Are today’s contact centre agents more isolated? How gamification could help

For many organisations, the quality of their contact centre agents is key to the success of their whole customer service strategy. That’s why it is vital that enterprises keep them focused, upskilled and committed to delivering a high-quality customer experience…

Gamification is among one of the most powerful tools any contact centre could use to train agents more efficiently. It can help to increase their involvement in any organisational or technological change that needs to be implemented and reduce the risk of agent churn or absenteeism. Here, Gary Bennett, VP UKI/MEA/Northern Europe at Enghouse Interactive assesses the challenges contact centres are continuing to face in keeping agents engaged and feeling closely integrated with their colleagues. He considers the impact on these frontline staff of spending time away from the main office or operational hub, working as part of remote, or hybrid teams, and looks at how gamification can help keep them happy and motivated.

Working as a team

Creating a sense of team spirit has been difficult for contact centres over the course of the pandemic. Agents have often had to work from home, dealing with difficult customers with little immediate access to support. In a recent survey commissioned by Enghouse Interactive, 91% of contact centre professionals polled said they were likely to leave their jobs in 2021.

With many agents still at home for at least part of the week, contact centres are looking for ways to increase agent engagement and build morale and that’s leading to a growing interest in gamification as a way to motivate agents; improve their level of performance and generate better results.

The ultimate goal of gamification is in part to make work a more fun place to be for agents but also to fire their enthusiasm by giving them the opportunity to improve their performance and be seen more positively by their peers and by managers, while at the same time, advancing the goals of the organisation. That could be around customer service, for example. Happier employees, after all, often lead to happier customers and that in turn, can drive up retention rates and customer lifetime value.

In the specific context of the contact centre, gamification could be used to bring in typical elements of game playing (e.g. leader boards, point scoring, badges, contests,) into the day to day work of the agent, building in a healthy sense of competition, or getting workers to collaborate to achieve a common goal – around first contact resolutions, for example, or overall customer satisfaction rates.

Even the most routine of administrative tasks can become much more engaging, if it is reframed as part of a game, with agents competing to develop the most accurate reports or the most delivered in a given period of time. The key is once again around healthy competition. Agents should never feel embittered about losing but rather very proud that by doing their administrative work well, they are making a major contribution to the welfare of the team and the wellbeing and success of the whole business.

Putting a structure in place

The key to success with gamification is ensuring that the activities that agents undertake are clearly linked to the overall goals of the business they work for.

Organisations should set objectives for the agents undertaking gamification and these should be based on key performance indicators (KPIs) of the services the company itself is offering. Agents can be assigned individual or group objectives – and to promote ongoing engagement, they should be intermediate, achievable goals as part of the gamification approach, as well as longer-term objectives.

Gamification should also never be a ‘once and done thing’. For it to be effective, the business needs to be continuously following up with agents, recognising their progress and achievements and encouraging participation among them. They can create different rankings to match the different skillsets of the participants and offer constant feedback based on points and positions.

They can send push notifications to the smartphones of agents playing the game with their latest ranking or a range of motivational messages.

Offering frequent prizes is another approach that is key to maintaining the interest of agents and teams. Rewards can be delivered through codes that players receive in the application. The frequency of reward delivery depends on the needs of the game (weekly delivery is most common) and will not always be financial in nature.

Reaping the rewards

Many businesses have reported positive results from contact centre gamification. In terms of the effect on the organisation itself, some companies have reported significant increases in sales volume, sales quality and campaign profitability. The approach often also has a far-reaching impact on the agents themselves, leading to both marked reductions in absenteeism and substantial increases in levels of productivity.

The job of a contact centre agent can be a difficult and stressful one and this has been especially the case during the pandemic, where many have had to work from home, and some at least have felt isolated and disconnected from their colleagues. A large number are also likely to have had to deal with difficult, emotionally-charged conversations with stressed, or anxious, customers. In this context, gamification has had a hugely positive impact both in terms of advancing organisation goals and in increasing agent engagement and morale, and given that we would expect its usage by contact centre managers and their teams to rise still further in the future.

About Enghouse Interactive

Enghouse Interactive is a subsidiary of Enghouse, a Canadian publicly traded company (TSX:ENGH), which provides enterprise software solutions focusing on remote work, visual computing and communications for next-generation software-defined networks. The Company’s two-pronged growth strategy focuses on internal growth and acquisitions, which, to date, have been funded through operating cash flows. The Company is well capitalized, has nominal long-term debt and is organized around two business segments: the Interactive Management Group and the Asset Management Group.

Further information about Enghouse may be obtained from the Company’s website at