Why You Need to Use Gamification to Engage Call Center Employees

There is a competitive fire burning in people, and even if that fire doesn’t drive people to compete against others, most people feel that fire driving a desire to measure and improve themselves.



When technology taps into that competitive fire to encourage workers to meet both personal and business goals, that’s gamification. 


In the context of workforce management, gamification is applied when software tracks a wide range of worker metrics, which can be used to measure employee performance and productivity. Supervisors can then set team goals that incentivize workers to compete with each other or with themselves. Workers have a reason to pay attention to their performance and over time, strive to improve it. Business-to-consumer companies whose operations rely on customer service representatives are finding great success with these techniques, which is why you need to use gamification to engage your call center employees.

Disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy approximately $370 billion a year in lost productivity, according to Gallup poll figures cited by Destination CRM. The Gallup research also found that disengaged workers are also more likely to be a source of other problems including absenteeism, theft, safety, and poor customer service. The impact of these workers on customer service is important because it directly impacts the bottom line. Chronically poor customer service can also have the effect of pushing customers toward a company’s competitors. Addressing employee engagement is important for all workers, not just the problem ones. Even workers who have no intention of doing a bad job can find disengagement creeping into their work over time.

Gamification can be applied to a wide range of key performance indicators specific to the call center. For example, goals can be set to answer a certain number of calls within an hour.  Incentives can be used to drive workers to reduce the amount of time spent handling each customer call. Workers can also be rewarded for the number of customer calls that they handle that do not need to be escalated to a supervisor.

When gamification is first implemented, incentives drive the improved worker performance at first. But over time, these practices become ingrained behavior.

More importantly, the individual’s success of achieving personal goals are linked with improved business goals, such as better customer service and higher sales.

Three Companies that Found Improved Business Outcomes through Gamification:

Onboarding, retaining, and tracking workers

Company #1's Challenge:

A company that distributes media and interactive content online was looking for a way to manage its rapid growth and it found a solution in gamification software. The company’s growth meant that it was taking on a lot of new employees, so it needed software that could help onboard new hires. The company also wanted a way to reduce worker turnover while also boosting the sales productivity of the workers it retained.

The Outcome:

In PlayVox, the company found software that helped with employee onboarding with features that offered training, coaching, and performance tracking that offered incentives for improvement. Furthermore, the software supported the company’s existing practices and was quick to deploy – just two weeks to go from start to user roll out.


Managing the workforce

Company #2's Challenge:

A company that provides sales, customer service, and technical support on behalf of national brands was looking for a way to manage a workforce of work-at-home agents scattered across the United States. The company wanted a way to manage its dispersed workforce as effectively as one housed within a single building.

The Outcome:

The company found that PlayVox offered a way to manage and engage its entire virtual workforce. The software supported the company’s existing call center practices, while introducing new capabilities for developing worker skills, tracking performance, and encouraging improvement through coaching and incentives. The month-to-month subscription for the software allows the company to pay only for the licenses it needs, and allows the company the flexibility to meet client needs, such as seasonal work or business expansion. 

Engaging workers and boosting performance

Company #3's Challenge:

A global information services company that supports online advertisers was looking for a way to boost the engagement and performance of its employees. The company has its own call center practices, but a globally dispersed workforce makes it difficult to support all workers uniformly, which can result in callers having a poor customer service experience.

The Outcome:

The company found PlayVox’s software customizable to meet its needs and compatible with its existing practices. Deployed companywide, PlayVox provided the company’s call center supervisors with measurable performance indicators – at the team and the individual level. With the ability to identify and problems, supervisors could more readily address workers who were consistently, absent, tardy, or underperforming.


Reaping the rewards

Shared Benefits:

Gamification offers a way for individuals to track their performance pegged against pre-set targets. But as an individual hits his or her own targets, the company starts to achieve goals as well.

Company 1's Outcome:

The company supporting online advertisers found that tracking worker performance allowed it to identify and reward successful individuals, deploy coaching and training to workers who needed help, and share best practice on a community wall for the benefit of all employees.

Company 2's Outcome:

The company distributing media and interactive content found that tracking the development of workers through motivation programs helped workers improve their skills and become more productive, resulting in a 100 percent sales increase within just the first three months of deployment.

Company 3's Outcome:

And the company supporting online advertises found that the PlayVox offering, delivered companywide across all of its locations, resulted in a more consistent performance from workers, as well as more consistent outcomes for the company’s customer support.

Call centers are key facilities that help companies respond to customers, keep their business, and grow sales. Gamification has shown itself to be a valuable tool for improving the performance of call center workers and keeping that performance at a high level. To learn more about how PlayVox can help your call center, contact us.

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