Managing a changing workforce and navigating the turbulent job market are persistent challenges for call center operators. To thrive, many are looking for new tech tools that will lower costs and improve productivity.
One rising trend is “gamification,” where a game-like environment is introduced to the workplace to drive certain behaviors. Used correctly, gamification can engage and motivate agents, in turn lowering employee churn (and the related costs), reducing hold times, and boosting customer-satisfaction scores.
Here are four real-world benefits that gamification can bring to call center operations.
Boosting Engaging and Retention
Call center employee churn rates are consistently high, both among Millennial-age staff members and older employees. The best way to combat this is by foster a more engaging workplace where employees of all ages want to be — not just somewhere they show up to for a paycheck.
These days, gamification is found in many walks of life, so many younger staff members come to expect a certain level of feedback and interactive play in their workplace platforms. So contact centers should strive to alter gamification strategies to fit pools of staff members based on their job functions or demographics, including age and location. Combined with a gamified online community or knowledgebase, these efforts will result in long-term boosts in customer and employee satisfaction
Connecting with Remote Agents
Hiring remote workers is becoming more common for call center operators. Those that hire remote staff gain access to a wide variety of perspectives and experiences, but the lack of community and engagement amongst the team members poses challenges.
Unfortunately, management cannot provide encouragement in person. So instead of a high five after a good call, managers can give digital praise. Reward structures and inter-employee contests are proven ways to increase job satisfaction and build relationships. Gamification allows companies to easily extend this concept to employees who aren’t even in the office physically.
With today’s programs, staff members can earn various rewards or statuses by completing certain actions, such as completing training, or resolving a certain number of customer inquiries. Advanced gamification platforms even include analytics about staff actions and interactions, allowing managers to tweak the gamification as needed. This information can be tied to data on average hold times, call resolution metrics, and other stats.
Handling Staffing Shortages
Talent pool and employment rates in some markets can put a squeeze on companies that need local call center talent. Training of new staff requires time and money resources, which can be a problem if a company is growing and needs onboarding to occur quickly. Gamified tools can boost the new staff training procedures by injecting tasks and rewards into the process, effectively turning it into a fun — or at least tolerable — exercise instead of a chore.
Some solutions have shown a jump in boosted training attendance and performance metrics, allowing new staff members to be better prepared to handle demanding customers. Other companies use gamification to encourage staff members to take management training classes above and beyond their current position.
Even with the lure of a promotion and more pay, many clients often struggle to encourage participation in this type of training. But by introducing gamification into the agent experience, firms can increase the numbers of staff who begin — and complete — the training process.
In the call center industry, “deflection” shouldn’t mean turning away customers just to save a few bucks. It’s providing the customers with alternative — and often preferred — methods of answering questions. An online Q&A, for example, is a sensible way to deflect some calls and aid customers who might rather read some content than have to talk to someone on the phone. Each call costs time and money, so the financial benefits of increased deflection and online learning can be substantial.
Gamification can extend into the company’s online Q&A by providing visitors with badges that mark how much content they have consumed. This structure allows the company to build levels of “experts” through badge tiers.
This matching of content with the customer’s desires is a way companies can improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and improve the overall brand reputation. The number of support tickets generated by customer can also be reduced, and the company’s online knowledge base will increase in size and scope.