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, Fortune Business Insights, projects that the global gamification market will reach $37 billion by 2027 noting that gamification solutions are gaining pace in business-related engagement and performance related applications.
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.
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 football-themed competition, in the fall to align with the National Football League’s regular and postseason 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, 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 “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 experience metrics.
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% balanced score improvements. Agent surveys showed that 92% loved or enjoyed participating, and 75% were inspired by the game to perform their best.
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.
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:
“Acuity has made life so much easier for the leadership team! Having a balanced scorecard is a necessity in our environment.“
- Brandi Stadie, Senior Director of Veyo Contact Center Operations, Phoenix, AZ
“TouchPoint One, through their technology platforms and expertise, has enabled us to intelligently employ gamification within a comprehensive performance management framework which has significantly elevated employee engagement and effectiveness.“
- Mark Wilson, Chime Solutions CEO
“We are saving ourselves so much time and so many headaches. It is just a better way to work.”
- Tereasa M. Vukanovich, Manager, Regulatory Compliance & Audit