Article published on customerzone360.com »
Contact center operations and gamification were meant for
each other. Few other business environments bring so many
people together to perform similar routines for a common set
of business objectives with a similar set of pressures.
Employee attendance, morale, disengagement, turnover, and
overall performance are unique challenges for contact centers,
in which wages and employee skill levels are often low
(in many cases, due to very high turnover), and the work
itself can be stressful and monotonous.
The topic of gamification launched onto the business scene
in 2012 but more in theory than in wide-spread practice.
Since then, however, using game elements to engage employees
seems to be coming of age in 2016 with more companies
looking for new ways to drive performance and motivation
among their teams. Research and business intelligence provider,
Mind Commerce, found that the global gamification market is
expected to reach $11 billion by 2020 noting that gamification
solutions are gaining pace in business-related engagement
In particular, gamification has a record of accomplishment
in motivating employees and improving business results for
contact centers across every industry sector. It can motivate
by utilizing a variety of game mechanics to inspire, encourage,
accelerate development, and otherwise impact behavior. It can
be adaptable and dynamic and created for broad appeal. This
is especially important within contact centers where the
workforce is comprised of individuals from nearly every
generation, personality, and background. This is where
American football can be the great unifier.
A case for fantasy football
By way of example, here is a case study of a contact center
gamification solution we recently completed. TouchPoint One
launched A-GAME Gridiron, our inaugural football-themed
competition, in the fall to align with the National Football
League’s regular and post-season timetable. A cloud-based
gamification program, A-GAME was designed to leverage structured,
league-based competition to inspire, motivate, and recognize
contact center performance at the individual and team levels.
Participation in this inaugural season was high and included
more than 3,000 agents across 150 teams in the U.S. and Central
America supporting customers among some of the world’s leading
brands – Sprint (News - Alert), Duke Energy, Chase, Shutterfly,
Pepco, Vectren, and Bluegreen Vacations.
A-GAME works so that gamification initiatives are aligned with
the business objectives of each participating organization.
In addition to league championships, data-driven recognition
and award options for outstanding performance or improvement,
most valuable or improved player, coach of the year, and other
incentives are available and easily configured by each
organization’s so-called league commissioner.
To recognize participating agents who demonstrated outstanding
performance, we established the Medal of Excellence award.
Uniquely data-driven, the Medal of Excellence selection methodology
reflects both achievement and improvement extending across all
corporate A-GAME leagues over the entire season. It recognizes
not only skill and experience, but also the ability to perform
at progressively higher levels through sustained commitment,
focus, and effort at both the agent and team levels. The honorees
were recognized for commitment to customer care, sales, and
service delivery excellence through exemplary individual and
team performance across a diverse range of business and customer
Other fantasy sports themes in the A-GAME family include
basketball, soccer, hockey, Olympics, and more. Also,
organizations can create their own sports and other themed
leagues for which we automatically facilitate round-robin
tournament competitions and play-off stages that culminate in
a season end championship.
The business impact of the A-GAME gamification platform is
an important aspect of its design. Participating organizations
are able to track improvements in balanced scores and specific
KPIs such as attendance, quality, retention, schedule adherence,
utilization and sales/collections, as well as the range of
customer experience metrics.
Season 1 highlights included participation within a broad
scope of industries, including utility, travel, BPO, consumer,
receivables management, telco, cable, and wireless. Performance
impact was high, posting 7-32 percent balanced score improvements.
Agent surveys showed that 92 percent loved or felt “favorable”
toward participating, and 75 percent were inspired by the
game to perform their best.
A review of post-season analytics offered a wealth of information
for organizations to carry forth in the off-season. Here are a few
examples of results measured during the three peak months of the A-GAME season
A leading national BPO company experienced 30 percent attrition
reduction resulting in 151 fewer required new hires during
the game timeframe – a financial impact of more than $500,000.
The same company saw improvement in agent attendance by 4.5
percent, resulting in a financial return of more than $81,000,
and saw utilization increase of the same workforce by 1.1 percent,
equating to a financial impact of $35,000
They realized a dollars collected increase of 17.9 percent
for one customer equaling greater than $39 million in
A Fortune 1000 utility company experienced efficiency
improvements led by a 13.3 percent decrease in AHT and a
31.2 percent reduction in call wrap/hold time while quality
and FCR remained stable.
The average balanced score for a major receivables management
outsourcer improved by 7 percent. Specific KPI included in
the balanced scorecard included attendance, utilization,
dollars collected, calls handled, quality, and percentage to goal.
A leading vacation ownership marketing, sales, and
hospitality company realized balanced score improvements
ranging from 2.5 percent to 32 percent, respectively, across
four distinct customer service groups.
All participating companies saw a decrease in average
handle times while customer experiences remained stable or
Gamification’s impact on contact centers is easily validated.
When adequately integrated with an organization’s performance
management systems, measuring ROI and value on a year-over-year
basis for each KPI and balanced score is a straightforward process.
These analytics are often integrated within the higher-end
contact center gamification platforms. And by providing organizations
the ability to measure their success and improve future results,
gamification will continue to have an enduring positive impact on
customer and employee experience and loyalty.
Greg Salvato is CEO of contact center employee engagement and
performance management software solutions company TouchPoint
Article published on customerzone360.com »