“This is an office – not a playground!” Such words were frequently uttered for generations at companies, where the employees seemed more interested in having fun than doing their jobs.
More recently, however, studies have shown that finding the element of fun in every job that must be done (to paraphrase Mary Poppins) can actually improve productivity and customer satisfaction.
It’s called gamification, and it means redesigning everyday routines and tasks to be more game-like and interactive, resulting in experiences that are more engaging, more fun, and (hopefully) more productive.
Can this work to motivate employees in the contact center? Possibly – as long as there are not any negative consequences to the activities devised.
At some Target stores, cashiers compete in on how quickly they can ring up purchases. Something like this could be tried in a contact center, as long as agents are not rushing through scripted responses to end the call faster. Likewise, a challenge among agents on who can achieve the most upsells of a certain product could backfire if agents resort to more aggressive techniques that exacerbate the customer experience.
Managers must introduce a gamification program with care – specifying guidelines for competitions and stressing the ultimate goal of improving not just worker morale but customer service. In the contact center environment where so much of the workday is spent in repetition of basic tasks, the right kinds of games can add excitement to the team, and might even help the company retain its best agents.
If you have created any activities that have proven successful, let us know.
“Incentivizing” is something of a buzzword now in business. It refers to ways to acknowledge and reward employees to build a sense of loyalty and encourage outstanding performance.
If you are thinking of introducing an incentive program to your contact center, here are a few tips that might help.
Make sure agents understand the goals you wish them to achieve, and make sure you have an accurate, objective means to measure their performance. Workforce optimization software can play a key role here.
2. Divide and Inspire
Don’t make your program one-size-fits-all. A new hire should not be incentivized in the same way as a 5-year veteran. Your top performers are already highly motivated – the program should reward them in a way that inspires those just under that top 5% or 10% tier to up their game. Likewise, strive to incentivize “average” agents into stars, and those that are struggling to achieve a more consistent performance.
3. Offer the Right Rewards
Perhaps you think dinner for two at the neighborhood steakhouse is a great reward, but your vegan agents won’t be inspired. And while everyone appreciates money, it doesn’t have the same tangible impact as a gift. Try this – acknowledge achievement with a point-reward system. Once points are accrued they can be traded in for a reward selection of the agent’s choice.
4. Recognize Everyone that Improves
Contests can be motivating, but if awards are only bestowed on the top 3 performers in a month, that won’t do much for the agent who also improved his job performance but finished fourth. Make sure everyone who is getting better is sharing in the accolades for doing so.
5. Keep it Fun
An incentive program should not turn into a cutthroat competition between agents. It should be a unifying program that focuses on celebrating both individual and collective achievement.
Monet Software recently presented a webinar entitled “How to Gain More Insight into the Performance of your Contact Center.” The event generated a strong turnout and has received positive feedback from many of those in attendance.
If you missed it, good news – the webinar is now available on our website at http://www.monetsoftware.com/webinars/. You can check it out any time you like.
Why should you? Because it’s one thing to read about how Monet's cloud-based WFO can help gain more insights and improve the performance of your contact center. It’s quite another to actually see this technology in action. And that is the opportunity this webinar provides.
Several related topics will be covered as well, from the importance of visibility at the agent level to the benefits of real-time data and alerts of key metrics and activities.
Don’t miss this second chance to discover what the advantages of cloud-based WFO can mean for your agents, your management team, and your contact center.
The start of a new year is a natural time to evaluate the status of your contact center, and decide if any changes would be beneficial moving forward. If you are ready to put together a checklist of important topics, you may wish to start with these.
What is the current state of your agent team(s)? Do you have enough people for each shift? Do they have the skills necessary to fulfill their obligations? How effective are your coaching and training programs? Review the personnel situation and adjust staffing as needed.
How does your contact center get things done? There are a number of processes in place that are employed to improve customer service and optimize forecasting, scheduling and adherence. Review these processes and look for areas where they may be improved. Take quality monitoring, for example: how are calls being scored, and who is doing the scoring? Is it time for a fresh perspective, or to begin tracking elements of each call that are not being reviewed now?
Is your hardware and software out of date or obsolete? It might be if you’ve been using an on-premise solution for such vital functions as workforce management. WFM providers supply ongoing enhancements and updated versions on a regular basis, but they also charge users for every one of these upgrades. With the economy still recovering, companies may not have the resources to keep up with the improvements. Perhaps this is the time to consider a cloud delivery system, where upgrades are free and there is no large upfront cost.
Contact center managers must be up to date on any new federal and state laws that might impact their business, as well as any changes in company policy. This is the time to not only be aware of any such regulation issues, but to make sure your employees are aware of them as well.
The primary objective of performance management is to improve overall
business efficiency in the contact center. Of course, this is easier
said than done, but Monet has been proud to provide tips on improving
your performance management efforts throughout 2014. Here are 5 of the
most popular posts on this important
1. Finding the Optimum Metrics and Reports
Do you have the right performance reports and metrics in your contact center?
2. Performance Metrics and Agent Incentives
Incentives for call center agents are great – every employee likes to
feel appreciated – but do you have the metrics to determine which agents
are most deserving of special recognition?
3. It’s 11am – Do you Know What your Customer Service Agents are Doing?
Proactive performance management takes the guesswork out of knowing what
your agents are doing, and how well they are doing it. Monet Metrics
takes the guesswork out of performance management.
4. 12 Tips to Ramp Up Contact Center Performance
A good contact center manager is always looking for new and innovative
ways to improve customer service and performance. Here are 12 tips that
might be helpful.
5. Planning Contact Center PTO (Paid Time Off) Made Easy
It’s the manager’s job to make every minute count in the contact center,
and that’s a challenge when dealing with different schedules and
constantly evolving exceptions. That makes PTO requests even more
difficult, even if they are presented a week or more in advance.
The objective of boosting contact center performance is an ongoing one.
While you may have weekly or monthly meetings with agents and managers
to explore what is working and what needs attention, these are issues
that should be part of your focus every working day.
Here are 5 more tips to discuss at your next efficiency meeting. 1. Redefining Quality
may have a definition for what constitutes a quality customer
interaction, but is that description shared by your customers? There’s
only one way to find out – ask them. You may be surprised by some of the
responses, and you may wish to incorporate their answers into your
agent training. 2. Reward Outstanding Performance
your contact center provides quality evaluation scores for each agent,
turn that practice into a contest. High scores would receive drawing
tickets, and once a month or once every quarter, a winning ticket can be
drawn, and the winner would receive a cash prize, a dinner for two, or
some other reward. 3. Don’t Settle for Average
contact center probably has an average performance level, which is
adequate to get the job done. But too many companies settle for this,
and only become concerned when the numbers drop. Make ‘average’ your
baseline, and strive for something better. Before long, your new
‘average’ will be much higher than the previous standard.
4. Have Agents Choose Reviewed Calls
training sessions, ask that each agent select a recorded call that went
well, and one that could have been handled better. This helps with
agent self-evaluation. 5. Post Calls Online
better way to show how well your contact center treats customers than to
make some calls available to the contact center team? These examples
will also serve new agents well as a reference tool. If you want to
learn more about how to easily record and score calls
follow this link for an online tour.
A good contact center manager is always looking for new and innovative ways to improve customer service and performance. Here are 12 tips that might be helpful. Some are a little outside the box, but sometimes that is where the best ideas can be found.
1. An office makeover
Will a more colorful workspace and new office furniture make a difference in how agents perform? Studies have shown that most people are more comfortable and motivated in appealing surroundings.
2. Call your competitors
Have your agents and supervisors pose as customers and call competing businesses. Find out how they handle typical situations. Doing so will provide a better sense of how your company is doing, as well as more insight into the customer experience.
3. The magic wand
Ask everyone in the contact center, “If you had a magic wand, what is the one change you would make here?” You may be surprised at some of the answers.
4. The challenge of the week
Every week, focus on one specific goal where improvement could be made.
5. Email follow-up
If a customer had a difficult call with an agent, follow up via email with that customer, even if the situation was ultimately resolved over the phone. It’s a nice gesture that will be appreciated.
6. Start the day with a team meeting
Team meetings are always helpful, but once the workday begins it is difficult to get everyone assembled. The best time for these events is just before the shift begins.
7. Role swapping
Have a manager and an agent switch jobs for one day. Doing so may renew the appreciation each has for the work of their counterpart.