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Why Gamification is a Game-Changer for Call Centers

By Special Guest
Nancy Jamison, Principal Analyst, Frost & Sullivan
August 16, 2019

A Conversation with Jim Noble & Nancy Jamison, Part 2: WEM & Gamification

Gamification in the call center is pretty common, but Noble Systems takes a different approach. In this conversation with Nancy Jamison and Jim Noble, we learn a few of the things that help Noble stand out from the crowd.  This is the second in a three-part series discussing evolution in the call center space.  If you missed the first part discussing the move from on-premises to cloud call centers, you may read it here.

NANCY:  I thought the gamification that you got from FidoTrack, now Noble Gamification, is really, really exciting, and it addresses a lot of issues in the industry.

JIM:  Wow!  We are so excited about gamification.  Gamification has been in call centers since their beginning.  Everybody’s been doing it manually and on an ad hoc basis.  Maybe they’re doing a little bit here and there, some companies do it better than others, and some do it in the extreme. 

When I saw the full breadth of the product, I knew that we had to add it as Noble Gamification in our product suite.  It’s completely different than anything I’ve ever seen from a gamification standpoint. 

It’s not just a spinning wheel or a contest here, it’s a complete ecosystem that’s been made completely social.  It’s perfect for Millennials, and it offers dramatic reductions in turnover and huge increases in agent engagement and productivity metrics that are really easy to measure right from within the system.

NANCY:  And fun!

JIM:  Yes, and fun!  That's the other part of it.  My goodness, this stuff is fun.  I said to myself, every one of my customers is going to love this when they see it. 

We think Noble Gamification is going to be a game changer in call centers and I’m sure there’ll be people that will follow us into that to a degree.  There are a few other smaller companies out there that have gamification already.  Some of them have different bits and pieces of what we now have with Noble Gamification, but I've done a reasonable amount of research and have not seen anything that has the breadth we have.  So, what did you think of the gamification when you saw it, Nancy? 

NANCY:  I love it.  One of the things I love is the way they do the games – it is just intuitive.  This is really exciting.  It really speaks to the Millennial workforce and not just the agents.  I’ve never seen anything where you can incent multiple layers because the supervisors came from the agent ranks, right?  So, I thought that was a really neat thing to be able to have everybody in the game.

JIM:  Engaging the supervisors is huge because, theoretically, they’re the people you’re counting on to improve agent performance on a day-to-day basis and to coach those agents.  So, having the built-in coaching and gamified platform can incentivize them to do it.  When competing, they have the executive-level dashboard, where the executives that approve the money for the gamification are able to see the metrics and watch them improve in real time.  That is just huge. 

NANCY:  Another component you just mentioned was integrated learning.  That also speaks well to the workforce we have now because it is consumable in pieces when it’s needed.  This makes it much more effective. 

JIM:  Yeah, what it does is gamify the learning management system.  You’re able to have your agents compete to see who can learn this content the quickest and the best.  You can reward the highest scores if you want to.  You can reward the highest, first attempted score, so you don’t have agents trying to get through it in order to get some points just to have it completed.

It’s definitely the most complete suite I’ve ever seen out there, and every bit of it is social.  Agents can challenge other agents to duels, agents can give high fives almost like a “like” on Facebook. 

The leaderboard is completely integrated into it and it’s fed automatically from everything else you do.  You don’t have to set up and maintain a leaderboard.  It's a beautiful thing.  Dozens of our customers are using it.  Every one of them has been blown away with the productivity increases and the agent engagement and the reduction in turnover.

NANCY:  The reduction in turnover is huge, and employee engagement is really key. 

What about the ability to be able to bring in agents and allow them to do things on mobile devices?  They are able to participate in their own scheduling, which is huge because, as we know, the Millennials and subsequent generations would rather have less pay for more flexibility.  Frankly, it's not even just them now – I think that applies to just about everyone. 

JIM:  That’s exactly right.  For people, in general, it’s a huge motivator.  For a while, we’ve had the ability with our product to have what we call “smart adherence.”  With any workforce management product, you can create the most amazing schedule using all the fancy math and algorithms but, if your agents don’t adhere to the schedule, you don’t realize any of the benefits. 

For a long time, we’ve had the ability to force the agent off their work when they’re supposed to take their break or their lunch, after they finished their call.  We can improve adherence that way, but we’ve never had the ability to get them back to work.  I used to joke that what we needed was a hook.  We needed that big hook they used to pull people off the stage in the old days, and we need the hook to pull them back from their break.  It’s time to be back from your break or from lunch, and I can pull them back with the mobile app. 

NANCY:  We know they’re wedded to their devices.

JIM:  That’s right.  We can send push notifications now, since they have the app on their phones.  We can remind them they’re supposed to be back in five minutes.  You can set up whatever type of countdown you want to remind them.  We think that’s going to be just as useful in improving adherence as being able to make them take their breaks on time. 

NANCY:  Thanks Jim, we're out of time for now.  It was great talking to you and finding out what Noble Systems is doing now and what they're going to be doing in the future. I look forward to talking to you again in our next session to talk about what's happening in the exciting world of speech analytics.

JIM:  It’s been great talking to you. 

As you can see, gamification in the call center is powerful and Noble Systems is leading the way. When you combine Noble Gamification with mobile, it opens up a whole new world of opportunities.  

Nancy Jamison is a Principal Analyst at Frost & Sullivan with more than 30 years of experience, spanning product marketing and management, market analysis and strategic consulting, with a focus on Contact Center and Speech Technologies.  In addition, she has 13 years of experience in a major contact center vendor’s product management and marketing department, contact routing infrastructure and applications, IVR/Speech self-service, Speech Technologies, social customer care, and multi-channel and proactive customer care.

Edited by Erik Linask
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