Rise customer ClickMechanic shares their success story

It’s not often that you get a customer story told in a guest post like this. We’re thrilled with the ClickMechanic team’s Rise journey – this guest blog has been written by Simon Tinsley, Click Mechanic’s Digital Marketing Executive:

clickmechanicphoto

Hi! We’re ClickMechanic, not only are we satisfied customers of Rise, but we’ve taken the philosophy of the effective use of data and targets and applied it throughout our company with great results. We’re so excited about sharing our story so it can help other growing businesses that we asked Rise to let us share our story on their blog and they kindly agreed.

Firstly, a little background, we’re an online marketplace for car repair, servicing and inspections with a nationwide network of mechanics. We’ve used Rise’s leader board to promote engagement on social channels amongst our mechanics and found that it provided a 23% uplift in sharing from our mechanics.

More striking has been the impact that applying targets carefully has had throughout our company. We noticed recently that a quarter of bookings placed never get assigned to a mechanic – meaning more unsatisfied customers and less revenue for us. Recently we introduced a number of initiatives that reduced the number of customers without a mechanic by 60%. So, how did we do it?

Firstly, we gave people responsibility for a particular area of customer service each day. This focus allowed our team to reduce the amount of time they spent switching tasks, and therefore reduced wasted time. Alongside this, it gave a sense of ownership and responsibility over that area for the day. Secondly, we made the key metrics visible to the whole team. Such that the team can see the results of their efforts. The immediate feedback has seen our net promoter score increase from 80 to 85.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we introduced targets for assigning bookings to the team. Here, we followed the key principle of ‘Count Fruit Not Leaves. Initially these were individual targets, though we found this provided faulty incentives. Team members on other tasks for the day would try to squeeze in assigning bookings to inflate their numbers and ‘win’ and neglect other tasks. With this in mind, we switched to a team target to encourage co-operation between the team. Not only have we seen the KPIs increase, but also we’ve had feedback that the team like having something to aim for and find it motivating.

We’ve also applied personal metrics to our development team. We work on a fortnightly sprint and plan our engineer’s time using ‘points’ to represent blocks of time. By doing so, we are better able to plan our development work and coordinate the rollout of new product features. Alongside this, it creates accountability within the development team – if tasks aren’t completed then the reasons why can be discussed transparently. Tracking this data allows for improving our estimation of how long projects take and can help us to identify if there are certain aspects of our process that consistently cause projects to run over.

Pros & cons of teamification

Rise    LetMeGetMyScarfTeam based gamification, recently branded “teamification”, has much going for it.

For one, it avoids the problems of individual gamification at work, particularly around badly drawn comparisons on leaderboards that cause unwanted disengagement  (“I’ll never get to the top, I’m happy being a middle ranker I’ll just stay here, I can’t get a top score because I don’t use that tool”).

The benefits of teams are in the shared celebrations, the shared sense of endeavour and collective achievements create bonding and high relatedness amongst team members. We all like being in winning teams.

Recently I put this to the test with a collective endeavour twitter competition to see if we could spread the word among “foreverists” – fans of the recently cancelled ABC show “Forever”. I published an hourly-refreshing leaderboard during the tweet storm and it was well received among the fans who saw their personal dashboard, their rank within the community, and most importantly the progress of the whole community towards the goal.

It worked really well and we hit  our goal and more. 349% of our target to be precise. For 284 participants to drive 4500 tweets, 2300 retweets and over 3000 mentions is no mean feat. Clearly the power of teams and collective endeavour is worth tapping into.

But is there a downside?

Certainly being stuck in a perpetually losing team is no fun either. Teams that lose frequently tend to disband or morale simply drops through the floor – worse, being a loser becomes the cultural norm with anyone trying to challenge the status quo being laughed off as naive.

Within teams there are issues too.

At a recent Gamifiers meetup, Sebastian Deterding highlighted the issue of Social Loafing – that’s what happens when someone coasts on the back of the rest of their team’s hard work – not really contributing yet sharing in the team rewards.

In a short term finite campaign like the Forever example above, it’s not an issue, but in a long term infinite scorekeeping project, the problems of social loafers can become acute.

The problems that occur (probably after the two week honeymoon period any group seems to enjoy) are infighting, factions, politics and disengagement. They can be just as damaging to individual motivation as badly designed leaderboards that pit individuals against each other.

Avoiding the issues of teams is worthy of another discussion but for now it is worth bearing in mind that although teamification has its strengths it also has weaknesses too.