Spark Behavior Change with Narrative Game-based Learning

The only people who love change more than bank employees are bank customers, right? Not so much. Changing behavior is tough in any environment. But getting skeptical customers to use newfangled banking apps—after an equally hesitant employee pitches those apps—is a tall order.

Launchfire has taken on this dilemma with a pair of platforms that introduce digital bank products using game-based learning, role-play, and simulations. The platforms are flexible and can be adapted for any industry where L&D teams need to change behavior by getting learners to play (uh, learn) for a few minutes every day.

Build your banking empire

Launchfire’s bank clients needed to teach employees to use their new digital banking products and “get their frontline staff up to speed on their products and make sure that they are not only knowledgeable about how they work and why they are beneficial to customers but confident enough in their knowledge to be able promote them in retail situations,” said Nicole Titus, campaign and content manager at Launchfire. That was the first challenge.

The Lemonade platform, aimed at changing employee behavior, presents learners with a narrative game framework: Earn points to build your banking empire. The story and game elements get players hooked. And, using a microlearning approach—most modules are about a minute long, Titus said—employees can learn about the new products and practice using them. Lemonade features:

  • A game-based approach to learn about the features of each digital product
  • Simulations of the products so employees can practice using them
  • Role-playing scenarios where employees can become comfortable suggesting the apps to customers and answering questions

The Lemonade platform for employee training uses a game framework to present a variety of training modules. The players advance in rank, earn points, and move up to new levels as they improve.

Figure 1: Employees using the Lemonade platform can build their banking empire by scoring well in learning games, role-play scenarios, and simulations.

Launchfire has found that creating daily or repeated training habits where learners engage in short spurts has been effective in changing behavior, Titus said. “We found that by having that narrative game, we can increase the amount of times people come back, their engagement level, their participation level—and get them to really come back and train more frequently than they would in the traditional LMS,” she said.

The microlearning format “lets the frontline staff, when there are lulls on the floor or when they have time, go in and refresh themselves on specific topics,” Titus said. The combined approach of game-based learning, product simulation, and role-play scenarios has significantly increased the number of product recommendations that employees make to customers, Titus said.

Games also drive customer behavior

Once employees were recommending the digital products, the next challenge was getting customers to use those products. “Learning about banking products, when you are a customer, is a hard sell,” Titus acknowledged.

That’s where the Playbook platform comes in. Launchfire’s customer-focused platform uses a similar mix of game elements and simulations to teach customers what each product can do and show them how to use the apps. They start simple: The goal is to lead customers from just learning that a digital product exists to trying it; then they encourage the customer to download the app, and, ultimately, become a regular user of the app.

To get customers to play—and keep coming back for more—Launchfire worked with its clients on incentives and rewards programs, and making it fun. Titus credits the engaging game-based learning format and the short interactions with driving the behavior change.

Employees eagerly adopt spaced learning

Players get feedback—rewards for customers, points for employees—when they do well. In the role-play simulations for employees, the game characters respond appropriately to the employee’s choices, smiling when the customer interaction is handled well but becoming confused or even angry if the employee mishandles the conversation. Titus said that employees will keep playing until they get it right—“and that’s more training time!”

She credits the platforms’ success with the combination of frequent, short interactions, the fun and engaging narrative game-based learning approach, and the spaced learning element. “Repetition builds mastery. When you do something multiple times, you’re more confident in knowledge,” Titus said. And spending a small amount of time each day helps learners retain what they’ve learned better than a single two-hour course would, she said.

Learn more about microlearning!

The eLearning Guild’s Microlearning Summit, on Feb. 20-21, explores what’s next for microlearning. Register today!

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