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Tips and Techniques from the Gamification PlayBook 

Having just wrapped up our research for the 2017 Gamification Product and Market Report, DMG Consulting is happy to report that gamification is alive (and thriving) in contact centers. The staying power of gamification, however, is not happenstance. Gamification methodology is rooted in the principles of behavioral science: motivation, reinforcement, reward and behavior modification. In the contact center, gamification is about agent engagement and the use of game mechanics, recognition and intrinsic and extrinsic rewards to drive and sustain desired behaviors. And it’s fun.

While gamification is essentially a science, the reward component is an “art.” Companies that are succeeding with gamification at any level are investing in a good mix of both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards that resonate with the demographics of their workforce. Here are a few of the more inspired and resourceful ways gamification is being used to engage and reward agents, particularly Millennial-dominated environments.

Social responsibility: Corporate and social responsibility are important values for today’s workforce. Gamification programs can be used to reward agents for performing community service in corporate-sponsored programs. One gamification vendor teamed up with a local environmental program to allow agents to redeem reward points by “going green” and having a tree planted in their name.

Peer mentoring/challenges: Agents learn best from each other, so it’s a win-win when agents are permitted to wager their reward points to “level-up” a peer’s performance. Some gamification solutions allow agents to compete against themselves, wagering that they can improve their own performance by a certain amount or goal. Others provide the ability to create direct peer-to-peer contests between two challengers, where the winner takes all.

Employee feedback: A key to keeping agents engaged and motivated is involving them and soliciting their input. A few of the gamification solutions include a “virtual suggestion box,” enabling agents to submit their ideas and receive rewards based on dollars saved by implementing the idea, or other pre-defined criteria.

Multi-level games: Pursuits or quests with multiple levels are gaining in popularity and are helping to keep participants engaged and motivated. The degree of difficulty and commensurate rewards increase as agents successfully progress though the pursuit. New-hire on-boarding is a common use of multi-level quests.

Social community: Gamification vendors are building out the social components of their platforms to enable agents to communicate with each other, recognize and celebrate successes, and draw on tips and techniques from peers or subject matter experts who have already “mastered the challenge.” Agents may be able to create an online persona using a photo or customizable avatar. In some cases, reward redemption includes the ability to unlock accessories that elevate the status of agents’ online alter ego.

Fantasy leagues: One vendor’s sports-themed gamification solution allows members of the executive suite to get in the game by creating fantasy leagues comprised of named agents. The leagues compete against each other, and management can “coach” their players via the social community. These virtual challenges and competitions give new meaning to the concept of corporate bowling or softball leagues. This vendor also supports league challenges between their clients, and supplies signage, snack/beverage coolers, and trophies for clients who participate.

Final Thoughts

Successful gamification programs are based on the fundamental principle that people are motivated by different things. In order to successfully motivate and engage people, gamification programs must incorporate a wide variety of both competitive and non-competitive challenges, as well as tangible and intangible rewards. Sustained interest and engagement is achieved when new challenges and relevant rewards are introduced on a continuous basis. To learn more about the gamification market, see DMG’s 2017 Gamification Product and Market Report.

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