We in the tech industry love our jargon to an extent that many times can be an obstacle to success rather than an enabler. One of the terms that is unfortunately over-used and has been for a few years now is “game changer.” For some reason it is used as an alternative when people don’t wish to characterize something that is also over-used, the word “disruptive.”
I bring this up because there are game changers and then there are games that really are valuable tools in the workplace. Indeed, “gamification” as a means to get either better employee performance by making work more fun, or for enhancing the customer experience to make it more enjoyable as well as merely just satisfying, increasingly is being seen as a welcome addition in many enterprises. And, one place where it has proven effective is in the contact center.
With the above as background, a recent announcement from Indianapolis, IN-based TouchPoint One, provider of the Acuity Cloud Contact Center Performance Management solution, of its A-GAMESM software is certainly of note. As TouchPoint One explained in making the announcement of the solution, and the kick-off of the first annual A-GAMESM Contact Center Performance Football Challenge, A-GAMESM is designed to create a structured individual and team-level competition with the goals of measurably boosting employee engagement, improving business results and enhancing the customer experience.
In case you are skeptical of gamification as a valuable business tools, guess again. TouchPoint One is highlighting that through A-GAME, contact center teams supporting customers from the likes of Sprint, Verizon, Vectren, Duke Energy and Shutterfly are poised to compete for elite operational performance and what they are calling “the coveted league championship.”
“Contact center organizations are seeking turn-key gamification solutions to improve the customer experience, strengthen the work culture and improve business results,” said Greg Salvato, CEO of TouchPoint One. “Acuity A-GAMESM delivers high-impact employee engagement that unites and inspires the entire workforce to achieve exactly these objectives and so many more. We are ecstatic about the start of the 2015 A-GAMESM Contact Center Performance Football Challenge and applaud all of the great companies participating this year.”
Aside from the fact that we all know how friendly competition can really get the juices flowing, the tech side of this is also worth a shout out. A-GAMESM is an integrated gamification module within the Acuity contact center performance management platform. It has been designed to ensure that the related initiatives are completely aligned with the full range of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) relevant to the business. These KPIs include such things as:
It also has the agility to be used as the vehicle for verifying other KPIs associated with contact center performance.
To paraphrase a popular non-tech phrase, happy customer, happy life. Illustrative of this is a testimonial cited by TouchPoint from Jerry Williams, Director of Customer Care at Sprint who said: “We are always looking for new ways to support, encourage and develop camaraderie among our agents…When TouchPoint One contacted us about A-GAME, we didn’t hesitate a moment to participate. It’s a logical extension of Acuity’s primary functions, which deliver tremendous value to us, and smart approach to leverage game mechanics in a way that is consistent with our business objectives and gets our entire operation engaged and motivated.”
The way this works at is simple. You create your own sports or other themed leagues and A-GAMESM automatically facilitates setting up tournament competitions. Since this is gamification, care has been taken to make this realistic. Hence, A-GAMESM allows the “league commissioner” to set up such things as special recognition and award options for most valuable or improved player, coach of the year, etc.
For the inaugural football themed competition, TouchPoint One is starting the season just after Labor Day and concluding it when the NFL season ends in late December. In other words, it will last 17 weeks. TouchPoint One will award the A-GAME Global Performance Trophy to the top performing team and recognize the agent MVP among all participating companies.
There has always been a pejorative connotation to the phrase “that’s just fun and games” when someone is describing business processes and practices that they believe are nonsensical and unproductive. What gamification is proving is that fun and games can be good for business. In fact, as an employee motivator with ultimate benefits redounding to customers a little friendly and compelling competition can be very good for business and the nice thing is that just how good is measurable.