A recent article and follow up webinar from Chartwell focused on why utilities should be looking into game mechanics as a strategy for creating effective customer engagement programs, explaining that “getting customers to care about energy usage remains a big hurdle in our industry.” The article mentions Simple Energy using Green Button data as an example of a successful customer engagement program using game mechanics and social media to motivate people to save energy.
The article goes on to explain that utilities can choose how much they would like to use game mechanics for customer engagement, starting with simple ideas and moving towards more complete solutions offered by third party applications such as Simple Energy. “Gamification should be thought of as a spectrum. It is a process of thinking about customer engagement using the general context of a game.”
“It can be as sophisticated as a mobile app that is social-media-enabled with a real-time point ranking compared to everyone in the user’s community and a reward system allowing users to purchase merchandise; or it can be as simple as a utility-sponsored contest between neighborhoods, high schools or hospitals. Social media offers a free marketing mechanism that people are already very engaged in and bragging rights will usually serve as the best (and cheapest) reward.”