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Gamifying Customer Service to Cure Agent Attrition

Agent attrition is an epidemic that contact center leaders have unsuccessfully tried to remedy for years.

To solve outbreaks caused by contaminated food, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses three types of information: epidemiologic; traceback; food and environmental testing. Each piece of information provides a clue about what may be causing an outbreak.

The CDC notes that finding the source of an outbreak is important, because the food could still be in stores, restaurants, or kitchens and could make more people sick.

Agent attrition is a virus. To find a cure, you must identify the root cause. Findings from Mercer Consulting’s Contact Center Survey indicate that non-challenging work, lack of recognition, no career growth or development and inflexible working environment are dominant contributors to high turnover.

Agent Turnover Factors | Infographic Button

View our infographic to find out more about the causes & symptoms of contact center agent attrition.

According to the CDC, most illnesses happen suddenly. In the contact center ecosystem, attrition also strikes quickly. Mercer’s survey results revealed that 6.2% of agents left within the first 30 days; 5% left between 31-60 days on the job; 5.6% quit within 61-90 days; and another 8.2% left within 3-6 months.

When personnel tenure resembles a revolving door, contact center managers will find themselves trapped in a loop of adding headcount only to watch new hires walk out the door in six months or less.

In fact, in its Q3 2017 survey of members, the National Association of Call Centers reported that 46 percent of contact centers would add headcount in 2018 in the form of replacement agents.

Are you feeling any flu-like symptoms?

Take heed camper, as there is a vaccine to prevent onset agent attrition.

The concept of gamifying customer service isn’t new; organizations have always incentivized employees with record-focused goal setting and friendly competitions as motivation.

Things like points, leaderboards, completion achievements can also make employees feel like their contributions are being recognized, a significant driver of employee engagement and satisfaction. And since happier employees result in greater productivity and happier customers, it’s easy to understand how gamification can have a sizable impact on revenue, workforce engagement and agent satisfaction.

The right workforce engagement management platform enhances this notion, allowing real-time analysis of employee actions as well as customer behaviors and then using machine learning to predict outcomes. These metrics can be tied to both personal and organization-wide goals, allowing employees and managers to make improvements or capitalize on positive attributes immediately.

For Sekure Merchant Solutions, a leading provider of merchant processing solutions that services over 20,000 businesses monthly, gamification impacted profitability, productivity, efficiency, and most importantly, agent retention.

Headquartered in Montreal, Canada and founded in 2006, Sekure is on the forefront of leveraging technology to improve productivity and operational efficiency. With gamification, the company has transformed its culture into an employee-centric environment.

The merchant solutions business requires significant outbound calling activity; Sekure averaged close to 120,000 calls per day. And like most large contact centers, agent attrition was a problem.

Sekure Merchant Solutions, under the leadership of Matt Coffey, GM of Technical Projects, did just that. They established their macro key performance indicators and intelligently distilled them down to data points that were critical for agents to achieve.

By layering multiple interfaces across the entire employee hierarchy, the company was able to leverage the full spectrum of game mechanics to ensure maximum organizational engagement.

Within three months, Sekure Merchant Solutions achieved greater revenue and profitability than ever before. Sekure’s gamification campaign also affected operational metrics, including a sharp decline in agent turnover.

Efficiency skyrocketed; Sekure calculated it saved 1,500 management hours.

Supervisors hit their team goals 40-60 percent more often, reduced deployment costs by $35,000, and first-day, on-the-job exit interviews asking new hires if they understood their goals, shot up from a before-Noble rate of 45 percent to 90 percent after implementing Noble Gamification.

Gamification may not be a cure-all for agent attrition, but with the proper application, your symptoms should subside.

Noble Gamification leverages two types of motivation: intrinsic, personal desires to achieve and do well; and extrinsic, tangible rewards to drive desired outcomes. Tapping into both types of motivation allows contact centers to better satisfy employee needs, foster professional growth and create a workplace conducive to achievement. With features that drive competition, rewards, goals, status, recognition, collaboration, and learning/training, Noble Gamification creates an intersection between company objectives and employee activity and enhances employee engagement.

Button Teal Case StudyTo read more about Sekure’s success with Noble Gamification and how this approach improves agent retention, customer satisfaction, and profitability, please click here.