Harry meets Sally, it gets seriously fun. Holidays, parties, cars, moving in together. Weddings, babies, mortgages, retirement planning. The list goes on and all along the way, oh how we yearn for the good old days, when life was simple and Coronation Street was a suspense thriller.
We are all faced with increasingly complex decisions and an overabundance of choice – Over Choice. In this increasingly overloaded life, we are hacking our way through with shortcuts, rules of thumb, gut feel and a pressure to do it all fast.
Longitudinal studies of decision making reveal a changing landscape. Robert Cialdini, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, identified six “thinking hacks” that are commonly used to help us navigate the world of choice. They are:
Understanding and employing them within digital offerings, potently in the form of game mechanics, reduces cognitive overload and improves engagement. Lets have a look at them one by one.
People feel obliged to return behaviours, gifts, or services that they have received. Some call this Paying it Forward. People are more likely to say yes to those who they owe or have received value from – Invites to events, advice, mentor ship. The key to using Reciprocity is to be the first to give and to ensure that what you give is valuable, personalised and unexpected.
People want more of those things they can have less of. When British Airways announced that they were shutting down their Concorde service, sales took off. Closing Down, Final Days, Limited Time Only. All of these are common tactics but so are more subtle versions. Send Gold’s gold rush is another fabulous example, where the service geo caches real gold for people to hunt down using their phones. “There’s gold out there people – download the app and go find it!” Making offers restricted to a certain few or during a certain time, drives urgency.
People follow the lead of credible, knowledgeable experts. Take the numerous examples of people handing over their keys to bogus car valets or vice versa- car valets handing over the keys to bogus owners. All examples of people acting with authority. Whilst those are examples of leveraging authority for bad, there is good to be had. In the world of money there is a real opportunity to lead with authority, leveraging a provider’s knowledge and authority, making sure that authority is clear up front and stating any success that is aligned to that of customers. How many customers paid off their mortgages in the last year? How does this compare to the alternatives? That’s authoritative and valuable
People like to be consistent with the things they have said they would do. One study reduced missed appointments at health centres by 18% simply by asking the patients rather than the staff to write down appointment details on the future appointment card This is a key trigger in financial services as successful outcomes are predicated on consistent behaviours – paying off loans or saving in small regular amounts. Consistency is activated by seeking commitment and then reminding people of any alignment or misalignment with that commitment.
People prefer to say yes to those that they like. The science reveals three contributors to who we like; Those who are like us, pay us compliments and cooperate with us towards mutual goals. There’s tons in here as we turn from pushing products to thanking people for their custom and efforts and recognising what people want to achieve.
People love to go with the crowd. Brexit is a great example. Where there was division there is increasingly strong consensus; perhaps the whole leave idea was ill conceived. People will look to the actions and behaviours of others to determine their own. When hotels remind guests that 75% of their guests reuse their towels, towel reuse rises by a third. Rather than trying to persuade people with logic, we can shortcut the process by pointing out what many others are already doing. 50,000 of our customers are off on a summer vacation this summer using our platform to get there – are you joining them?
Unlock the Mechanics Through Process
So there you have it. 6 additional game mechanics for deployment with your applications. The trick is making sure they are deployed in the right place. To do that, you must incorporate game design into the process. Once that’s done you can consume these from the GameSystem in your application via your defined rules. If you need help doing that, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org