4 Things Pokémon Go Taught Me about Customer Experience

Unless you’ve been hiding under a soundproof rock for the past two weeks, you’ve heard of Pokémon Go, the new smart phone game that has become one of the most popular of all-time, topping Twitter’s record of daily users and seeing more engagement than Facebook. The immense success of the game got me thinking about what it might teach us about customer experience. The answer? A whole lot.

I don’t want to take up too much of your time (because I know you want to get back to playing Pokémon Go), so I’ve narrowed it down to 4 things the game taught me about customer experience.

1) Word-of-mouth is irreplaceable

Everyone is talking about Pokémon Go these days, and I mean everyone. Your friends and neighbors, your siblings, your cousins, the bus driver, even the cashier at Target – everyone seems to be obsessed with the game and they love talking about it. The hype surrounding Pokémon Go is a great reminder that word-of-mouth is irreplaceable.

Word-of-mouth can be more effective than paid-for marketing because people tend to trust their peers more than advertisements. But remember word-of-mouth doesn’t have to be positive. 46% of happy customers tend to talk about their positive brand experience to an average of 8 people. In contrast, 60% of customers regularly talk about negative experiences to 21 people. So it helps to have customers talking about your brand, but make sure you’re supplying them with happy conversation topics.

2) Rewards = Retention

The whole point of Pokémon Go is to collect as many Pokémons as possible. The more you collect, the more rewards you get. People get hooked on collecting those rewards and find themselves going to ever-greater lengths to collect them as the game goes on.

In customer experience, a reward could be as simple as a compliment, a joke, or anything that brings a little light to a customer’s day. Things that inspire positive emotions in the customer are rewards that will keep them coming back. Remember that customers make decisions based more on emotions than logic, so brands that can continuously make customers feel good will hold onto their customers more successfully than the competition.

3) Everyone loves a seamless experience

One of the most remarkable things about Pokémon Go is the way it blurs the boundary between Virtual Reality and Real Reality. The official name for this is Augmented Reality, and it looks to be the way of the future. The levels of the game correspond to the player’s actual neighborhood, and they get points by walking the streets and completing tasks.

The way that Pokémon Go seamlessly connects the online world and the real world shows how everyone loves a seamless experience. Since this seamlessness is an ever-increasing part of our lives, brands that connect their service across channels will be loved by their customers. There is no longer much of a difference between brick and mortar shops and online selling, so it’s important for brands to deliver the seamless experiences that customers crave and increasingly expect.

4) Ease of use inspires loyalty

Besides the cute and lovable Pokémon characters that have made the franchise popular since it first appeared two decades ago, Pokémon Go is fantastically designed. The brilliant mechanics of the game have helped make it addictive. It’s so easy to play that gamers have a hard time putting it down. Surely this is directly applicable to customer experience.

Companies that are easy to get a hold of and easy to deal with inspire loyalty. This informs every aspect of business, from the design of the website (which should include a contact page that’s very easy to find) to maintaining an active, engaging presence across digital channels. When customers know that a brand is there for them, they are more likely to be loyal.

There’s more at stake in business than in computer games, but many of the same key learnings apply to both. If you’re feeling bogged down trying to keep up with all of your customers and serve them in inspiring ways, remember that creating extraordinary customer experience doesn’t have to be punishing. Excellent social customer service is a great place to start.

Brand Embassy’s social customer service software is just the thing to help you provide customer service that will inspire your customers to be more loyal and spread the word about your company. Remember the tagline from Pokémon? “Gotta catch ‘em all.” Where customers are concerned, you’ve gotta serve ‘em all. We’d love to help you do that. Sign up for a free trial today or check out our website to learn more.

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