“Gameify” Your Monthly Bills


Mashable shares Seven Wining Examples of Game Mechanics in Action.  The article talks about “Gameification,” which is defined as:

the use of game thinking and game mechanics to engage audiences and solve problems. In other words, it means taking the best lessons from games like FarmVille, World of Warcraft and Angry Birds, and using them in business.

My favorite example in the article was this way game thinking can be applied to common problems, like getting drivers to slow down on the roadways:

[The] innovative Speed Camera Lottery idea rewards those drivers who obey the posted limit by entering them into a lottery. The compliant drivers then split the proceeds generated from speeders. Richardson used gamification concepts to turn an negative reinforcement system into a positive, incremental experience.  When tested at a checkpoint in Stockholm, average driver speed was reduced by 20%. If the plan were scaled across the U.S., the results could mean thousands fewer injuries, millions of dollars worth of reduced costs and substantial environmental benefits.

Could you use a similar theory with your monthly bills?  Instead of just offering the traditional discount on bills paid within 30 days, offer much larger discounts to the first handful of your customers who pay.  For instance, give the first customer to pay their bill a 20% discount, offer a 19% discount to the second customer to pay, and so on.

Instead of hounding customers to pay, you may instead be faced with judging which of your clients paid first — a tremendous problem to have!

One Response to “Gameify” Your Monthly Bills
  1. Dan
    July 11, 2011 | 2:49 pm

    I love the creative approach to the billing/collection process. The professional service field certainly needs to entertain new ways of billing and collecting. However, looking at this from purely a numbers stand point, (warning: I am an accountant) my hunch is that this would be the wrong choice economically. The true cost of AR for 30 or 60 days is most likely not enough to make up for the discount you offer. With interest rates on our deposits being close to nothing, getting the money a few weeks earlier doesn’t offer us much in means of return. On the flip side, if a business is on their LOC their rate is probably lower then the discount you are offering. With those things in mind, carrying the AR is a better choice if we just look at the numbers. With that being said, I do believe we should weigh the non-financial benefit of such a change. The benefit to your client relationship may be worth more then the $.

    Thanks for being willing to challenge assumptions!

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