What Can ‘Pokémon Go’ Teach Contact Center Leaders About Customer Expectations?


There is no question that Pokémon Go, is a global phenomenon. With over 100 million downloads in the first month, more daily users than Twitter and higher user engagement than Facebook, you’d be hard pressed to find a better success story today. Who hasn’t seen groups of people desperately trying to find the elusive Porygon or Snorlax? Who among us hasn’t been on a quest to nab the mythical Scyther? (rhetorical question, don’t answer that).


But Pokémon Go isn’t just fun and games: bringing in $10 million in revenue on a daily basis, the application has provided an opportunity for contact center leaders to garner a deeper insight into the minds of users that can in turn be leveraged to improve relationships with their own customer bases. The game is a simple augmented reality (AR) application that is very quickly exposing consumers and companies to a multitude of AR applications in retail. The popularity of Pokémon Go should spawn (no pun intended. Ok, a little intended) many location-based smartphone apps that could easily take enterprise AR mainstream.

So what can contact center leaders learn from the success of Pokémon Go?

  1. Your customers are going mobile. Take a walk through your local park and you’ll likely find people using mobile devices to hunt for Pokémon. You might find this particular practice peculiar, but the numbers don’t lie—your customers are largely going mobile – and so can you. Be sure to offer mobile-friendly customer support channels: optimize your website, develop a customer-facing mobile application and update your IVR system to get active with conversational commerce and chatbots to boost visibility and bolster communications.
  2. Service should be available anytime, anywhere. Pokémon Go is leading the charge for how online-to-offline (O2O) interactions should be structured for optimal customer experience. In fact, utilizing augmented reality, the game is blurring the lines entirely. Offering customers services online that will benefit them offline—or vice versa—is a significant way to improve satisfaction.
  3. Integration is vital. Pokémon Go isn’t just a standalone application. The game uses GPS to create a digital map which can earn in-game rewards for users interacting with brands. The more inclusive your services, the more likely your customers will be to have a satisfactory experience.
  4. Users value autonomy—but have the right to choose. Game play provides users the opportunity to go it alone or interact with others. Users can play alone and simply hunt for Pokémon to catch, or find other users to test their abilities on the field of battle. Your contact center should pursue cutting edge self-service offerings, but be prepared at any time for customers that would rather interact directly with an agent.
  5. You can play games with customers. Many businesses have found their own ways to increase engagement with customers by leveraging the popularity of Pokémon Go. Offering in-game promotions for purchases has been one successful method. Even increasing on-premises foot traffic has been made possible thanks to the creation of “lures”, which attract Pokémon to the location. By setting up lures, businesses have compelled game players to venture into their restaurants and stores in the pursuit to catch ‘em all. Your strategy should leave room to play games with customers.

Pokémon Go is a door opener to enterprise applications of new and emerging consumer technology. An even though consumer gamification is nothing new to brand interaction, branded Pokémon will most likely not attract consumers to a company’s website. You won’t be seeing an Aspectsaur anytime soon. Pokémon Go is just the latest, most exciting opportunity to demonstrate the potential AR and AI (Artificial Intelligence) to brands and to consumer engagement.