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Gamification in contact centres can accomplish so much more than simply drive performance. It humanises the work experience and makes the hard stuff fun.

Admittedly, some tasks are easier to gamify than others, specifically, jobs where performance metrics can easily be established. The daily work of a call or contact centre agent lends itself very well to gamification, however some prevailing myths often prevent management from applying gamified solutions and realising their agents’ full potential.

We’re going to bust the top 4 myths we commonly see about gamification in contact centres.

Myth 1 – Gamification is just a fad and won’t be around for long

Actually, no. Once you become aware of it, you ‘ll find gamification all around and realise how much of a part it plays in our daily lives. It keeps pace with technological developments too. As new ways and means of doing things in the contact centre are implemented, bright minds are finding new ways to apply gamification elements to keep agents engaged and motivated to perform at their peak.

For a cheeky look at just how long gamification has been around, check out  Gaming since pre-history: Is Africa the ‘cradle of gamification’?

Myth 2 – Agents will be less productive, wasting time playing games

Nope. Here again, the simple word ‘gamification’ creates all sorts of misunderstandings. It’s important to wrap your noodle around the concept that gamifying the workplace isn’t about playing games.

The purpose of gamification is not to ‘create fun’. It’s about taking the techniques that make games fun and applying them to work-tasks, so that doing the work becomes engaging and fun. By extension then, every moment the agent spends having fun in the gamified environment, they are also getting their work done.

It’s about stimulating and constantly lighting up the reward system of the brain to boost employee confidence, happiness, and productivity for a more enjoyable and productive workplace experience.

Myth 3 – Gamification boosts performance but that is all

Nonsense! Gamification techniques can be applied to all sorts of ancillary functions that not only boost productivity, but nurture a positive corporate culture that’s aligned with company values. If competence and confidence are company values, it’s essential to train agents sufficiently, so that they feel confident and present themselves as competent.

Gamification can easily be used for product training, making the acquisition and retention of essential information as easy as pie. The gamified environment is also ideal for microlearning. Instead of long, tedious, and traditional one-way video lectures, gamification allows agents to micro-learn in bite-sized chunks in a highly contextual and relevant community environment, where reinforcement of correct behaviour is immediately acknowledged by peers and management.

Gamification can also help build your brand. Employees who are excited about the company that they work for, those who ‘live the brand’, will surely help support that company by buying its products and acting as brand ambassadors.

Myth 4 – You get no measurable benefits from gamified solutions

Not so! A great benefit of gamifying work activities in your contact centre is that it gives you the opportunity to set up metrics and measure agent performance. You’ll be able to see who is meeting target goals and who could do with a little extra training and coaching. The feedback generated by gamification is a fantastic way to measure contact centre agents’ performance without staff feeling like they are being observed, Big Brother-style.

Gamified applications, especially electronically based programs (online platforms, for example) generate a wealth of feedback. The work of a contact centre agent has many metrics that allow for comparison and evaluation. By applying data science and analytics to this feedback, insights are revealed, and predictions and forecasts can be made. Best of all, since you can measure it, you can improve it.

Plus, gamification feedback (whether an offline report or real-time dashboard) provides agents with an overview of their performance compared to their teammates. This permits them to not only self- analyse and self-evaluate, but it also avoids the element of surprise during feedback meetings.

Use real-time data generated by gamification to keep agents engaged, focused and accountable.

Gamification and remote contact centre work

In these ‘interesting’ times, remote work or WFH (work from home) is becoming ever more prevalent. Gamification can improve the social interaction between the contact centre staff at the office and the remote workers at home. By creating a gamified environment that is inclusive and has the same recognition standards for all agents, remote workers will feel more connected to the company and to their co-workers.

What can gamification accomplish in a contact centre?

Gamification can sustain employee engagement and reduce absenteeism and turnover by offering every agent ample and regular opportunity to be recognised and rewarded. By giving agents real-time, always-on feedback on their goals and performance – something easily done with a gamified dashboard or leaderboard – you increase agent accountability. This in turn translates into improved quality across a range of metrics.

There are many contact centre performance metrics that can be gamified, from simple things like hours worked and calls made, to specific key performance indicators (KPIs). Effective gamification can have a positive effect on call response times, call resolution, average handling times, and how much work time (admin) is needed after the call.

Resistance is futile

Despite all these benefits, there is still a fair amount of resistance to the notion of gamification as an effective contact centre performance tool. Preconceived ideas about gamification exist which are fundamentally wrong, and which are hindering the adoption of this great motivational tool set.

So why not get in touch with us? We’ve got the knowledge, expertise, and experience to transform your call or contact centre into a performance powerhouse. It’s time to get in the game!