The Customer Challenge

Looking at yourself through the eyes of your customers with a lot of humour: that takes courage. Yet that’s exactly what Daman, the UAEs leading health insurer, did. Hercules Projects and Promoseven Sports Marketing were selected as the trusted partners in this process that took several months and that resulted in a final team event, called The Customer Challenge.

The Customer Challenge was set up as a giant board game for +1,000 Daman employees who, for one day, played the role of the customers. The customer teams had 10 appointments comprising of different scenarios and locations that a normal Daman customer would experience including a bureaucratic branch, an unhelpful call centre and a pharmacy that struggles to get an approval to dispense medication.

The real challenge however, was that the 10 stations that they had to visit turned out to be very uninterested in customers. The staff at the stations kept people waiting, made them fill out dozens of unnecessary forms, sent them back to square one and then rejected applications because of rules nobody understands, with unfriendly receptionists and staff that have no sympathy for the person they are working for,… A real customer nightmare. The names of the station made this point very clear with names like “Bloody Branch”, “Authorization Torture Cycle” (announcing statements like “We will make you bleed”, “You are not covered” or “Silence of the App”,…).

100 customer teams were participating, each representing a typical Daman customer with fictitious names like The Cheesefake Factory, Phantasia Aqualand, The Smashers, etc. For weeks, the teams had been preparing their identities online, with their company logo, overall presentation and clothing, each with their own demands mirroring real customer types. This preparation process didn’t only make people identify with the customers, it also had a huge effect on the team spirit. The 10 stations to be visited were co-created by Daman and Hercules Projects with strong involvement from different Daman teams who had put a lot of effort and energy in their stations a lot of role playhumour and action. The stations were manned by a combination of Daman employees, Hercules facilitators and a lot of actors.

Anja Helbig, Head of Corporate Functions at Daman: “Most of our employees are usually working at their desk and aren’t facing the customers. The idea of the concept was to give them a good feeling of how a customer feels. Using games as an awareness tool turned out to be the perfect strategy. People were having a lot of fun, but also understood the educational aspect of it. The reaction after this day is hopefully leading to thoughts like: “maybe I can change something in my own process, simplify a document, or adapt my behaviour to make the customer’s life easier. In the coming weeks, we will see the results. But based upon the first feedback, I’m very hopeful that we have been able to make a difference.”

Nermine Ismail, HR Officer: “I just wanted to thank the Hercules and Promoseven team for your efforts with our Pain Reimbursement station. You were extremely helpful & flexible throughout the process and on the day. Hercules staff who were standing with us all day were very flexible & helpful and they had a big role in our success that day. Please pass my appreciation to all the team.

Here’s the video of The Daman Customer Challenge:

For more pictures click here.

A lot of organisations currently face the challenge losing out on customer centricity, lacking ownership or being caught in a treadmill of administrative processes. Even if the majority of the employees is aware of this, it’s not easy to actually break through that cycle as an individual or a department. Organizing a “Customer Challenge” day involving the entire organisation and with a strong buy-in from senior management is the perfect first step towards change. In Change Management, the phase of opening people’s minds is a crucial step and is often forgotten. We at Herculean, have found that the power of gamification can very much help to get the change process started.

Is your organisation facing similar challenges? Get in touch via for more information.


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