Edition #19: Perks & Points: 9 Tips To Build Telco Customer Loyalty Through Gamification

It’s 2024. Can you believe we’ve had Facebook for over 20 years?!

Digital is now meshed tightly into our lives, but the landscape is constantly shifting. Businesses in every industry are vying for innovative ways to captivate their audience, enhance customer loyalty, and drive sales.

One novel strategy that’s being used by general retailers and telcos alike is gamification. This is an important tactic that will help businesses connect with their customers and drive engagement.

In this article, I’ll explore what goes into gamification, tell you about some telcos that are successfully using this strategy, and give some tips to help you implement a gamification program.

What’s Gamification?

The concept of gamification isn’t new. It’s a strategy that plays to humans’ competitiveness and desire for recognition by including elements traditionally found in games, like points, badges, leaderboards, challenges, quests, and rewards.

I’m confident you’ve experienced gamification in your daily life. You’ll know what I mean if you’re a Starbucks addict. Their program rewards customers for each visit by providing stars and badges that can be redeemed for free drinks, upgrades, and other perks.

Or if you’re athletically inclined, you may be familiar with Nike’s free “Run Club” app that rewards runners for achieving their goals – and provides quick access to the latest and greatest running shoes. Clever eh?

Rewarding different levels of status is another way to keep things going – even restaurants like Gaucho in the UK are using their “Black Card” approach to stand out and incentivise brand loyalty.

Gamification is NOT to be confused with loyalty programs. Anyone can create a very dry solution where they award one point for every Pound spent and hope that it’s enough to keep customers returning.

Gamification is an ENGAGEMENT strategy that gets people constantly connecting to your brand. It can involve loyalty points, but it can also be challenges, discounts, discoveries, and more.

How Are Telcos Using Gamification?

For telcos, the goals of gamification are the same. Here are some great examples:


In the United States, Verizon has a few different gamification initiatives. Their Total Rewards program lets customers earn points when they watch videos, play games, and renew their plan. Reward points can be used to unlock discounts at participating retailers and redeem add-ons and other enhanced services.

Their “Verizon Up” program is similar and allows customers to earn credits for every $300 they spend on their Verizon Wireless bills. These credits can be used to redeem rewards, such as device discounts, gift cards, or experiences.

Ready Telco One Project

Ready Telco One is a joint gamification project between TM Forum, Orange, Comviva, Netcracker, Microsoft, and Radisys. The program gives telcos a gamification platform that they can tailor, rather than building one themselves.

Under the program, the telco invites their customers to enrol their favorite apps and services and receive points for using partners’ offers. Points can be redeemed for any product or service within the ecosystem, including with the telco itself. This might mean being able to select an upgraded data package, or a discount at their favourite coffee chain.

The program collects behavioural data and uses machine learning to present personalized offers and experiences, which drives additional revenue. It’s a great “plug & play” option for telcos to increase their revenue.


In the UK, Vodafone’s VeryMe is a personalized reward program that uses AI to tailor offers and rewards to the interests and preferences that the customer chose during the setup phase. Customers will receive offers that meet their interests, usage, and even current physical location. Customers can collect weekly treats like free coffee or pizza, and participate in challenges, quizzes, or polls to earn more rewards or chances to win prizes.


In 2024, T-Mobile unveiled their newest loyalty program for U.S. customers, called Magenta Status. This program is available to all subscribers and gives them perks and discounts at hotels, on movie tickets, and car rentals. This program is more than a nice perk for customers; it’s also a strategic initiative to help consolidate all account management and other activities through their T Life app. Centralizing all customer activity in a single portal offers many opportunities for cross pollination and data capture into the future.

9 Tips For Starting A Gamification Program

By transforming shopping into an interactive and rewarding experience, telcos can deepen customer connections and stand out in a crowded marketplace. Here are nine tips to help you incorporate gamification into your business:

1. Understand Your Audience

Tailor your gamification strategy to match your audience's preferences and behaviors. Use data analytics to offer personalized challenges, rewards, and recommendations.

2. Incorporate Meaningful Rewards

Make sure your rewards are valuable and relevant to your customers, such as discounts, exclusive content, or early access to new products. This encourages continued participation and engagement.

3. Maintain Simplicity with Engagement

Design gamified elements that are straightforward yet challenging enough to maintain interest. Striking the right balance is crucial for sustaining engagement without overwhelming users.

4. Employ Specialized E-Commerce Solutions

Opt for specialized e-commerce platforms designed for the telecommunications industry, like Maplewave’s platform, which facilitate the seamless integration of gamification into your online storefront. These platforms are crafted to meet the unique needs of telcos, providing features that complement gamification efforts.

5. Continuously Measure and Iterate

Regularly assess the impact of your gamified elements using metrics like engagement and conversion rates. Listen to customer feedback to refine and evolve your strategy accordingly.

6. Implement Points, Badges, and Rewards

Use game-like elements, like points systems, badges, and rewards, to incentivize customer engagement and loyalty. By offering rewards for activities like signing up for services, referring friends, or completing tasks, you can foster a sense of achievement and encourage repeat business.

7. Deploy Interactive Challenges and Quests

Create challenges or quests that expose customers to your products and services, unlock exclusive deals, or involve fun activities related to their offerings.

8. Use Personalized Recommendations and Progress Tracking

Use data analytics and AI to personalize recommendations and track progress, much like you would in games. By analyzing customer behavior and preferences, you can tailor product suggestions and track customers’ progress towards specific goals.

9. Virtual Currency and In-Game Purchases

Consider introducing virtual currencies and in-game purchases within your e-commerce platforms, allowing customers to buy virtual goods or unlock premium features. This gives customers a new way to interact with your brand and can drive new revenue for your business.

Wrap Up

The importance of gamification in building a loyal and engaged customer base cannot be overstated. For telcos, the journey towards a gamified future transcends sales; it's about creating memorable experiences that resonate with customers on a deeper level.

Gamification helps telcos captivate their audience and foster lasting relationships in an increasingly digital world. By incentivising customer buy-in, this lowers churn and breaks the cycle of “deal jumpers”.

Is your brand using gamification today? Is this something you are considering in the future? Let me know in the comments!

Offering insight and concrete solutions for telcos looking to take their business to the next level.

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