This week we feature an article by Tom Paton who writes about how customer service teams are using gamification as a way to improve performance and retention. Managing motivation can be a real struggle for customer service teams. Even if you have the perfect systems in place, and the perfect processes for responding to each […]
This week we feature an article by Tom Paton who writes about how customer service teams are using gamification as a way to improve performance and retention.
Managing motivation can be a real struggle for customer service teams.
Even if you have the perfect systems in place, and the perfect processes for responding to each ticket, managing the human element in the support process can be a major challenge.
Unfortunately, some team leaders fail to get the most out of their customer support agents, leading to low morale and higher turnover.
Managing staff is far too big a topic for a single blog post. The Shep Hyken blog has some great resources on hiring the right staff and training them to become better problem solvers.
However, there’s a new method you can use to maximize motivation specifically.
More and more customer service teams are using gamification as a means of improving their team performance and staff retention.
What is gamification?
Gamification is essentially a means of integrating games into your support team’s processes. These could be standalone games or even something as simple as just using leaderboards.
How you implement gamification, and whether or not it is an appropriate strategy for your team, will depend on how your customer support process operates.
Many different teams have different ways of using this technique.
Benefits of gamification
There are a number of potential benefits to using gamification, depending on the game or games you decide to implement.
First and foremost, some games can help to create a sense of competition, inspiring individual agents (or teams) to provide even better customer service. Maximizing motivation is the main reason that most teams use gamification strategies.
Secondly, games can help to improve morale and minimize turnover. They can provide an extra sense of enjoyment, for example by emphasizing to an agent how helpful they have been through their progress on a leaderboard.
Finally, gamification can be used as a means of improving efficiency. If implemented correctly, games can help your team improve their focus not just on the quality of the support they are providing, but also the speed with which they respond.
Examples of gamification
Here are some ideas of games you could potentially implement in your customer support processes.
Note: as we discussed above, these are simply ideas. It’s a good idea to find a game to modify, or even formulate completely unique games, in order to use gamification effectively.
1. The Humble Leaderboard
Who has made the most resolutions this month? Or whose post-call survey results have been the most positive?
A leaderboard is the easiest way of promoting a little extra competition in your contact center. You could also rank teams instead of individual agents, if appropriate.
Be sure to include a prize at the end of the month or quarter, to inspire your team to achieve their best results.
Depending on the solution you’re using to manage your support, it may be possible to get much more high-tech with the games you’re using.
If you want to get more in-depth, you can create more advanced leaderboards, with points assigned based on the types of resolutions made, rather than just the number.
Using cloud-based gamification solutions/plugins will also allow for the provisioning of virtual rewards, like pins and badges. However, the more technologically advanced you get, the more difficult the games will be to set up.
This is another example that is much easier to implement.
Grab two small, round fishbowls – one for each team. Split your office in half if there aren’t any teams already defined.
Next, find some tokens. Marbles or small bouncy balls work well.
To begin the game, split the tokens evenly between the two fishbowls. Each team can take a token from the other team’s bowl and put it in their own when they achieve a certain objective – 10 tickets resolved for example.
When a bowl empties, the other team wins the game.
Tom Paton loves to educate customers on improving information systems and broader business processes in the B2B space. He’s passionate about delivering better customer contact, in both inbound and outbound environments. Currently, Tom works for contactSPACE – a provider of cloud-based contact center software based in Sydney, Australia.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: Companies That Care: Charitable Contributions And Giving Back To The Community
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