I had fun with my interview with Juliah Ma of Convoso. At the Contact Center Demo and Conference (CCDemo) you never know what to expect. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, I get to discuss employee engagement with a lot of different people. The Fast Leader Legion is well aware of the importance of employee experience in customer experience. But Juliah shared something new for contact centers.
Watch Juliah Ma of Convoso share contact center insights at Contact Center Demo and Conference with Jim Rembach Click to Tweet
At the CCDemo, I took the opportunity to look for tools and solutions that are unique that can improve agent performance and engagement. As you witness in this interview with Juliah, she shares a different way that supervisors can manage the agent experience. As a former call center supervisor, and Advisory Board Chair of Call Center Coach, I know the supervisor plays a pivotal role in balancing agent performance, engagement, and the customer experience.
What Convoso does
Convoso is the world’s first “gamified,” browser-based contact-center software in the cloud. Convoso’s gamification feature utilizes game-like mechanics to incentivize and reward agents. This innovative application ultimately empowers admins and agents, as it enhances agent experience, retention, streamlines agent training, and ultimately increases business ROI. Source: http://convoso.com/about-us/
Gamification in business is gaining in popularity. It’s difficult to reject the fact that globally, people spend 3 billion hours per week on gaming. When they are not spending time at work, often gaming fills their time. Many employees are even playing games during working hours (shhh, don’t tell anyone).
So can gaming be a sustainable tool for improving call center agent performance? The not so hooked by gaming, emotional side of me struggles with the rational side of me that’s presented with the persuasive data on the use and impacts of gaming at work.
In many instances, games provide a sense of productivity and control. How could you translate these insights into something beneficial for your company, for instance customer experience?
I can totally understand the exciting possibilities and the employee engagement potential of gamification at work. But the practice is new and we have a lot of questions that need to be answered.
What do the experts say?
There was a recent gamification summit held at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. It was titled “Gameful Approaches to Motivation and Engagement”. Many thought-leaders in the academic and practitioner space in the arena of gamification were in attandance. This was an invite-only event that was coordinated by Kevin Werbach, Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics. Kevin is also a the co-author of For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business.
His book actually opens with a brief call center example. Kevin shares that Gamification works because our responses to games are deeply hard-wired into our psychology. Game design techniques can activate our innate desires to recognize patterns, solve puzzles, master challenges, collaborate with others, and be in the drivers’ seat when experiencing the world around us. They can also create a safe space for experimentation and learning.
He warns that shallow gamification can even be harmful, if it’s used to manipulate people toward results that aren’t truly in their interest, or if it suggests that rewards are the only reason to do otherwise intrinsically engaging activities.
He says that the systems that avoid these pitfalls take games seriously. In a good game, the points and the leaderboards aren’t what really matter; the true reward is the journey. He states that systems which emphasize progression, provide well designed informational feedback, and look for ways to surprise and delight their players can remain engaging for the long haul.
As with anything we undertake we need it to be sustainable and repeatable. There is no way you want to stop and start with something new, just to start over (and recover) again.
However, waiting is also a bad idea as Thomas Hsu of Accenture said at the summit. “We don’t have 20 or 30 years to wait around for someone to say exactly what works and what doesn’t. From a business perspective, we have to place bets on what we think will have impact. And I think there’s enough there that if you’re willing to put in the right investment, there is an opportunity to make an impact.”
Do you want to wait?
Over 70% of Forbes Global 2000 companies surveyed in 2013 said they planned to use gamification for marketing and customer retention. So of course it’s going to make it’s way into the contact center.
So does Convoso have the ability to make a positive performance impact on your contact center and your customer experience? You may not want to wait to find out about it from your competition. You need to talk to Juliah. Reach her at: JMa [at] convoso.com.
Join me on the Fast Leader Show Podcast
The Fast Leader Show is a docuedutainment (don’t look it up I made it up) podcast released each Wednesday and hosted by Jim Rembach. Each week, Jim introduces you to real folks (from the call center industry and beyond) with real stories of how they were able to get over the hump and lead themselves or others better…faster. You’ll learn how to become a better leader (faster) through their stories by improving your employee and customer engagement through the power of improving your emotional intelligence. Get more human-centric and move onward and upward…faster.