- Customer Experience
- Employee Relations
Can a Contact Center be Fun and Effective?
- Christa Heibel
- 24 May 2018
It’s safe to say that contact centers, both nationally and globally, share common goals. These include improving productivity, educing operating expenses, generating incremental revenue, and retaining customers. When I think about the common thread that these goals have, I see that they all can impact the overall customer experience. It is known that contact centers operate often with tight performance objectives and strict guidelines. It’s a high-pressure environment, which demands quick thinking and adaptability. Over time this demanding environment puts staff (especially agents) at risk for fatigue and disengagement. As you know, this can negatively impact the customer experience.
There are numerous studies suggesting engaged employees means higher productivity, performance, and profitability for the contact center. Employee disengagement can cost a company dearly. Personally, I have seen this countless times in BPOs and contact centers nationwide, but I’ll let the research do the talking. A study by McLean & Company shows that disengaged employees cost the American economy $350 billion per year due to lost productivity. Furthermore, disengagement is known to bring down the operating income by 32.7% in comparison to companies with higher engagement.
Contact center leaders are always looking for ways to better manage their people by driving behaviors that lead to better customer service quality and satisfaction. How is this best achieved? It starts with your agents. How engaged are they with your organization? You may have tried various employee engagement approaches such as employee potlucks, flexible work hours, and incentive programs. But, how do you make contact centers “fun” while still retaining professionalism and high performance standards?
Maybe it’s time to consider gamification.
What is Gamification?
Gamification involves the implementation of game mechanics into call center environment thereby garnering employee engagement and achievement. This involves promoting high-value activity by generating real-time data and then using it to drive performance behavior in the workforce. This is done by giving real-time feedback, setting dynamic goals and rewards to hit milestones. This, in turn, is then utilized for building competing communities and collaboration. Contact center gamification, when correctly done, is known to enhance performance. It can be used to reward improvements in productivity for specific call center metrics such as number of calls taken per hour, lower average call handling time, and resolving customer issues without escalation. By improving KPIs, gamification also improves the customer experience, agent engagement and profitability. According to a study by Aberdeen Research, businesses that adopted gamification grew two times faster in their annual revenue than their peers.
Benefits of Gamification:
- Improved training program: Oftentimes, contact center agent training can be seen as a long and arduous task,. This can negatively impact agent engagement and information retention. Employing a gamification strategy can help make training more interactive and effective, which can in turn improve the customer experience.
- Enhances teamwork and collaboration: Gamification encourages knowledge pooling, fast access and duplication of best practices. This contributes to the learning of the team as a whole and cultivates as culture of teamwork.
- Rapid Feedback: In a contact center environment, it is important to catch and resolve issues quickly. Gamification can allow for instant feedback on the agent’s performance. It also allows agents to see how they compare to benchmarks they have set in the past or how they stack up against other agents.
- Automation of Incentive programs: All those manual contests and challenges are now personalized and automated in a manner that is more relevant and transparent. This encourages everyone to participate and perform.
- Proactive service metric management: Data generated from gamification platforms gives the immense advantage of proactively managing service metrics. When agents are able to see their performance and how they rank against other agents, it can help them to know when they may need to step it up.This can allow managers can spend more time working on additional activities that motivate employees rather than managing in a more reactive manner.
As you can see, contact center gamification can help to engage and motivate your agents. This will help to keep employee satisfaction high and turnover low as well as driving important customer satisfaction metrics. If you are interested in learning more about gamification and how it can fit into your contact center strategy as a whole, I would love to talk more about your needs! I can help by not just assessing your readiness but also in technology acquisition and implementation support. Please contact me here to schedule a free consultation.