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 and loyalty.
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 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 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 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