February 14th, 2020 by admin
Contact centers (also referred to as call centers) are an important touchpoint for customers. Customers’ experience with a contact center agent can help make or break their perception of a company. Due to this, it is critical that agents are motivated and provide the best service possible. Key performance indicators (KPIs) indicate where contact centers (and their agents) are strong and in which areas they need to improve when it comes to meeting customer needs. To motivate their agents, many contact centers are turning to gamification to reach higher levels of agent engagement and ultimately better customer service.
Turning Work into a Game
Contact centers use various tracking and analytical tools to measure center performance as a whole and at the individual agent level. Gamification turns these metrics into a competition among agents based on their KPIs for metrics such as response time, close time, issue resolution, etc. Agents earn points based on their KPIs (note that these points/scores should be accessible to all agents to promote transparency and fairness). There might be one individual winner for a specified time period, or anyone who meets a target performance metric receives a prize of some sort. Some contact centers may also choose to use a team structure to build camaraderie.
Rewards for high performance might include bonuses, additional privileges, first choice on upcoming shifts, etc. Other companies might use a point system where performance on different metrics earn a certain number of points that can later be cashed in for prizes. Whatever structure a contact center decides to use, gamification can be a fun and innovative way to increase agent performance and motivation.
Improving Agent Performance
Contact center agents can be one of the most important touchpoints along the customer journey. However, their day-to-day tasks are often repetitive, leading to agent boredom and high turnover rates. While gamification doesn’t necessarily change the actual tasks that an agent performs, it helps agents focus on the competition and their motivation to win and improve. It essentially incentivizes productivity through competition. It is important to note, however, that contact center managers must be careful to create a healthy competitive culture with gamification. If animosities and rivalries develop from the competition, it can have an adverse effect on agent performance and job satisfaction as well as the overall call center.
Gamification sets up a motivating structure for contact center agents. Some agents will be motivated by a healthy dose of competitive spirit that gamification establishes, with some agents wanting to beat their coworkers. Others may be motivated more by wanting to continually improve their personal performance, for example by gaining a higher personal score than a previous month. Whatever motivates them, the incentives gamification provides promotes a stronger work ethic among agents—prompting them to do their work better and faster—thereby improving overall contact center KPIs and customer support.
Agent Support and Recognition
In addition to the benefits, gamification provides in motivating agents, it also is useful for contact center management. Because gamification provides metrics on each agent, gamification helps management identify which agents are excelling and which ones may need more support. An agent who regularly is among those with the top scores and continues to improves their scores might exhibit important qualities and talent that should be supported and fostered—and possibly identified for promotion. Conversely, management can also identify those who are among the lowest scorers and who show minimal improvement in their scores. With these individuals, management can use gamification metrics to provide more targeted training and support.
Though we usually don’t think of a job as being all fun and games, gamification is changing that for contact centers. By providing a motivating and engaging environment, gamification is enabling more informed management based on KPIs and promoting better customer service through incentives for agents, significantly changing the contact center landscape.
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