Gamification is quickly becoming a powerful force throughout the business world. A recent study from MarketsandMarkets, the global gamification market is on pace to reach $11 billion by 2020, which represents a massive compound annual growth rate of 46.3 percent during this period.
These tools and strategies can be deployed in a wide variety of ways. One of the most exciting, and potentially powerful, examples of this trend is gamification in the contact center. With gamification, contact centers can see improvements in terms of revenue generation, efficiency and more. However, these results depend entirely on deploying gamification resources and tactics in a well-considered, strategic way.
Understanding gamification's benefits
Speaking to ITWeb, industry expert Graeme Gabriel explained that gamification works by taking advantages of the things which genuinely and naturally motivate employees. By incorporating game-like tactics into the workplace, contact center leaders can make their agents' tasks more engaging and fun, leading to better results.
Gabriel pointed out that any sort of reward program, such as an Employee of the Month award, represents a form of gamification. While gamification can be greatly enhanced with the use of automated scoring solutions or gamification software, you don’t require sophisticated technologies to get started. Begin simple, posting leader boards or implementing a traveling trophy for teams with the best performance, as Pershing LLC implemented with their Quality Cup.
"By using the processes around game mechanics and experience design, and incorporating the right technology, contact centers can now digitally engage and motivate agents to achieve their own, as well as the organization's goals," Gabriel said, according to the source.
Another industry expert, Jed Hewson, told ITWeb that gamification is particularly valuable as a means of appealing to millennials' unique sensibilities.
"Gamification solutions are designed to appeal to the culture of a younger generation and engage agents in a way that allows them to achieve recognition and rewards whilst achieving company key performance indicators targets," said Hewson, ITWeb reported.
He added that these strategies can deliver real-time performance feedback to agents, which helps to make workers feel appreciated and understand their value to the company.
Getting gamification right
With all that being said, though, it's important to recognize that gamification's impact will depend entirely on how well or poorly the solutions are implemented in a given contact center.
There are a number of factors to consider here. One is whether and how to leverage competition. As is the case with an Employee-of-the-Month system, competition can help to bring out the best in workers. In the contact center, this can take the form of individual rewards and recognition for agents who succeed in many different categories - fastest call resolution completion, most upsells, most satisfied customers and so on.
Gamification can also be used to encourage team-building. Agents in the contact center can be broken into teams, which can then be rewarded if they collectively achieve various metric-defined goals.
It's also important to recognize that gamification can be used for training purposes, as Data Informed contributor Scott Buchanan noted. He pointed out that formal training for contact center agents is usually a fairly time-consuming process, using up valuable company hours.
What's more, agent turnover is a frequent problem for contact centers, meaning that training has to occur very frequently. That's a serious drain on the contact center's bottom line.
Buchanan explained that gamification can make training more efficient and satisfying. For example, the contact center can set up benchmarks for understanding product documentation or achieving customer satisfaction. When a new employee hits these goals - as measured by contact center software - the agent can receive a "badge" or other mark of accomplishment. Striving to hit these goals will effectively motivate the employee to move through the training process more quickly and more independently than would be possible otherwise.
How is your company leveraging gamification?