Contact Center Gamification: What It Is, Benefits, & How To Implement It

February 29, 2024 6 min read

Dominic Kent

Dominic Kent

is gamification just for sales or can it be used in the entire contact center

It’s no secret that contact center agents often face several challenges, such as high call volume, difficult customers, and long hours, which can lead to burnout and high turnover rates. Gamification can effectively address these obstacles by making work more engaging and rewarding for agents.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what gamification is, how it can benefit contact centers, and how to implement it successfully.

What Is Contact Center Gamification?

Contact center gamification is the incorporation of game mechanics and elements into the contact center environment to motivate and engage agents. Game elements like points, badges, leaderboards, challenges, and rewards make contact center work challenging, fun, and rewarding.

How does it work exactly?

Gamification taps into the human drive for competition, achievement, status, self-expression, and altruism.

Agents are inspired to take actions like:

An example of gamification for call center agents

These metrics span cross-functional KPIs that apply to collections, sales, technical support, and other departments.

Gamification brings out agents’ competitive spirit to encourage beating personal bests or competing for weekly/monthly prizes. This drives better performance while increasing camaraderie and morale.

Some examples of gamification concepts include:

The right gamification approach aligns with business objectives, departmental needs, and agents’ intrinsic motivations, leading to a sustainable initiative with measurable impact.

Benefits of Gamification in Contact Centers

Implementing gamification strategies in a contact center environment offers many benefits when done thoughtfully:

10 reasons to try gamification in your contact center

How To Design a Successful Gamification Strategy

There is no cookie-cutter approach to gamification in contact centers. Those who try to copy other contact centers end up with flawed processes and non-inclusive competition.

Here are some key considerations when planning a gamification program that integrates contact center goals and agent motivation.

1. Align with business goals

Effective gamification directly supports wider business goals.

Identify problem areas first like long handle times, poor CSAT scores, or high staff turnover. Then design targeted games and competitions to incentivize improvements.

When agents see gamification aligning with bigger objectives, they become more invested.

2. Identify key performance indicators (KPIs)

Choose relevant contact center metrics to track whether gamification achieves goals.

If you aim to reduce average handle time, make this the KPI. Track weekly or monthly to see direct correlations between gamification incentives and top-level improvements.

HR can also correlate engagement survey results when using gamification to improve company culture.

3. Choose appropriate game mechanics

Consider mechanics like points, badges, leaderboards, levels, challenges, and rewards.

A leaderboard displaying top performers’ stats appeals to agents’ competitive side. Badges for hitting targets recognize achievements. Levels encourage incremental progress by defining milestones.

Mix and match elements to keep things fresh while aligning tightly with KPIs.

Gamification dashboard example

For example, awards points for each second reduced off the AHT target, then reward badges or prizes when point milestones are hit.

4. Offer meaningful rewards

Thoughtful rewards, whether physical prizes, event access, or recognition drive higher participation.

Identify what matters most to employees — public praise, gift certificates, early finish passes, lunch with leadership, or paid time off. Appeal to team spirit too with group rewards.

5. Make it transparent and inclusive

Clear communication ensures all understand how scoring works and the direct links between gamification and business objectives.

Share guidelines widely and celebrate group accomplishments over individual achievements. Design tiered difficulty levels enabling all agents to compete fairly, preventing disengagement if goals seem unattainable.

Sustainability comes from an inclusive program promoting universal buy-in.

6. Use technology that integrates gamification

Don’t introduce new software agents must learn. Gamification should integrate seamlessly into agents’ workflows.

Choose contact center software like Nextiva that allows custom leaderboards displayed in the same interface agents use daily. Make standings visible company-wide or offer remote access so at-home agents can participate.

Nextiva contact center

7. Review and refine

Be open to tweaking or removing gamification elements if agents don’t respond well. Collect feedback via surveys and one-on-ones on why certain aspects don’t work.

Small changes can make big differences in participation. Like adopting any new technique, perfecting gamification takes time.

Remember to expect an adjustment period and learn from early wins and failures.

What Are the Challenges With Gamification?

Like any change in a contact center, gamification comes with both pros and cons. Let’s look at some key challenges and ways to mitigate them:

❌ Potential for unhealthy competition

Gamification risks overly competitive environments if not managed carefully. Some may feel anxious about low performance being highlighted.

Avoid publicly displaying bottom rankings and have private conversations with struggling staff instead.

Also, limit repeat prize winners so it feels attainable for all and doesn’t allow some to take excessive rewards. You need to structure competitions promoting teamwork over individual success. and offer group rewards reinforcing collaborative values.

With thoughtful design, gamification can build colleague camaraderie.

⚙️ Technical setup and ongoing maintenance

Effective gamification requires proper technical infrastructure.

Choose tools allowing customizable scoring metrics, automated leaderboards, badge allocation, and prize distribution based on performance data.

Poor tech setup causes inaccurate results or manual overhead reconciling systems. Dedicate resources for continuous improvement too.

As goals evolve update scoring algorithms accordingly. Listen to user feedback and fix issues. Like any system, gamification needs maintenance to sustain value.

🤝 Finding the right balance

Strike a balance so gamification complements, not compromises core responsibilities. Too many variables and it feels distracting rather than optimizing.

Start small then expand complexity once embedded in operations. Listen to supervisor and agent feedback around capacity and whether service quality drops.

Some roles or periods may be incompatible with added competitive layers if temporarily needed to simplify the environment. Allow flexibility to pull back gamification when the priority is restoring operational foundations.

Is Gamification Really Effective for Contact Centers?

Many employees enjoy gamification and having additional motivation beyond their regular job duties. Game elements that allow them to achieve goals and progress help them go above and beyond.

However, not everyone appreciates gamification equally. You need to consider individual preferences and personality types before implementing any structured competition or reward system.

For instance, sales teams often thrive with leaderboards, points, badges, and other game features layered on top of their existing commission-based compensation. The ability to boast “I sold the most — I’m the best salesperson” is a strong motivator in that high-energy environment.

On the other hand, employees who are already intrinsically motivated and happy in their roles may see gamification as unnecessary or even counterproductive.

The added competition could cause some workers to fear underperforming if they aren’t inclined to prioritize the rewards being offered. For them, gamification may backfire.

The key is balance and alignment with company culture.

Get to know what makes your employees tick. Understand both your goals and your team members first, then craft targeted gamified elements that make sense.

Want to try a contact center solution to implement gamification?

Talk to a Nextiva expert to optimize your business.

Dominic Kent


Dominic Kent

Dominic Kent is a content marketer specializing in unified communications and contact centers. After 10 years of managing installations, he founded UC Marketing to bridge the gap between service providers and customers. He spends half of his time building content marketing programs and the rest writing on the beach with his dogs.

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