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Contact centres invented gamification.

If you’d mentioned the word gamification in the boardroom a few years ago you would probably have encountered a few confused faces. Today gamification, the systemised process of applying gaming mechanisms to engage employees and customers to do more “stuff”, is big business. Gartner is even predicting that 70% of the world’s biggest 2000 companies will deploy at least one gamification application by the end of 2014.

The contact centre is the perfect starting point and a natural fit for the introduction of gamification software because game-based recognition and reward has been used to incentivise call centre employees to perform at higher levels since the first call centre opened its doors almost half a century ago.

Furthermore, the vast majority of contact centre agents belong to Generation Y, with 46% being under 30. For this generation game-based digital interaction is a way of life, so they will be able to easily adapt to this new way of working.

And let’s face it, many contact centre staff are demotivated and demoralised. According to the latest Gallup Employee Engagement Index, “service worker” is the only category of worker less engaged today than in 2009, a pretty shocking indictment of the work environment we are currently providing. Gamification has the potential to address this challenge head-on.

Agents are the key touch point with your business and their performance can directly affect customer attitudes to your brand, so ensuring they are motivated and fully engaged is essential.

Three reasons why your contact centre needs gamification:

1. It adds a healthy dose of competition – with fairness and consistency.

Contact centres have long known that adding a competitive element to everyday tasks can help drive team work and collaboration. However, traditional leader boards can be demoralising for those at the lower end of the table and make it almost impossible to maintain fairness and consistency across the whole team. An effective implementation of gamification is about consistent and increased staff performance, not just one-off high performance. And it actually encourages team-based performance, which leads on to our second reason…

2. It helps build a community within your contact centre.

Gamification can help you build a stronger sense of community among your contact centre employees. The latest contact centre gamification software allows agents to team up and challenge their friends to see who can achieve the highest number of points on a certain outcome. It also allows users to create visible social-media type profiles so they can informally sharing best practice; this can be a great way to help you understand how your high performers consistently deliver great service, which can help you to motivate low performers without needing to single them out. Just like a social media news feed, employees can also see when colleagues achieve badges, reach new levels or win challenges. You can follow the ‘news’ in real-time and agents can ‘congratulate’ each other on their achievements.

3. It allows you to Gamify employee rewards.

Collecting points and recognising performance can be a strong motivator in its own right, but adding a purpose to accumulating points takes it to a new level. Recognition & reward isn’t a new concept but the element of choice is. All too often £10 gift vouchers are handed out regardless of achievement or employee preference. Gamification software can extend to your rewards scheme, allowing employees to use their points to bid for a range of prizes. And these don’t have to be expensive, it is far more important that they have value for the recipient, who may well value a half days holiday over a monetary reward.

Download our whitepaper to find out how Gamification can bring rewards for your business.