As a call center manager, you may have heard the word “gamification” in passing. What is this mysterious, multisyllabic buzzword and what impact does it have on your call center? Get your head in the game with Talkdesk’s guide to the pros and cons of call center gamification.
Call center gamification is the implementation of game mechanics in the call center as a way to motivate employee engagement and achievement.
Call center representatives are encouraged to compete to complete objectives and outpace other agents. Rewards are doled out based upon company culture, but may include recognition on leaderboards, badges and physical prizes like trophies.
Call center managers choose any of a number of agent or ring group-level metrics to gamify. These may include workplace metrics like hours worked, as well as any number of call center KPIs, such as:
Individual agent scores for these metrics are displayed via individual computers, mobile devices or a projected screen for others to see.
Call center gamification can be put into place via a unique system devised by management, an in-software application or a third party service layered over an existing call center software solution.
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As with any new workplace tool, gamification comes with positives and negatives. The weight of each depends on the specifics of your call center. Let’s explore a few.
The success of your call center gamification hinges on your reporting capabilities. To call it “reporting-intensive” would be an understatement. If you are using an advanced call center software solution with robust historical and real-time reporting capabilities, gamification is no problem. If, however, your call center software is not able to reliably report agent metrics, gamification is dead on arrival.
The name of the game in call center gamification is competition. The more agents compete with each other, the better the system works. Companies will need to foster an environment of healthy rivalry for this to be effective. If participants begin to develop animosities and refuse to collaborate when necessary, there will be major problems.
Call center gamification requires that call center agents have access to the scores and stats of the agents who they are competing against. This helps agents benchmark their scores and ensures that there is a sense of fairness when awards are given out. Transparency in business is admirable and can lead to greater employee confidence in management, but is not necessarily appropriate for all company cultures.
In order for call center gamification to be seen as fair, only quantitative metrics should be used to judge merit. This is not an issue for many call centers, but could potentially be a challenge for certain companies who place a high value on qualitative measurements, such as written customer feedback.
Call center gamification can be tremendously helpful in getting new hires up to speed. Onboarding processes that involve games are likely to spark interest in employees and enable them to retain information faster. Once they’ve onboarded, however, new hires may be intimidated by call center gamification. If they find themselves immediately at the bottom of the scoreboard, they may become discouraged and more likely to churn.
Depending upon how the call center gamification is implemented, the game may require oversight from a designated call center manager. Just how much effort and time will be required from this referee will vary based on the call center and the gamification method.
Call center gamification attracts a certain type of employee – the kind of agent who is motivated by competition. This may limit your applicant pool and lead to a lack of diversity in hires.
Call center gamification can serve to motivate employees to come in day after day so that they can try to reach the top of the leaderboards. If, however, it starts to seem like only a handful of call center agents are able to “win” the game, those consistently at the bottom may actually lose motivation. If these agents feel that they cannot win, there will be no reason for them to play.
The numbers don’t lie. Call center gamification enables employees to have a clear view of the quantitative measures of the work of themselves and those around them. Some call center agents may try to game the system to make themselves look more productive. An effective call center gamification setup will be able to detect cheaters and report their dishonest behavior to management.
Call center gamification is a trending topic with the potential change the face of the call center. As gamification technologies and strategies evolve, we’ll see whether the pros outweigh the cons. For now, it’s a waiting game.
Talkdesk call center software comes equipped with advanced reporting capabilities out of the box — just the kind of robust functionality required for call center gamification. Request a live demo today.