Key Points
  • The advent of self-service channels and social media has resulted in contact centers increasingly handling more complex queries

  • Not only do contact centers need to improve customer experience, they also need to overcome major operational challenges

  • Gamification can help infuse contact center operations with intelligence and intuitiveness, and drive significant business gains

A leading global technology player was looking to increase the productivity of its contact center agents and drive better business outcomes. The company deployed gamification and noticed productivity jump by 10 percent and absenteeism reduce by 12 percent. There was also significant improvement in customer satisfaction.

With the advent of self-service channels and social media, contact centers are increasingly handling more complex queries that cannot be resolved by new channels. As customers now expect faster and better services, the pressure on agents to resolve such queries quickly and effectively is even higher.

Gamification enables contact centers to evolve in this new context and has the potential to impact key outcomes such as Net Promoter Score, sales, cost and productivity.

Reduced Costs & Consistent Experience

Contact centers are often stuck in the vicious cycle of hiring-training-attrition. Onboarding durations are typically between two and six weeks. Due to the pressure to onboard resources quickly, companies often end up recruiting candidates who don’t have the right skills. This implies additional on-the-floor training and higher training costs. The fallout is that customers get inconsistent experience as a result of dealing with agents of varying skillsets.

On-the-job training in contact center operations is often reactive and does not relate to the actual performance gap. Through gamification, agents can get byte-size, personalized, real-time and performance-linked developmental inputs periodically. For example, an agent might close two calls with a higher Average Handling Time (AHT). The system immediately recommends suggestions to reduce the AHT. Such timely recommendations shorten the learning curve and bridge the performance gap across the floor quickly.

Gamification also helps cut operational costs and leads to a more consistent customer experience.

Improved Performance & Retention

Traditional performance management in contact centers allow managers to access performance data to coach and appraise the agents. The agents themselves have limited access to their own data, barring a few basic metrics such as sales numbers and AHT. Only the manager can access the comparative performance data as well. Hence, performance management falls solely on the manager and not the agent.

Gamification allows agents access to real-time and granular data of their performance, along with improvement inputs, enabling them to take immediate action. They can also compare their performance with peers creating a healthy competitive environment.

Traditionally, all agents are compared with each other. For example, a new hire without experience is in the same pool as someone with five years of experience. This is often demotivating for the newcomer and proves counter-productive. Gamification allows an agent to be put in a comparable group sorted by criteria such as tenure and experience.

There is a growing body of research that negates the common belief that monetary incentives motivate employees. Productivity increases when employees have control over their work and have the opportunity to get better at it. Gamification empowers agents with the ability to get better at their own pace and have control over their performance.

Gamification is clearly more than just a need-to-have for contact centers. It is a key catalyst for contact center evolution.

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