Contrary to what its name suggests, Gamification is not about the latest trends in gaming, it is instead a tool of motivation. Motivation to perform better.
Contact centre agents have a very important role, being the first point of contact of a company and having direct and huge influence on customer experience, but they are mostly considered to be unglorified intermediaries in companies. They usually portray the image of an organisation but also carry most of the burden and grief in customer journey. These conditions lead to higher level of frustration, demotivation, poor performance and maximum number of attrition amongst call center agents. Agent attrition therefore has become a major problem especially in India, where the average agent lifespan is just two years. With high attrition comes the following challenges:
• A loss of knowledge, expertise, and productivity
• A drop in morale among remaining employees
• A perception that something is fundamentally amiss at your business
• High costs associated with recruiting, hiring and training of new staff
All these factors point out to two crucial elements, that is the loss of trained manpower and the need for fresh methods of agent engagement and motivation that reduces turnover rate while training agents and motivating them to perform better.
This introduces Gamification into contact centres. By Gamification, call center representatives are encouraged to compete with each other or with themselves on varied parameters. The parameters can be as simple as their working hours or any of the other call center metrics like:
• Average speed to answer
• First call resolution
• Number of calls
• Total talk time
• Average after call work time
• Percentage of calls handled by type
• Customer satisfaction score
Individual scores and the winners are displayed on every agent’s dashboard or in a common area like a wallboard for all to see. When an agent sees better visibility into their performance over peers, it motivates them to do more hard work.
Gamification has proved to uphold agent motivation resulting transparency, competitive environment, productivity for development and growth. There are however, some best practices that companies must follow to ensure healthy competition among agents.
Any supervisor using gamification to train their agents should maintain a fun element in the whole exercise so it does not lead to animosity amongst competing agents. The activity must not lead to agents not helping each other when needed.
Any gamification initiative depends on the sturdiness and expanse of the reports provided by their contact center solution. If the software does not provide detailed agent wise reports on the parameter being gamified, the whole exercise will fall flat.
Retention and Rotation
It is important that an administrator observes and oversee the game overtime. A small group of agents winning continuously will discourage others and demotivate them further. It is important that the administrator rotates or shuffles the team so every agent can be kept engaged.
Every participating agent must be able to see others scores and performance through a Leader Board. This ensure that there is a sense of fairness when awards are given out and also helps agents benchmark their scores against the winners.
1. Getting rewards or recognition for a well-done job helps employees to continue better performance. When contact center KPI is in real time, it empowers service agents with knowledge and date to meet their goals.
2. Gamification adds fun factor at work and makes work place more enjoyable. Inclusion of competitive activities and rewards can make a monotonous stressful job into a cheerful one thereby creating a healthy working atmosphere. Healthy work environment reduces negative feeling such as jealousy, complexes among employees.
3. It reduces absenteeism at work.
4. It reduces errors on part of agents. For instance, employee who makes least mistakes for a period of one month can be rewarded. This will motivate other employees to reduce error.
5. It encourages agents to achieve their goals since goals are treated as awards in gamification, agents start putting more effort into achieving their target.
Gamification can make employees fall in love with their jobs specially in contact centres. It is a win-win situation for both agents and managers of contact centres. Businesses that head for contact center technology must realise gamification is one of the most productive and efficient way to make agents happy, productive, satisfied and goal-oriented.
Gamification in training:
Employees that do not receive proper training leave the job in the first year. According to a survey, 79% participants said it is more motivating and interesting if the learning environment is based on games and everyone that participated in any form of gamification be it for learning or work environment told their scoring system increased with gamification application.
Learning through gamification has huge positive effect. It not only creates fun environment but also a well build game can create multiple learning strategies in a contact centre.
There is a scientific reason behind the success of gamification over learning and development. A hormone known as dopamine stimulates the mind while we win or accomplish goals; the same happens while playing games, gaining points or elevating into next level. This hormone improves retention power. Games are filled with challenges, hurdles, obstacles to overcome and win rewards which suits human brain perfectly. It stimulates the brain. This type of stimulations is useful in training client service representatives in a contact center where customer emotion runs high, understanding and responding to the customers with right information is the key to success of a contact center.
At C-Zentrix, we have developed a gaming tool where agent will be provided daily goals by the admin and at the end of the day, their achievements get converted into rewards. In the meantime, when agent feels exhausted or not in a mood to work they can engage themselves in some training related gamification mechanics. The points scored in the game gets added in the rewards and then on the basis of their overall rewards, they are assigned a badge (ex- gold, silver, bronze, etc.). The interesting part of this mechanism is that there is a competition among agents and they come to know who the winner of the month is from the leader board. This tool assesses agent’s mood on a daily basis and based on it personalises agent’s dashboard occasionally by changing the theme, or displaying motivational, inspirational or interesting thoughts to keep them happy. This tool can be used in contact centres to improve agent’s productivity.
This is however just one example of a tool we use internally. Gamification tools can be made and modified based on each company’s unique requirements. If you wish to introduce gamification in your contact center, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author Bio: Sumita has 12 years of strong experience in various segments of management ranging from contact center to process development with the help of lean Six Sigma methodology. She is an avid reader, occasional writer and an extensive traveler beyond her professional commitments.