‘You have been listening to the same music for more than 20 minutes and then the line is disconnected: please try again later.’
How angry does that make you? On a scale of 1 to 100? It is one of the cards of the game Inferno, part of the games of Way2Play – Business Games. I was sent Fun in a box to try out and review.
Fun in a box contains four games focusing on customer orientation and sound communication.
The games are suitable to be played with 2 – 12 players, preferably in teams. I tried out the games with Niki. Niki is teacher and trainer management coordinator at a large education and training provider and has contact with the company’s customer contact centre.
We played the four games in random order. At the end, I asked Niki to make her top four.
Onboarden with Inferno
First we put Inferno on the table. You lay this game from the customer perspective and try to rank cards with an ‘annoyance score’ of 1 to 50. I mentioned this situation in the introduction: ‘You have been listening to the same music for more than 20 minutes now and then the line is cut off: please try again later.’ This situation was given an ‘annoyance score’ of 12 by the creators. Then you pick up a new card: ‘A mistake has clearly been made, but you don’t even get an apology.’ It’s up to you to decide whether this has an annoyance rating higher than 12 or lower (read more below).
Preferably, therefore, you do this game in teams, because it provides food for discussion. If your guess is correct, you can put the card in front of you and try to get a row of 7 cards in front of you.
The hourglass ensures that you don’t dither endlessly. With the die, you decide whether you get 1 or 2 cards. Or whether you might have to take a ‘devil card’. The devil cards shake up the game a bit. For example, a devil card means you may take cards from another team’s row or return a card of your own. The unexpected devil from the box!
What do we think of Inferno?
We had a laugh during this game! That is a first positive already. And it gave immediate input for interaction. Because, of course, the ‘annoyance score’ is very subjective and actually makes you start telling anecdotes of what happened to you as a customer.
Niki says she finds the game especially suitable for onboarding employees in their customer contact advice centre. It is a very good hook to discuss that customers’ experience can be different from your perception as an employee. The game also gives rise to discussion and reflection on the impact of different actions on customers.
Watch your language – Pika Magia
Oor second game, Pika Magia,has communication as its subject. The ground rules: ‘In communicating with your customers, the most important thing is not WHAT you say, but rather HOW you say it and formulate it. Words are your most important weapon in this regard.
In this game, one of the players is game leader. Every other player (or team of players) gets a deck of cards. The game leader reads out a ‘cactus word / cactus phrase’. In other words: they hurt in some way! And do not work positively on the customer. All teams now look in their pile of cards for a good alternative (a magic word) and throw it on the game board in the middle of the table.
Whoever throws up the right word first wins the round and becomes game leader. The game leader always has on the card the correct alternative for a cactus word / cactus phrase and thus decides who is the winner of a round.
What do we think of Pika Magia?
Niki can see herself playing this game on a team day or in a workshop to practise conversation techniques. Because you are not allowed to make up your own words and are limited to the cards in the set, you quickly get into discussions. And often this is about subtleties in language.
Because the focus is on positive language, you could also use this game in, for instance, Positive Psychology and NLP training courses. I personally see possibilities for my training Dutch as a Second Language.
Empower your imagination – Komplimento
‘Oh, that is a nice little game. Perfect to put on the table after a hard days work’ The size of this game alone made Niki see possibilities!
It’s true: Komplimento consists of a mini pack of cards and 1 die. That’s it!
One of the goals of Komplimento is to clear heads before or after a heavier topic. But also developing creativity and verbal skills. How it works. Simple: roll the dice to determine a genre, then turn over 6 pictogrammed cards and think of a story to go with it.
We found that it’s more fun to make up a story together (that’s the duet version of the game) and that it became even more fun when we broadened it beyond ‘Once upon a time there was a customer who….’.
What do we think of Komplimento?
We had a lot of fun coming up with a horror story (the genre we were dicing) around thunderstorms, Google and aliens. It became even more fun when we created the story together and took turns inserting a card that gave the story a total plot twist.
Niki enthused about the simplicity of materials and rules: ‘That makes the game easy to take with you and easy to deploy.’ It’s up to you and your team whether you want to limit the theme to ‘Once upon a time there was a customer who….’ or let the players go loose in their story.
There is no wrong or right with Dilemo
At Delimo each player/team has a card in front of them with four squares representing their opinion:
- red – ‘mmm, this is not quite my idea of customer centricity.’
- orange – ‘yes, that is definitely a customer-centric approach for me.’
- green – ‘wow, fantastic solution, I haven’t even thought of this yet.’
- blue – ‘I’m not quite sure what to make of it yet.’
Each team gets a pawn. This is to determine later who gets the turn (the corresponding die has the same coloured squares as there are pawns).
For each round, a situation card is put in the stand. Each team discusses how they would handle this situation. Then someone rolls the die, which determines which team gets to present its approach.
All other teams listen to the presentation and now distribute 5 chits across the four squares. The chits indicate how they think about the approach. Then the team can give a further explanation and the other teams decide the final place for the chips.
What do we think of Dilemo?
Dilemo is a form for unbiased exchange and reflection.
We think it should definitely be played in teams, so that you have space with your team beforehand to talk through a situation properly.
It does require verbal skills (and courage) from team members to present their approach in front of the group. They also need to be able to motivate well to help the other teams move the chips to their final place.
And now….tadaammm… the top 4 Niki made:
- First place is Komplimento, because it is compact and we laughed the hardest in the process. Playing Komplimento also takes you away from that ‘heavy’ workshop you are attending for a while.
- 2. Inferno, also really laughed at. Niki comments that you might nog pick it more often with the same team, because at some point you probably know the scores.
- 3. Pika Magia is a challenging game to think about positive language. You do have to do a lot of searching in the pile. Not for nothing does the rules of the game say: ‘decide on a strategy with your team beforehand.’
- 4. Dilemo because for us it was already heading towards serious work form. We played it with 2 people and I think this game is best if you play it in teams and are serious about getting into the topic. A great guide for conversations.
Fun in a boxis a great way to bring some air into training sessions around customer centricity and customer contact. At the same time, it is a way to bring out (ingrained) beliefs and encourages discussion. Fun in a box is from a Flemish publisher and you can see that occasionally in the texts. They are surmountable language issues and perhaps also give rise to further discussion.
General information about Fun in a Box:
- number of players: 2 – 12 persons or teams
- time: each game takes between 15 and 45 minutes. Only Komplimento can also be played in 5 minutes if you let each player create a story.
- target group: everyone who regularly deals with customers.
- prijs: Fun in a box is part of a workshop. Contact Way2Play for more information on the games.