Anyone who has worked in a customer service job knows the definition of the word “redundant.” It’s often a painfully dull job. Apart from being repetitive, you spend much of the day on the other end of complaints and grievances from customers already upset at having to navigate an automated answering service.
Keeping up office morale is seemingly impossible in such an environment, particularly when trying to engage a generation that’s largely already hostile to traditional jobs, or at the very least may feel undervalued. It doesn’t help when those offices have tuberculosis outbreaks, either.
The answer? Incorporate some of what younger employees enjoy outside the office into their work. If the current reaction to stock shortages of the PlayStation 5 are any indication, gaming sure seems popular.
Here are the ways businesses have tried to bring gamification to the world of customer service, and the surprising ways it’s helped those assisting customers.
Using Gamification Metrics Can Make an Employee Feel Valued
There’s something to be said for the need for validation, though older generations may balk at the concept. The increase in work-from-home jobs and other factors like hating work make a good case for a millennial’s seemingly significant need for recognition and praise.
Holding a weekly contest in which the winner is awarded a prize may seem trifling, but it’s also a great way for businesses to keep track of who is doing well. It’s a game with an objective and a reward, so it will inspire some to be more competitive while giving you the instant feedback you want on who is actually doing well, and who might need further training.
Of course, gamification seminars and keynote addresses deal with much more complicated incentives than weekly prizes, but they often stress starting simple.
The Importance of a Clear Objective
Games have a clear objective: a dragon to slay or a futuristic apocalypse to successfully navigate, for example. Often in customer service, one of the main complaints you’ll hear from employees is that it feels pointless, especially given the level of abuse they take.
Giving employees a clear mission can make them feel like they’re accomplishing something. If their mission is to improve client satisfaction to earn, for example, points, they will be more driven to do so.
The Octalysis Framework
Most bosses today, if they’re of an older generation, have an understanding of the gaming world that ends around Super Mario Bros. Obviously, games have gotten more complex, but that classic is not a bad place to start. It includes much of what comprises Yu-kai Chou’s Octalysis Framework — albeit a very preliminary version.
Chou’s framework was developed over a decade and categorically defines what motivates humans to engage. The framework lays out what strategies can best be employed to enhance motivation. If an employee is lacking in accomplishment, then perhaps progress bars and badges would help.
In some cases, gamification has greatly helped — one study found that 83 per cent of employees who underwent gamified training were more motivated at work. There are, of course, examples of it going horribly awry, with cruel metrics implemented, but some argue that anything that makes getting through a customer service job easier is an improvement.
Kenny Hedges | Contributing Writer