Scott Schnaars will be presenting at the TechMeetups Guru Program covering Sales, Partnerships, Alliances & Affiliates.
What inspired you to join Badgeville?
I’ve known Kris Duggan, our CEO & Co-Founder, for a number of years. He is one of the most inspiring and driven people that I’ve ever met. I worked for Kris in the past, had a great time and was thrilled when he asked me to be an early member of the team at Badgeville. It was an easy decision.
For readers who might not have come across the business, can you briefly talk us through Badgeville’s story to date in North America? (founders, funding, key customers etc)
Sure, Badgeville was founded at the end of 2010 with the idea that if you could radically transform businesses by making small changes to the way that employees and customers behave. As a result, we built the world’s first Behavior Platform, a service that helps our customers to recognize and reward employees and customers for performing valuable behaviors. These behaviors could include writing reviews, closing trouble tickets, sharing items socially, purchases, or literally any behavior that you value. We like to say ‘If you can record it, we can reward it’.
Since the founding in 2010, we’ve raised $40M USD in venture funding and have built our business to include over 200 customers including Dell, Oracle, Citrix, Daily Mail, Barnes & Noble, and Deloitte.
US-based technology start ups have had mixed success when entering Europe. From your perspective, what are the key challenges for Badgeville in terms of entering this market? What lessons have you learned as a business during two strong years of growth in the US?
Part of my role here early on is to identify what the key differences are between Europe and the US and build a business that can leverage the strengths of the US, but build its own culture here in the UK. The simple one is culture both from a way that companies do business as well as how they treat their customers. The hardest part is that the differences are subtle, but different enough to make a difference.
What does hold true is that every company here in Europe has both customers and employees. They all recognize that if they could change their customers’ and employees’ behaviors to do just one more valuable thing per month, that this can have huge ramifications on the business.
This is how we help.
What can potential clients / customers expect in terms of results after a few months of using the Badgeville platform?
The results that we’ve seen have been astronomical. We regularly see a 200+% increase in social sharing and 20% increases in purchase conversions. Imagine if you’re a retailer and someone could show you a proven track record for increasing purchase conversions by 10 – 20%. That has a huge impact on your business.
Internally, we have shown that we can drive greater customer satisfaction in support organizations and more accurate sales forecasting. Again, if you’re a VP of Sales and I can show you how to get your sales team to convert leads faster and more accurately, this is something that makes a major difference to businesses.
What types of companies find Badgeville’s platform most rewarding? Are there specific sectors that naturally benefit more than others by using this technology?
Virtually every sector can benefit from gamification and behavior management technology. We work closely with companies in retail, high tech, non-profit, health & fitness, and many enterprises focused on improving employee performance. In most cases, it’s ideal for the audience engaging with the program to be 50 or more people to help create the sense of community which game mechanics thrive on.
On the other hand, if you add game mechanics to a bad experience, you can’t magically make it a good experience. I received a call recently from a government agency that explained how they had 3,000 employees that hated working there and wanted to fix this by adding a rewards program for employee behavior and make work more fun. If there’s a deeper issue within your organization game mechanics won’t solve that. But for any experience that is already positive we can help increase user behavior 20 percent or more.
Done properly, you want to create an experience that aligns to the goals and experience that you have created with the base site. We have programs that support HIV patient drug trials and programs that encourage people to buy more bread rolls. Both of which seem like strange things to build a behavior model around, yet we helped to create very engaging, but different, experiences for both clients.