Working in a contact center can get tedious. Tasks can quickly become monotonous, leading agents to feel like their job is stale and their environment is boring. Gamification is a great way to spice up the contact center! Building excitement in the workplace can generate an atmosphere that cultivates and engages agents. When employees have gamification capabilities at their fingertips – like the option to customize their digital workspace with a personalized avatar, be rewarded for their performance through games, or interact with their coworkers with a dose of healthy competition -- it creates well-rounded contact center performance. Here are 5 gamification tips to help you drive sustainable, well-rounded agent performance and create a workplace that makes it easy to recruit, engage, and retain the best talent.
1. Give sincere, timely, and consistent recognition
We live in a world of instant gratification. We want and expect to have everything at our fingertips and get frustrated when responses aren’t instantaneous. That’s why reward systems are most effective when they provide instant feedback, recognition, and payouts. Management The best performance management software lets agents know the objectives of the game, their current standing in the game, and receive their reward once the game has ended.
With customizable gamification features, each company can celebrate what they choose, when they choose it.
Automated badges can notify the agent that they have crushed their goal, acknowledging their success and rewarding them for the work they are doing.
Leaderboards are another way to share instant results via individual screens for each person to see. These can be viewed on desktops, mobile devices, or TV screens and can promote individuals or teams -- it’s really up to you what you want to show!
Wallboards are similar to leaderboards, yet different, in that they are typically showcased throughout the office or workspace for everyone to view. Typically contact centers have a variety of metrics that cycle through on wallboards, like the status of queues and progress against contact center goals.
Simple recognition like highlighting an agent’s KPI improvement may seem like a small gesture but can make all the difference in their confidence, job satisfaction, and work-life.
Because these features all provide agents information in real-time, making sure that agents are also rewarded quickly will boost their engagement and confidence in the gamification program. Consistently acknowledging those successes and wins will create a positive and exciting place to be. By posting congratulatory messages on wallboards and leaderboards, agents will feel seen in an environment where it’s easy to feel like just another number.
2. Automate agent rewards
Traditional, manual gamification is slow and inconsistent. With performance management software, tedious counting and margin for error decrease significantly. An automated process leaves no room for error and results are immediate.
“87% of employees say gamification makes them more productive” -TalentMS
Enticing agents with a rewards system motivates and empowers them to continue improving their performance. With a rewards system that is automatic and instant, agents can set their eye on a prize with confidence that it won’t be months or years before they actually see a payout.
Using performance management software that has an automatic distribution of currency eliminates a lot of problems that arise when contact centers try to implement gamification manually. First, it removes the problem of human error. Miscounting or miscalculating currency distribution is a common pain point in manual gamification efforts but using an automated performance management system ensures payouts are accurate and fair.
Second, a virtual marketplace keeps agents’ eyes on the prize – literally. Having access to a marketplace with visual representations of prizes can motivate agents with the ability to quickly compare their current earnings to the quantity needed to purchase their desired prize. Continually update the virtual store to keep agents interested in completing games. Don’t let it end up looking like your mom’s pantry that has a bunch of old items that have been there for years.
Agents love being rewarded for their efforts and awarding prizes/bonuses/gifts for good performance is standard contact center practice. That being said, instead of guessing what each agent wants as a prize, why not let them choose?
A common scenario in the contact center is something like this: “Hm, this month’s prize for the top agent is a new TV? Well, I don’t need a new TV… so who cares… I won’t even try to win.” – says the unmotivated agent.
With an automated gamification platform, though, you could put the agent in the driver’s seat when it comes to prizes. So instead of “who cares” the agent can do what they want – like trading in their coins for something practical like a grocery gift card or keep saving their coins to buy Christmas presents for their family and friends. Agents want to be rewarded in a way that means something to them, and on their timeframe.
Successful marketplaces speak to what agent desires. Offering X-boxes and gift cards for shopping may not appeal to everyone. Offering things such as laundry detergent or grocery store gift cards may incentivize some. Mixing perks with core items in the store will offer a variety of prizes to select from, giving something for everyone.
Some ideas to include in the marketplace are:
- Paid day off
- Company pays for a training program
- Spa day
- Target gift card
- Hydro flask water bottle
- Oil change gift card
Having a mix of essential products with some fun and exciting things for people to look forward to gives the opportunity for everyone in the call center to have their needs understood.
3. Engage agents with user profiles and avatar customization
Expressing oneself is a crucial aspect of life. We present ourselves in a certain way to show others who we are, and with customizable avatars, agents feel that they can share a piece of themselves with their peers. Adding some additional spice to a contact center agent's daily life can go a long way!
Avatars can be an extension of an agent. It can also be a representation of something/someone that they want to be. Having multiple options can allow agents to identify what they want, which boosts their online persona.
People seek a controlled environment to thrive within. Giving them an option to have control over an aspect on their dashboards can give them a sense of power which leads them to perform better in the workplace.
With CXone Performance Management, agents can customize everything from hairstyles to having a pet as their sidekick. There are always new releases of clothing, accessories, and other modifications available for agents to create any kind of avatar they can imagine.
4. Align rules with performance goals and gamification objectives
Rules in a contact center can be tricky. An overwhelming number of rules can cause employees to feel as if they are being controlled, but a lack of rules can cause chaos in a contact center.
Being thoughtful in aligning rules with how a contact center should be a top priority for supervisors. Depending on the goal of the contact center, the rules with performance goals can change. Creating these goals can be challenging but emphasizing the rules and expectations from a company in this phase is critical for the performance of agents.
5. Drive engagement through competitions with KPIs
Behavioral change comes when you align agent skill level with the level of their challenge, and you use the correct metrics to point them to the behaviors you want them to exhibit For example, you need to have low AHT but you don’t qualify for the reward if you don’t maintain a high CSAT score.
Executives and Supervisors need dashboards and reporting to determine the KPIs and metrics that need to be boosted through gamification. Then, they need to use dashboards to track and manage gamification initiatives. These predict the long-term impact of their gamification strategy.
By creating a winning contact center culture, agents will be motivated in many ways. It’s important to remember that each individual agent will be motivated differently. The 3 main principles to create a dynamic gamification strategy are:
- focusing on the most important KPIs
- having a captivating scoreboard
- keeping a regular cadence of accountability
Each of these lays a base for a strong strategy to motivate and incentivize the behaviors of agents.
Primary objectives are the most important goals that need to be achieved. These are the main metrics that supervisors and executives focus on. Gamification should be focused on these goals and how to encourage agents to make the mark.
Performance management software that automates gamification takes the pressure off supervisors and gives them more time to coach and mentor agents. Not only is the visibility of their employees’ performance straightforward, but the simplicity of the dashboards offers a quick look into agent metrics. Accountability for different metrics is now a quick snapshot and can be taken care of in a more efficient manner.
Well-rounded Agent Performance? Game on!
In a place that can oftentimes feel defeating and somber, gamification adds promise and gives the power to contact center agents. Gamification contributes to a winning culture where employees want to stay and grow for the long haul.
Regular, consistent recognition, coupled with automated rewards, reminds agents how important they are. And giving agents a means of self-expression, like personalized avatars, help create a sense of belonging and power. Creating a sound gamification strategy with clear goals to encourage all agents to be the best is what drives a successful contact center.
By setting a precedence with rules and goals to hit, each agent knows what must be done in order to accomplish the personal and team goals that have been set. Because 87% of employees say that gamification improves their productivity levels, aligning games with current goals will create consistency within the center.
Check out the “Contact Center Leader’s Guide to Gamification” eBook for more tips and tricks. Whether you’re just embarking on your gamification journey, or trying to take your program to the next level, this eBook will help you build a sustainable gamification program that motivates all your employees - from your top performers to your brand new agents!