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Manage contact centre pressure with gamification

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Contact centres need all the help they can get during the busy peak season, and gamification could be the answer.
Bruce von Maltitz, contact centre technology expert and co-founder of 1Stream, says business contact centres are often the first port of call for consumers with queries or complaints, and are typically high pressure work environments. Call volumes are often high, and tricky customer interactions are a regular feature. This is even more true when it comes to the build up to the holiday season – when retail increases, and along with it, the influx of customer requests.
Managing this period can be a challenge for all involved, particularly contact centre managers and agents. So often, businesses rely on the stick rather than the carrot to keep productivity and quality high, when in fact, there is a balance to be found through implementing simple and effective gamification strategies.

The face of gamification with a millennial workforce
The pain points experienced by contact centres throughout the year, which are heightened during peak season, are usually focussed on dealing with increased contact volumes. But there are also issues relating to managing shifts and profitability effectively to be considered, as well as catering for the needs of the new generation of millennials who are filling many of the spaces within contact centres.
Implementing strategically planned gamification as part of a cloud-based contact centre technology solution can streamline these processes and alleviate the pressure.
For example, a simple points-based system can drive agents to adhere to company policies, improve productivity and continually offer excellent customer service in order to receive a particular reward. Similarly, agents can be incentivised to pick up unpopular shifts, while overstaffed shifts that cut into business profit margins can be corrected through gamified rewards of time off for top performing staff.
Perhaps the strongest element of gamification, though, is its inherent transparency. This resonates with the millennial generation who like to know where they stand, what they stand to gain and what steps they need to take to achieve this.

More than gaming
Frequently misunderstood to be simply games and distraction, gamification in the contact centre space is really about engaging agents to achieve the best outcomes.
When implemented effectively, gamification tools create a game-like interface within a work environment. It provides a transparent platform for all team members to see goals and incentives available, as well as each person’s performance on leaderboards. This gives managers the tools to monitor and manage teams, while also giving agents the control to be in charge of their own rewards and career growth.
Gamification puts fun tactics in place that boost motivation and push agents to perform well. This could be in the form of earning points towards a particular reward for certain behaviour or results achieved, and the outcome is improved customer experience, benefitting the entire organisation.
With agents in control of their rewards and careers, and managers in a position to enhance productivity and quality through data, gamification might just be the answer to everyone’s needs in a contact centre.