Gamification is work made fun. Gamification in contact centers is training, metrics and rewards made fun. Agents and employees that are properly trained, self-aware and motivated are ready to hit the ground running with technology and process comprehension. Call centers already know they should recruit and hire the best and brightest, but when it comes to retention, improving employee engagement is key to diminishing turnover and developing your existing talent.
Let’s examine some innovative concepts and trends in gamification and why they are ideally suited to improve the culture and CX at your contact center.
1. Improving employee engagement
When it comes to improving employee engagement, there’s no better place to start than gamification for contact centers. Not only do you reduce onboarding time dramatically, allow instantaneous feedback about agents’ knowledge and retention, but you have a built-in rewards and recognition system for contact center employees.
The further improvement of collaboration and instant feedback of gamification also empowers agents both internally and externally through visibility of their gamification metrics. The best agents are notoriously aware of their own performance. It’s not hard to draw a direct connection between performance awareness and success.
The obvious challenge with incorporating advanced workforce engagement management (WEM) tools and new WEM processes such as gamification for contact centers is the need to reinforce a culture that operates both in the interests of the agents and in the interests of the organization. In order to achieve that goal, gamification in contact centers must be multipurpose.
Ideally, when we develop our workforce, we educate, train, benchmark results and improve. We then apply historical data, critical productivity metrics and KPIs, program and agent onboarding times, weekly supervisor activity levels and formulate a strategic path and forecast. Quite honestly, it’s a mundane task. But gamification puts it in a whole new light.
When the single focus of training, employee development and CX becomes efficiency, you lose the human element. While digital multichannel has driven remarkable efficacy in CX, the role of live agents has transformed radically in the last five, and more importantly, two years. Agents are highly specialized and extremely agile. They can make an immediate impact in dealing with demanding customers; and this requires specialized and customized training tools and methods.
Once you’ve optimized capabilities and personalization, integrated CRM data and systems and enhanced self-serve capabilities via digital omnichannel technology and development, your WEM and voice AI learning capabilities should ensure that your agents have the knowledge and resources they need to support delivery of a consistent, exceptional customer experience.
2. Gamification metrics and training
In our revolutionized digital world, there will be things that voice AI and omnichannel communications either can’t understand or just can’t answer. The level of interaction and intensity almost always changes once omnichannel technologies have done their job. If your call center omnichannel strategy has been carefully thought through and set up correctly, voice AI will deal with easier queries, while more complicated questions and complaints are left for live agents. Gamification training strategies in the contact center can be specifically designed to make sure they can deal with these problems efficiently.
Once your customer does connect to a live agent, it’s imperative that the call center omnichannel strategy your business develops has the capacity to blend and seamlessly integrate inbound/outbound agents with the correct and cohesive messaging. Designing your training and continuing education to gamify and integrate elements like dynamic scripting functionality and automation will ensure your live agents, omnichannel and voice AI technology platforms all sync up.
3. Rewards and recognition for contact center employees
A unique culture will attract a unique set of employees. The training, technology and rewards and recognition system should reflect your organization and the culture you promote. Gamification can unlock equipment upgrades, certification achievements or even bonus paid vacation days. Ultimately, gamification within the contact center can be an easy way to keep your employees connected and invested. Differentiation within the industry will not only increase company visibility but will help contribute to company culture as well.
Developing a workforce of agents that are engaged, self-aware and proficient serves more than the end user. They also serve as role models to newer agents and employees; they boost morale and provide mentorship and resourcing for staff. The new contact center population is mostly made up of young advisors, many of whom are looking for purpose in their work, career progression opportunities and much more. It’s vital to the future success of the industry that we help provide an environment and culture that they can thrive.
It’s important to remember that the future version of your contact center may look different from the past, and that’s great news not only for your business but for your end user as well. As your client base diversifies, your workforce will as well. The changing demographics of the US workforce (46% identify as identify as minority/POC) reflects the shift in the technologically savvy workforce, but it also represents the changing dynamic of the call center itself. New survey data indicates that soon, over three-quarters of the call center workforce will be female.
Your gamification strategy as well as your rewards and recognition for contact center employees should be as diverse and conscious as your workforce. Avatars, icons, emoji and language should allow for this. A little bit of thoughtfulness and perspective in cultural awareness goes a long way and the next generation of your employees will look for these social cues embedded in your company culture.
Ultimately, combining proven call center training strategies with emerging trends in gamification will create a technologically savvy and well-trained workforce. From a front line that will help spearhead innovative, impactful call center ideas and applications, to a responsive administrative level of management that can raise the team’s visibility and impact, gamification in the call center is demonstrating new ways for call centers to improve in nearly every category and metric.
By harnessing the power of healthy competition as well as the stickiness of gameplay, gamification in the contact center training curriculum can assist in reducing agent turnover, reward consistency and proficiency, and make it easier to develop team dynamics, thereby increasing the efficacy of the team. Most importantly, however, gamification in the contact center has given call centers a method to improve customer experience dramatically while simultaneously improving employee engagement. New and emerging trends in gamification are poised to drive more innovation, insight and better administration in the future version of your organization.