Gamification in Call Centers



What is Call Center Gamification?

According to Talkdesk:

Call center gamification is the implementation of game mechanics in the call center as a way to motivate employee engagement and achievement.

Managers or the management teams must have been brainstorming about what game plans to increase productivity within their departments or clusters. They are thinking of what is best for the agents as well as for the company and client. They talk about details, qualifications, game rules, prizes, and most of all the benefits the company will get when imposing this. So, before rolling out the plan, managers and the members of operations should make sure that they have the correct system to extract data, which is important. They ensure that the numbers are visible for everyone.

The Preparation

Meeting and brainstorming are the most important things to happen before laying out the cards. People are more excited when the game is well thought of. They get bored at some point of the competition if there is no thrill. Plan to execute the game and not just announcing it. Show your people that you are excited as the implementor. Print out matters or announcements after discussing the mechanics per team. Ensure that there is participation. The commitment should always follow. Prepare reporting team to send daily or weekly reports depending on your campaign’s set up. And most importantly, display the prizes where it is visible to all the agents. This way, they are motivated to participate.

The Games

There are a lot of stuff – work-station decor contest, race to the top, and many other gamification that is based off popular TV show, like Survivor, Hunger Games, or other ideas like Car Race — these will inject call center key performance indicators like HIGHEST CUSTOMER SATISFACTION RATE, CALLBACK PERCENTAGE and many others.

This will increase productivity for sure. However, you must let your team know the purpose.

What are the disadvantages? While there are a lot of things to benefit from the gamification, there will always be disadvantages. We don’t live in a perfect world, after the gamification, what do leaders want to accomplish? Are they expecting their subordinates to produce good numbers without being awarded? I will end this post with these two questions.



Types of People I Have Met in Call Centers

Working in a fast-paced environment is fun and exciting. Another benefit is meeting different people with diverse culture, beliefs, and traditions. Knowing other people with different walks of lives is awesome.

I have met different types of people during my stay in the BPO industry. Let us meet them one by one.

The Fashionistas

This group of people are crazy about fashion. From the trendy clothes to hippy kicks. (If there is such a term). People in this group are the ones who dress well in the office. They know how to blend colors from top to bottom. The makeups for women – they sport trendy colored lipsticks and stunning looks. Men look good with a semi-formal wear, casual wear and the trendy jogger pants paired with cool kicks.

Best Actress

If you don’t know what I mean, I will tell you who are the actresses. I have met not only one but more actresses in the business. These are people who always make excuses. They act sickly when they don’t want to perform their task. There are protagonists and antagonists for sure.

The AlDub Fans

Just last year I have seen people from my department (not all) are obsessed with the phenomenal AlDub tandem. They talk about the couple during breaks or even on their seats. They continue to talk about the craze while on the elevator during breaks.

The Techie Guy

Techie or not, there are employees who can disable their system to avoid working during their shift work. They are amazing.

There are those that can help customers without following a certain guide to troubleshoot for example.

The Singers

There are call center agents or employees who love singing. They sing on their seats while working which is something good. They are not annoying.

The Sleepyheads

They come to ready – ready with a blanket. Because they tend to headbang in front of their PC, they brought with them a pillow.

 

 

Earning Extra Income

Call center jobs are exciting and exhausting sometimes. Exciting because you get to be trained for weeks because your actual work starts. They say that there are many perks we can get if hired in the call center company. There are daily, weekly and monthly spiffs (depending on the campaign). Spiffs and incentives are the ones that motivate employee along with the good management.

What if you want to earn extra income?

There is no problem about that. While employed, you can do other things to earn money instead of wasting your idle time to useful things why not think of other things that are worthwhile. Again, if you are looking for an extra income why not try and stay away with being lazy.

*Read books about financial or business. Acquaint yourself first if you are a business-minded person then explore that area.

*Create your online business through Facebook, Instagram, and other social media.

*Use your talent. If you love cooking, go ahead and solicit from co-workers what they like. Bring samples of your expertise at work. If they like it then you can start you food business. Just like my former officemate Vanessa Bocabel who is a good wife and loving mother of two brilliant, pretty girls. She uses her love for cooking and now she is earning from her recipes.

*Search online. You can find many online earning sites, like Humanatic, BlogJob and many others. If you want to earn from Humanatic just message me.

*Join UNO, Royal, Alliance and many other Multi-Level Marketing out there.

*Online English teaching are in-demand now. You can also take advantage of this earning part-time.

There are a lot of things you can do to earn that extra money you have been dreaming of.

When are you going to start? Today? Best of luck.

Why Call Center Agents Should Do Call-Backs?

In the call center industry like customer service and sales speed of answer is being measured, abandonment rate as well. When customers call their customer service, the automated machine is the first audio that they will hear. For most, Speech IVR or just IVR is a well-known tool to use by companies whose call volume is at high peak. “Your call is very important to us, please remain on the line for the next available representative”. This is, for most, irritating. I don’t want to stay on the line listening to the music, hold music that is.

To avoid call abandonment, a call center with a callback tool will definitely win the customer’s trust. Because instead of waiting for the next service representative to answer the call, they will have the option to either press their keypad for a callback options and once rep becomes available, they will be called.

To increase satisfaction rate. If a call center company uses this solution, the customer satisfaction rate will improve. If I am the customer, I don’t want to be placed on hold just to listen to a crappy music. I have my own playlist I can listen to and I have a schedule to mind. I call customer service during my bring or lunch time to fix something over the phone. I am a busy person. I am in a hurry and I am on the go — these are the answers you will usually get from people who are working. This is why the call-back process is very important to decrease angry customers. Believe me, when that person who is on hold for about 10 minutes, reaches an agent, next thing is “frustration”

If you are aiming to increase your customer satisfaction and lower the abandonment rate, you should start talking to your team – and start calling back customers. Customers should also have options to press if they want to receive a callback.

Improve Your Customer Satisfaction Score

Nowadays, it is important to provide Excellent Customer Service. According to Zig Ziglar “Customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know you care”. This is absolutely correct. Customers will consider your expertise but will basically look at how you assist them and how you handle their issues with care. Did you listen to what they are saying? Did you use courtesy phrases like please and thank you? Did you let them explain the issue before providing your resolution pieces? If this is all yes, then you are doing the right thing. Most customers does not want to be patronized – they want an immediate response and action. Keep in mine that “because of the customer, you exist”

UntitledLet us enhance your Customer Service

One Call Resolution

This is huge for customer, customer service representatives and the company. Customer calls to get assistance out of their busy schedule and wants it resolve on the first contact to customer service. Service reps play a very important role to deliver what is expected from them. If all reps are providing quality service to resolve the concern during the first contact, call volume will go down. If customers are happy, the company and its employees will be in celebration mode.

Training Department to Enhance Reps’ Courtesy and Concern

Customers does not look into how knowledgeable the service rep is. They are in search for those who really care – those who go an extra mile to resolve the issues. Being polite and simply having quality interactions with the clients are the basic soft skills the agents should have. Concern is not only saying “I apologize” which is now becoming the very basic phrase to say over the phone. Showing concern is necessary by sounding sincere. Do not provide false information.

Provide Recap

Providing summary of the action taken is another way to boost customers’ trust with reps. When a rep recap what he covered in the call, customers will have the impression that he/she is doing his/her part. If there are issue that are not taken then customers will have the chance to work with the same rep instead of calling back to get another help.

Customers does not want to stay on the line for too long. They don’t like waiting and holding with that irritating hold music.

Set Follow-Up

Another reminder is to create follow-up and make sure to deliver. If rep will investigate on the issue, it is best to provide time frame for the follow-up. This is best handled by providing the commit date and the time when you should be calling the customer back for resolution.

If you follow these religiously, you will become a rock star!

 

 

Shift/Schedule Bids

Do you like bidding? Others bid for products and services. I remembered when I attended one fiesta (festival/feast) in my hometown; one of their activities was bidding.  It was one of the traditions to have a money contest – one should have a social box (that contains either a food or something else). The bid will start from the lowest amount, until it reaches the highest amount and no one can bid once the bidding is closed. The highest bidder will get the prize while the money will go to the candidates that night.

Other activities like auctions are well-known for bids.

NOW:

The bid I had known is not only for products. In my current company – or other companies may be doing this – we will have to bid for our preferred shift/schedule. How is it done? Management will give priority to the performing employees. Those who are meeting or exceeding the standards set by the company and the business partner. Good for those who are doing their job properly and bad for those who are not meeting the standards. Another thing is the attendance as a kicker. In case that there is a tie – the attendance will be used to determine who will get the schedule.

People from the management team are doing this to promote performance. They want to challenge their people by imposing such regulations. And will serve as a friendly competition to all the teams in their divisions. Shift bids are performance drivers – it drives performance not only the individual stats but also the team that can contribute to the success of the entire site or company.

Employees are focused on doing what is necessary for them to get the best spot in choosing their schedule. Of course, no one wants to get the not-so-good schedule for the next 3 to 4 months.

First Day High!

Congratulations on your first day at work. Passing the dread exams and interviews are awesome! Welcome to the jungle, I mean welcome to your new environment.

You may not be a total stranger in the corporate world but it is still your first day at work. Most companies do their orientation on your first day.

  1. Be prepared to listen and ask questions as possible because this will take around 7 hours (breaks and lunch are excluded). Most companies do this for one day before you formally start with them. Bring chocolates or candy and a cup of coffee (if your facilitator would allow you)
  2. As much as possible, ask more questions about policies concerning your role. Ask HR about topics that aren’t clear during the discussions.
  3. Get along with new acquaintances. Be ready with your introductions because the next day in the office will be an endless introduction – if you are more than 20 in one training class then that how many minutes of introductions? Try to remember your new colleagues names.
  4. Do not brag too much about your accomplishments. If you are new to the job but have been in the business for quite some time. Make sure to keep your introduction simple and short. Most of the time, people in the class will spot you as bragging when you talk a lot of your personal profile.
  5. Be nice and friendly. You are not here to only earn money for a living but also to earn friends at work. Just be friendly.
  6. Attitude over Skills. Show them that you have skills but make sure that your attitude is at its best. Most companies will rate your performance at work and a big chunk will go to your attitude. Attitude would include – how you act towards work and your relationship as a worker with other people (note professional relationship). Your views are as important as theirs.

Are you ready to take on the challenge?

Survive the Night Shift

Working on a graveyard shift or night shift is quite tiring and exhausting. First, our body is not used to working during the night time. Our body used to be flaccid during the night time. This will change if you are hired in a company that runs 24/7. If you are required to work in the evening you better make adjustments as early as first two weeks at work. If you are a newbie, it will always be difficult during the adjustment stage. Sleep at night is very important for our body to function well.

Let’s take a look and consider the following to survive the night shift:

Take a “Short Naps”

Try to accommodate naps in between working hours. If you are on idle or break make sure to take a nap if you are really sleepy. Of course, you don’t want to be caught sleeping on your desk during idle. Taking a 15-minute nap will boost your memory and energy. Go try it.

Consider Your Sleeping Environment 

Sleeping during day-time is one of the battles a night shifters may encounter. Set your bedroom like it is night-time. How can you do that? Don’t allow light to penetrate your window. Use dark curtains, if possible, turn off lights before going to bed. You can also use eye covers. Eye-gel mask is very effective for me. If you have a sound sleep then you are ready for your next evening shift.

No Gadgets Please

Sleeping time is sleeping time – consider it precious! It not advisable to use your gadgets, phones, tablets or laptops before going to bed. If you want to sleep like a log and enjoy your deep slumber stay away from your mobile devices. Anything that will distract your sleep is not good. Do not use your gadgets two hours before sleeping. (I can’t remember the TV program that said this – it is a Morning Show). If you have a sound sleep then you are ready for your next evening shift.

Take Multi-Vitamins and Healthy Food

Consult your physicians on what vitamins is best for you. Taking such will boost your energy and immune system if your are taking vitamin C or B complex. Do not deprive yourselves with healthy food as well. Munch apples and oranges at work instead of those junk foods.

What are your tips to survive the night shift. Please share!

 

Restricted Items Inside Call Center Floor

If food is not allowed inside the call center production floor, gadgets and other items are restricted inside the call floor.

Why there is a need to follow such regulations within call center offices? As most people know, now, since call center industry is not new to most people, Business Process Outsourcing boomed in the Philippines. Most of the clients or businesses found offices outside of their country – the Philippines. These companies handle various clients that are high profiled thus the need for security measures.

Call center employees are restricted to bring items inside their offices.

Mobile Phones – as this may come handy for everyone, for strict compliance, no one is allowed to bring in a mobile device. These devices can be used to store sensitive information from the company’s database. It can be used to take a photo as well.

Laptops -Everyone except those from the higher management who are given permission to bring in laptops are not allowed to bring these devices inside.

Bags, Pouch, Makeup Kits – Bag and pouch can store mobile phones and other gadgets thus, they are prohibited inside. Make-up kits? I am not sure. I believe employees come to work not to put on make-ups inside. They can put on their make-up before going to work. And they can distract other employees.

Pens, Pencils and Papers – Most businesses prohibit employees from carrying these stuff. We call it “Paperless Environment”. For companies whose businesses main security, like credit cards, telecom, and the likes does not want their employees to get hold of confidential information.

Food“No Food” policy is a big deal. No one can bring in food. You can check the details on the related link: https://blogjob.com/callcenterlife/2015/11/21/no-food-policy-in-the-workplace/

Folders / Envelops – these can be used to secure pertinent information from companies database.

Date Storage Devices – Unfortunately, IT Department is on their toes to disable all ports from the CPUs. So no USB allowed!

Cameras or Video Capturing Devices – this is definitely a no-no. No one is allowed to take photos and videos inside the workplace as confidential information may be captured.

Are these companies really strict or they are only abiding with the rules and regulations? Tell what it’s like in your job?

 

Common Grammar Mistakes of Call Center Agents

English is the primary medium of communication between an agent and a customer. Agents are required to speak in English during the first day of training until agents get separated from the company. In reality, this is not happening. Agents on the production floor communicate in Filipino or other dialects.

Neophytes and seasoned call center agents still encounter grammar mistake when talking and sending an email to the customers. Let’s take a look at these errors.

PIN / TIN Number

To protect customers’ account, every caller must be authenticated. The PIN is a unique identifier of customer’s profile. Once it is given by the caller, customer service representatives are authorized to discuss information to the customer based of PCI or what we call compliance. The mistake is with the way an agent would ask the customer “May I have your PIN number, please?”. This is redundant, he can say PIN without the number because the N in PIN stands for “number”.

During the requirement completion, I have overheard one new hire employee during the orientation. He asked his buddies if they already have their TIN Number with them.

Collective Plural 

What is your favorite musics? It is grammatically incorrect of putting an “s” on music. You can say kinds of music. (That musics on the first sentence triggers an error with Grammarly). An agent asked his customer during the basic troubleshooting steps “Ma’am, how many equipments do you have?” The word equipment does not need an “s” to create a plural form.

Its and It’s 

There is a huge difference when writing its and it’s, however, we can’t tell the difference when we say it. When writing an email to the customer, it is important to note the use of the two. Its” refers to something or  someone’s possession. While “it’s” is a shorter version or form of it is. Examples: The building is huge its elevators are defective. It’s not what I expected.

Possessive Nouns

These nouns show ownership. I own this. I possess this. But how do we write it if we are talking to someone about others’ possession? It is important in an email or chat support campaign to be particular with the use of the apostrophe ‘s. I have encountered some people using a possessive noun when it is unnecessary.

One email reads like this.

Dear Customer’s,

Sincerely Your’s

I found out that there are more than one recipients. The greeting should be written as Customers. And yours.