Make Every Day “Game Day” in Your Contact Center
Workforce Engagement Management
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Make Every Day “Game Day” in Your Contact Center

If you have sports fans, or family of sports fans, working in your contact center, the biggest topic of conversation in your team this week will likely to be around the upcoming big game.

Every February, players run around a patch of grass in search of their ultimate reward. This end result is the culmination of dedicating their entire lives to the pursuit of a silver trophy that represents the hard work and dedication they have put into realizing their dream.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your contact center employees had the same amount of dedication and commitment to their goal as these professionals chasing an oblong swatch of pigskin? But it’s a little bit more difficult to motivate a contact center agent than it is to get a football player to chase around a quarterback.

As a result, many contact centers are turning to gaming science and psychology to increase agent productivity while reinforcing positive behaviors. This “gamification” incents and recognizes agents, motivating them to meet or exceed expectations by completing specific objectives and outpacing their peers.

The ultimate goal of gamification, however, is a customer-oriented one: to create superior experiences that result in more satisfied and longer-term customers while energizing agents and creating a sense of fulfillment.

How To Get Started with Contact Center Gamification

Developing your first gamification program might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. We find most contact centers launch inaugural gamification initiatives that feature one or more of these three key strategies:

  • Rewards and recognition 
  • Training 
  • Peer competition 

And we can help you start. Calabrio queried several top Calabrio customers to get a few real-world ideas you can leverage in your own contact center, to make every day “game day.”

Motivate with Rewards and Recognition

After the big game, one of the most exciting visuals is when the winning team lifts their trophy overhead. That trophy is valued not just because it’s made of precious metals, but because receiving it is a tangible recognition of their achievement and hard work.

Now, not every agent wants to go home with a giant trophy—but reward programs are a great way to motivate your agents. The key is to give agents rewards they actually want and recognize agents in ways that matter to them.

Here are a couple of tactics our customers use to recognize and reward their own agents:

  • One customer set up a full incentive structure to keep its agents engaged. Rewards are given to agents who maintain higher adherence numbers, productivity numbers and quality scores. Weekly rewards are given for the lowest weekly wrap time and highest weekly adherence.
  • Another Calabrio customer uses a BINGO card program where agents stamp a space when they complete designated activities (i.e., hitting their outbound call target) and demonstrate preferred behavior (i.e., achieving 100 percent schedule adherence). Those agents who achieve “BINGO” receive a work-from-home day of their choice.
  • Another customer gives gift cards to agents who meet quarterly key performance indicators (KPI), attendance and quality score targets.
  • A very common system of rewards and recognition involves awarding “points” based on performance. Once an agent reaches an attainable target (Handle Time, Perfect Attendance), a certain number of points are awarded. The agent can then “cash in” their points for time off, company swag, or even a party for their whole team.

Use Games for Training & Skill Development

Both new-hire onboarding and ongoing skills development are important programs for the modern contact center. Here is how a few Calabrio customers use gamification for both needs.

Skill Development Games:

  • One customer uses the “Hot Potato” ball throwing game to teach new agents how important it is for the contact center to operate as a single entity and what happens when one agent disengages from the team—such as when they take a break at the wrong time, call in sick, etc.
  • Another Calabrio client uses a similar BINGO game as mentioned above to encourage sales trainees to keep their multiple product lines top of mind. In this game, managers mark off a BINGO square each time an agent speaks to a customer about a particular product focus area. The first trainee to get “BINGO” receives a cash prize and peer recognition.
  • And, for ongoing skills development, one Calabrio customer architected a training program featuring 11 “bytes” agents need to master to progress through the ranks of its customer service representative (CSR) hierarchy. Via shared calls, coaching and standardized evaluation forms, agents learn skillsets for their current byte, which they must complete before they’re able to move to the next “byte.”

Take Advantage of Your Team’s Competitive Nature with Peer Competition

Adding a (friendly) competition to your agents’ day can give them benchmarks to compete against and can make more boring tasks fun.

Peer competition also tap into agents’ competitive spirits by recognizing “winners” (top performers) and subtly motivating agents who are not near the top to try harder.

Here are some competitions that we’ve seen used successfully in the contact center:

  • Many Calabrio customers use what’s commonly known as a “leaderboard”—a dashboard displaying top performers and their “scores” against key metrics set ahead of time as goals for them. Agents actively monitor the leaderboard to see who’s in first place, who’s rising to the top, who’s losing their lead, etc.
  • In addition, many Calabrio customers use the common gamification concept of “badges”—visual representations that track and measure agent status—that are awarded to individuals. Different badge styles or colors denote different accomplishments, with badges becoming more intricate and complex as agents advance to higher levels. Badge dashboards help agents learn about the badges they earn and are pursuing and track their individual performance stats.

Gamification can be a powerful motivational tool when done right and when combined with an effective training program can double the returns. Let the games begin!

Find out more about gamification with Calabrio. Read our whitepaper, Gamification: Getting started with a real-world strategy, to learn more.

Dave Hoekstra has spent his entire professional career in customer service, but it wasn’t until he found WFM that he found his true passion. With over 20 years in WFM, Dave has gained insight into the real world challenges of working in today’s customer service. He is one of the few people who truly gets excited when someone wants to talk about Real Time Adherence or Net Staffing reports.
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