Working in a call centre is not an easy job. Call centre agents spend a lot of their time talking to customers (often with complaints) and resolving issues that can be complex and time-consuming. The very nature of contact centre work can often lead to issues such as high staff turnover, absenteeism and low productivity. To address these problems, call centres have implemented various strategies, such as allowing staff to work from virtual locations (i.e. home) or by adding Unified Comms solutions to make work easier and more productive for their employees. Another clever way companies are trying to tackle their call centre problems is through gamification.
Gamification in call centres refers to the implementation of game mechanics as a way to motivate employee engagement and performance. Playing games is something everyone is familiar with – growing up all children play games as a way of having fun and learning. Nowadays, more and more companies are looking toward gamification as a means of recapturing the fun element and getting more out of their call centre agents.
How gamification works
Companies can introduce gamification into their workforce by: Adding a gamification SaaS to their UC system, taking on a UC tool with gamification facilities built-in, or simply by putting up a tally on a whiteboard! The first two (preferred) allow real-time metrics to be used as part of the ‘game’, allowing employees to see their stats in real-time and see how they compare to the rest of the company via a leaderboard.
Key metrics typically measured in gamification platforms include:
- Average speed to answer
- First-call resolution
- Total talk time
- Number of dials
- Targets hit
Problems gamification solves
Turnover and absenteeism
Gamification can reduce turnover within a call centre as work is made to be fun, humanised and reward linked. A study in a Microsoft call centre found that absenteeism reduced by 12 percent once gamification was introduced. This is because staff did not want to miss a day of earning points and badges which would hinder them in achieving their overall targets.
The problem with legacy systems in call centres, i.e. those not integrated into the cloud is that they do not give much visibility to call centre staff and management to assess performance. With gamification tools in place, staff can get real-time updates on their own performance as well as their colleagues, which can help them to assess how they should work accordingly. As for management, it helps them to identify objectively who their key performers are as well as those who are not performing so well, allowing them to act accordingly, i.e. by providing more training.
Lack of competition and productivity
Productivity is key in call centres, and is something management is often trying to improve. Gamification can help improve productivity by promoting healthy competition. With all employees able to see each other’s performance metrics, and with rewards in place (i.e. £50 gift card), employees are more inclined to work harder to achieve their targets and come out on top.
One of the most important benefits of gamification is that it could increase customer loyalty. If call centre staff are happy, it is more likely they will provide a better service to customers, meaning customers are satisfied and more likely to stay with the business. With CX becoming the most important buying factor for customers, it is of utmost importance that businesses serve their customers well.
In conclusion, gamification seeks to make work for call centre staff more fun and engaging, whilst also benefitting management through higher productivity, improved visibility, less staff turnover and absenteeism as well as better service levels offered to customers, improving customer satisfaction.