Contact center managers need to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction, which means they require a highly engaged workforce. So how can managers engage employees, particularly the interaction-focused Millennial generation? One way is by making a game of learning and solving customer problems.
"Gamification"-the use of gaming elements like a points system and specific rules of play to encourage competition-is a hot business trend. Analyst group Gartner estimates that more than 70 percent of Global 2000 companies will have at least one gamified application by the end of this year.
Gen Y workers are one reason the trend is catching on, first on the consumer side, then on the business side. Millennial employees are digital natives who grew up playing interactive games. Marketers use gamification to drive sales, and now companies are turning to gamification to help improve employee performance.
It works because it encourages the type of behavior contact center managers are seeking from their employees: friendly competition, team effort, and a long-term commitment to achieve a specific objective. Here are three ways contact centers use gamification principles to improve performance:
1.Competition: While playing interactive games, players try to one-up each other, competing with friends to see who ranks the highest. Contact center gamification borrows this idea to foster healthy competition between employees. For example, workers may vie to see who can handle the most calls, get the highest score on a test, or achieve the best customer satisfaction rating.
2.Collaboration: In many role-playing games, collaboration is an integral part of success. The capacity to work together to solve problems is also a trait contact center managers seek to foster in their workforces. Gaming elements that promote teamwork and reward cooperation can therefore be highly effective, with employees sharing knowledge and playing distinct roles in solving problems for the success of the group.
3. Commitment: Many of the most popular interactive games feature a long-time horizon, with players racking up points and unlocking knowledge along the way as they engage in a quest to achieve an ultimate goal. This structure mirrors the path savvy contact center managers envision for their staff: short-term achievements that lead to long-term performance gains.
By promoting these values in their contact center staff via gamification, managers can achieve much higher levels of employee engagement. They can keep employees focused on competition with their peers by creating a point accrual system that rewards employees for delivering quality work and performing well on tests. Managers can encourage teamwork by assigning employees distinct roles and dividing the contact center staff up into teams for group point accrual purposes.
Working toward goals on an individual and group basis and getting rewards in the form of points and prizes is an excellent motivator, and it also builds a greater sense of commitment: Employees who feel like part of a winning team are more likely to go the extra mile to satisfy customers, learn about products and procedures, and assist colleagues who need help. And that's where the magic of gamification truly happens: When employees are winning the game, the customers they serve, their colleagues, their business units, their managers, and the company as a whole are also winning.