering financing. We continue to have a 94% positive response rate after participating in this game. They are ready to discuss finance options and feel more comfortable offering finance options to customers."
As gamification grows from an emerging trend and into full-blown normality, companies like Synchrony Financial will continue to pioneer the landscape.
"We serve our audiences at all levels and help them to connect regardless of what their environment is," Hatcher said. "We want to connect with associates, managers, and owners where they are at and make them comfortable with the information we provide and confident to expand as a business."
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Synchrony (NYSE: SYF) is a premier consumer financial services company delivering customized financing programs across key industries including retail, health, auto, travel and home, along with award-winning consumer banking products. With more than $140 billion in sales financed and 80.3 million active accounts, Synchrony brings deep industry expertise, actionable data insights, innovative solutions and differentiated digital experiences to improve the success of every business we serve and the quality of each life we touch. Engage with Synchrony Financial.