Contact centers create various sources of stress for agents such as achieving performance goals, impending deadlines, and fear of rejection. These factors make it difficult for agents to maintain their morale in the long term, resulting in the historically high turnover rate of contact centers. Many of these businesses are addressing this problem with gamification, which is the process of applying game mechanics to non-game experiences. Gamification in the contact center generally consists of managers developing competitive activities with rewards for achievements, generally for the purpose of improving employee experience and morale.
The following areas provide opportunities for contact centers to benefit from gamification:
- Call resolution
- Remote agents
The rewards offered in sales gamification are often financial, but they can also take the form of badges, points, and vouchers. Assume for this example that a manager decides to reward outbound sales staff members with one point for each customer they get. Agents advance to the next level when they earn a certain number of points, with a better reward for each level. A reward for achieving a low level could give agents the right to make their own sales pitch, while a higher level would allow an agent to work from home.
2. Call Resolution
Contact with customers that primarily involves problem solving often fails to answer the prospective customers’ questions. This problem can occur even when agents have a large knowledge base at their disposal, as agents feel that spending the time needed to fully resolve a call will impair their overall performance rating. Managers can use gamification to improve customer experience by implementing a leaderboard to show agents where they stand on a particular key performance indicator (KPI) such as call resolution. The agent with the highest ranking at the end of the month could get a day off as a reward. The leaderboard in this example should be updated in real time and displayed on the agent’s desktop to achieve the greatest effect.
Supervisors typically coach agents by monitoring an agent’s communications with a customer and offering suggestions for improving performance. Agents rarely enjoy this process, but gamification can make it more fun. One possibility is to make a group coaching session into a game by posing multiple choice questions on topics like the company’s products and terms of sale. Each correct answer advances the agent towards a reward.
Recruiting contact center agents requires you to identify the candidates who can be pleasant to customers while dealing with the pressure of performance. Agents are the face of your organization, so it’s vital to choose the right ones.
One approach to this task is to allow applicants to play an online game where they act as agents, including computer-generated customer interactions. Agents can thus learn how to open a call, answer the customer’s question and close the sale. The calls should start off easy and progressively grow more difficult as the agent gains experience. This type of games serves dual purposes in identifying suitable agents and preparing them for the situations they’ll encounter on the job.
5. Remote Agents
In-house agents are able to discuss concerns with their managers by simply stepping into a nearby office, but remote agents have no such opportunity. Gamification can help resolve this issue with contests and rewards structures that help remote workers feel more connected to colleagues who are playing the same game. However, the contest needs to separate agents by experience and category to prevent newer remote workers from becoming discouraged by the large difference in scores between themselves and the top in-house agents.
Gamification is improving performance in contact centers by promoting a spirit of healthy competition between agents. Innovative games with an appropriate reward system can also aid in recruitment and training. Contact us today to learn more about how our data reporting tools can help you gamify your contact center.