Come September and I’ll be speaking at the biggest annual contact-center event in Mexico about Teleopti workforce management (WFM) in general and more importantly/interestingly, about gamification in particular. I haven’t yet figured out the best way to translate “gamification” into Spanish but what I do know is gamification is gaining a lot of steam in the Americas. I’m expecting it to be a big hit.
We all know that automated WFM forecasts workloads so as to more accurately schedule the proper human resources to carry out the work accordingly. We also know that, thanks to automated WFM, agents are much less stressed or burned out, due to under- capacity and much less idle or bored, due to over-capacity.
But, however you look at it, the work of an agent is, intrinsically, not that exciting – handling customer issues through various channels (phone, e-mail, chat or video). We know that providing excellent customer service these days is nothing short of imperative: agents are the front line of your business – those closest to your customers. As such, they exert considerable influence in making, maintaining or breaking customers. Since the nature of the work is rather repetitive and tedious, absenteeism, attrition and agent-turnover rates are still unsatisfactory high in the industry. Enter gamification.
Considering that the cost of the human resource often comprises 80-90 percent of a contact center’s costs, anything that helps boost agent satisfaction is considered mission-critical today. This makes Teleopti WFM and its gamification offering, in my opinion, mission-critical – right out of the box. To give an analogy, air traffic controllers have no clue as to where airplanes are located unless they’re right under the radar. Teleopti brings the radar to the operational team, letting them know how to prepare for the near future and maintain operational targets. Gamification helps reach those targets even more so, which may significantly impact your bottom line.
In case a refresher on gamification is in order here, it’s an empathy-based approach that introduces a service which, through fun, game-like competition, incites contact-center agents to improve their performance. As a result, it contributes to and supports the overall value that you offer your customers.
Teleopti’s gamification designers address users almost as players of a game. The designers’ attention is, as always, on the agents, placing them in the center. Designers ensure that the competitive nature is fun, fair and stimulating. The system then rewards perfomance – based on pre-determined parameters and metrics determined by you – by awarding gold, silver and bronze medals. These can be traded in for prizes – perhaps an IPad, or being the first in line for the next shift or vacation bid or a day off with pay – the prizes also pre-determined by you.
All of a sudden, we are seeing gaming concepts used in real-life scenarios – namely, work. Teleopti was the very first workforce management company world-wide to introduce from the gaming community, a game-like environment in its WFM solution – one that encourages agents to reach specific targets and improve their performance for which they are compensated. Talk about Teleopti being on its game (no pun intended! 🙂 – and ahead of the game).
Teleopti compiles reports and statistics on a daily basis. When agents come into work the following day, they can see if they’ve earned a medal or won a prize on the agent MyTime portal. It’s something they can constantly look forward to. Gamification thus brings beneficial byproducts – in the form of reduced absenteeism and reduced turnover.
What kinds of metrics are used to compensate/reward agents? Adherence, pre-set targets, the number of handled calls, AHT, etc: these can all be measured. Targets, however, must be selected, ensuring agents won’t just rush through calls, turning them over quickly and thus negatively impact customers. Safeguards must also be set against system-rigging. Contact center staff that sets up the parameters have to think about this. Teleopti will be right alongside you, helping you to set these up.
Gamification is already being used in many ways and in many industries, not least in marketing, health, technology and design. Companies, such as Yahoo, LinkedIn, Amazon and Duolingo have incorporated gamification as part of their business strategy. More specifically, in the health industry, for instance, there is something called a “surgeon stimulator” which is a tool used for emergency services that incorporates gamification to help surgeons in training.
At the end of the day, it’s all about providing fun and positive reinforcement so that agents perform to the best of their ability – in a manner that’s interesting and that holds their attention. Be on your game, stay ahead of the game; take on gamification!