Gamification in the contact center: Success stories

The takeaway: Contact center gamification isn’t just a theory – it’s a proven practice.

If you’ve been reading recent posts on Engagement Optimization, you’ve probably come across arguments in favor of bringing gamification into the contact center – including this article devoted to the topic. There’s good reason for this. The fact of the matter is that gamification is increasingly and widely seen as a new, exciting means of improving agent engagement and performance.Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 6.png

And it’s not just industry experts who are singing contact center gamification’s praises. A number of major enterprises have embraced the concept in recent years and have seen tremendous success with these efforts. Here are just a few of the more noteworthy examples of gamification’s impact in the contact center.

T-Mobile’s multifaceted success

Let’s start by focusing on T-Mobile. The communications giant first implemented a gamification program in its contact center in 2013, and the effort delivered extremely positive results in a number of different areas.

The central component of the company’s gamification strategy was the “T-Community.” T-Mobile users could post questions on this forum and T-Mobile employees could provide answers in the same location. This is a fairly standard approach to addressing customer concerns. To boost engagement and effectiveness, though, T-Mobile injected gamification into the system. By answering customer questions and receiving positive feedback, contact center employees earned achievement points and awards.

T-Mobile employees embraced this form of gamification. More than 30,000 T-Mobile representatives took part in this process, with over 15,000 completing the “Getting Started” missions within the first two weeks of launch. Even more significantly, over the course of the first six weeks, T-Mobile employees earned approximately 187,000 achievement badges.

Those results speak to the impact that the gamification approach has on employee engagement. However, just as importantly, the strategy led to a significant boost in customer participation, as well. In fact, user participation in the T-Community increased 1,000 percent following the implementation of the gamification module. Such activity is a testament to user engagement, which in turn suggests significant gains in brand loyalty.

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 6.41.26 PM.pngHyatt uses gamification to set agent goals

Whereas T-Mobile used gamification to encourage agent and user engagement, other organizations focus on leveraging contact center gamification as a means of directing employees toward particular goals.

That was the case for Hyatt Hotels. As CIO reported, the company implemented a program wherein agents received prizes for completing specific tasks – for example, hitting a certain call volume. The prizes in this case were virtual tokens, which could be used to play a game specifically created for Hyatt by a developer. Succeeding at these games would yield concrete prizes, such as gift cards.

Denise Pullens, assistant director of operations at the Hyatt Reservation Center, told the news source that gamification plays a role in each of these stages, and it’s all designed to move agents toward specific goals – such as increasing upsells, for example.

“The main key to success is to identify short-term and measurable accomplishments,” Brooks Mitchell, CEO and founder of the game development company that worked with Hyatt, told CIO. “In sales, while the ultimate goal is the sale, there are many smaller sub-behaviors which, if accomplished and rewarded, will lead to the end goal of the sale.”

This doesn’t have to be limited to sales, either. Organizations can deploy these types of solutions in the contact center as a means of encouraging various end goals, such as first-call resolution, positive customer satisfaction ratings and so on.

How can your contact center take advantage of gamification?