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Gamification: It’s Time for Contact Centers to Get into the Game
Gamification is an emerging application that has captured the attention of managers, employees and customers. These new applications are starting to catch on and are being incorporated into internal production environments and customer-facing websites to engage and retain employees and customers. The developing market of packaged gamification solutions provides companies with a framework, development environment and tools, and possibly a portal to use to create their own customized programs.
Early adopters of gamification solutions are seeing impressive results. This should come as no surprise; gamification methodology is rooted in the principles of behavioral science: motivation, reinforcement, reward and behavior modification. Gamification is about using game mechanics, intrinsic and extrinsic rewards and recognition to drive desired behaviors from employees and customers alike.
Gamification is ideal for staff-intensive environments and operating areas like contact centers and back offices, where it can be used as an agent empowerment tool. Gamification solutions provide agents with real-time performance data that is directly tied to the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter most to them. These solutions are being used to motivate agents to improve their performance and rank by giving them challenges, tasks, activities, and quests, etc. that are designed to “level-up” their performance. Many of these solutions also come with internal social media communities to foster collaboration, encourage peer support, and provide a fun and welcome diversion without disrupting the chief goal of the department: delivering an outstanding customer experience.
The potential for applying gamification to real-world experiences is far-reaching. DMG expects to see more contact center vendors incorporate gaming techniques into their solutions through internal development, partnerships and/or acquisitions, making these capabilities more readily available. Gamification has not yet started to enter the back office, but the potential here is also great. DMG expects the next two years to be highly productive for gamification providers, as organizations use these solutions to help reduce customer effort in self-service environments, reward customers for returning to their websites and handling activities on their own, and for their loyalty in general. In addition, gamification solutions help organizations positively engage with their customers via social community channels. Although most of the demand for gamification is currently coming from the United States, it is expected to catch on in many countries around the world because of the influence of the Millennial generation, which grew up with electronic gaming. DMG anticipates interest and demand for gamification functionality to grow quickly, and it will likely become a standard component of contact center WFO solutions.
The competitive landscape for gamification is changing rapidly. When DMG started researching this emerging sector in May 2014, there were only a few vendors who offered gamification solutions for contact centers. By the time we completed the research a few months later, three new solutions had emerged and quite a few other vendors had indicated that they planned to make investments in this area in the near future. The top contact center gamification vendors are: Badgeville, Bunchball, ClearView, NGUVU, PlayVox and Snowfly. Prospects should carefully assess each of these solutions, as they are very different from one another.
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Ask the Experts
What are visual IVR applications and why should they be considered as part of our customer self service portfolio?
The worlds of IVR and mobility are colliding, and the result is visual IVR. Visual IVR is a relatively new concept where a company creates a menu-driven interface for their IVR, website and mobile applications. The process is conceptually simple, but requires a uniquely designed interface.
Here’s how it works. The IVR script is translated into a visual display of options, and presented to users via the Web or mobile device (smartphone) so that customers or prospects can conduct their business by touching or clicking an option. As most people can read a sentence much more quickly than they can listen to it spoken, this affords them the power, capabilities and flexibility of IVR in significantly less time.
One reason why visual IVR is catching on is because these applications are designed to allow companies to build the visual interfaces without rewriting their existing IVR applications. Although the content of the user interfaces (UIs) required for mobile devices is totally different from what is presented verbally over a traditional IVR or speech recognition application, much of the existing code and application is used, and the primary change is in how it is presented.
All companies that use IVRs should consider the opportunity to increase utilization by offering IVR capabilities to their customers and prospects via a smartphone application. To do so, companies should work with a vendor that offers this next-gen IVR functionality, and use the services of a visual IVR expert to build the mobile application and UI. It’s important to avoid the same mistakes that many companies have made with their traditional IVRs: assuming that any programmer can build an IVR script or voice user interface (VUI). This has never been the case, and remains one of the primary reasons why so many IVRs are poorly designed and executed.
DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.