Typically, people have a negative impression of outbound contact centers because of their negative experiences with unpleasant salesmen, low quality of service, and outdated methods. This is why it is crucial for managers to adapt to changing conditions and adopt cutting-edge technologies if they hope to change perceptions and pave the way to success. In recent years, one of the strongest tools that have emerged for call centers is sales gamification software.
Over half of startups surveyed in a study said they “were integrating gaming elements into their strategy,” suggesting that the gamification of sales is becoming both increasingly common and crucial in the business world.
Call center pain points (and how to solve them)
There are many problems that can arise in outbound call centers, and sales gamification offers some of the top solutions. Managers and staff in call centers have an immense amount of potential to gain from the changes gamification can offer — but only if they are executed correctly! We spoke to one of our top call center clients, Convins, to discuss the major pain points that call centers tend to face.
Here are the pain points they brought up and how they managed to solve them with sales gamification software.
1. Agents lack motivation and are disengaged
One of the first things that Convins wanted to improve was employee motivation. A big issue that we find within these call centers is that their agents tend to lack motivation which then leads to them being disengaged at work. This leads to all kinds of costly issues, like high turnover and low productivity.
How to solve this
We know that the most motivating tool an employer can wield is recognition. One of the biggest benefits of sales gamification tools is the ability to share a public dashboard — and stick it on a big TV screen! After introducing a dashboard with digital sales leaderboards and other relevant data, Convins noticed a huge improvement in their employee engagement level.
The company found that workers would come asking why their appointment wasn't showing up if it didn't display on the screen right away. This means that Convins’ employees have become actively involved in the process and, as such, are paying attention to the screens in the hopes that their name will emerge.
In the past, people used to gather around the physical leaderboard in the hallway to count their scheduled appointments. Those final results were the only ones everyone saw. Thanks to sales gamification software, employees are now positively challenged by the sight of their own performance alongside that of their colleagues. People are able to check in on their work's progress and "like" other activities even while they're not in the office, thanks to the software's mobile app.
Running competitions has also contributed to increased engagement and motivation. People are reinvigorated to better their results, and a sense of healthy competition creates a fun and ambitious atmosphere throughout the office. Convins even noted that their sales numbers increased by 20% in the weeks that they were running a competition!
2. Toxic company culture due to frequent turnover and low morale
When any company doesn’t foster a healthy company culture, more often than not, that road leads to a company culture that is toxic. And when there’s a toxic culture at a company, it leads to a toxic cycle of low morale and frequent employee turnover. But fortunately, there is a way to break the cycle and turn even the most toxic of workplaces into companies where people want to grow their careers.
How to solve this
Having transparency and awareness between managers and co-workers leads to a much healthier and more positive work environment. When a company’s sales gamification tool allows everyone to see each other’s results and relevant company data, you foster a sense of equality and openness that results in good overall culture within the company. Collaboration is encouraged, and people feel more connected to each other.
With company dashboards and TV screen updates and celebrations, it is easy for everyone to stay informed and connected — even throughout different offices and locations. So if Dave makes a sale in the Trondheim office, everyone in the Oslo office immediately knows and can celebrate along with him.
3. High turnover and difficulty recruiting talent
A high turnover rate is the number one problem for most outbound contact centers. Similarly, it is difficult and expensive to recruit talent, retrain that talent, and come off as a desirable workplace.
How to solve this
A way to combat this is by providing a path to learning. By connecting activities to real-world incentives in order to develop mastery, you empower your employees to grow their skillset, which results in higher levels of job satisfaction. And if people feel like they are being challenged and have opportunities for growth, they are way more likely to stay in a job.
Celebrating achievements and milestones together with your colleagues also contributes to happier workplaces and better company culture, which, in turn, reduces turnover rates. Once this occurs, recruiting becomes less costly, and it is much easier to find people that want to work for you.
4. KPIs not reached
The major concern for many contact center managers is ensuring that they hit their targets on a regular basis. However, without performance awareness, recognition or incentives, it’s not surprising that KPIs are consistently not met.
How to solve this
Data visualization changes the game by painting a clear and easy-to-interpret picture of the data and sales results. Suddenly people have a much better idea of how they are performing in comparison to their colleagues, and there is a spike in engagement and motivation–resulting in KPIs being reached.
Providing recognition is also a key factor in driving better performance and meeting goals. People crave recognition for their hard work, and a little can go a long way. In fact, studies found that “83% of employees think it's better to praise someone than give them a gift.”
Sales gamification is an effective tool for giving people the recognition they want most when they perform well. If they make a big sale, it automatically pops up on TV screens to alert their colleagues. Digital leaderboards reflect the top performers and make it simple for managers to give the leader a “job well done.” Someone can win a competition and — in addition to a prize — receive acknowledgment for their achievement from managers and co-workers alike.
How gamification is influencing call centers
Gamification isn’t a new trend — it’s a way of life! Companies all over have been utilizing sales gamification tools as a way to improve productivity and hit goals. Outbound call centers are no different.
Here are four ways that sales gamification has been influencing call centers:
1. Creating stronger company cultures
One of the primary struggles of contact centers is high employee turnover–they experience between 30-45% turnover rates, on average. This leads to poor customer service, low morale, high recruiting costs, and, ultimately, toxic company culture. When people are constantly coming and going, there is never a chance to build solid relationships or a harmonious office culture. It’s chaotic and extremely costly–both financially and socially.
With gamification, employee engagement increases, morale is improved, and agents stay focused on important goals. People work together and celebrate each other’s achievements. Collaboration and knowledge sharing is encouraged. Thus, company culture starts to improve.
2. Empowering unmotivated agents
Lack of motivation is another key problem in the contact center industry. Tedious, repetitive daily tasks and frustrated customers lead to burnout. Employees end up feeling annoyed and unappreciated. Gamification and digital leaderboards put the power back in the agents’ hands by making data simple and efficient, easy to interpret, and readily available.
Suddenly, they have a better understanding of how they (and their colleagues) are performing. The increased awareness leads to a desire for improvement, a greater sense of purpose, and happier workers.
3. Hitting key targets with ease
Not reaching KPIs is a problem for the contact center industry and many other industries alike. Often a shortage of transparency and little awareness of goals results in falling short of these key numbers. Through data visualization and gamification, managers are able to drive behavior on desired KPIs by providing employees with clear and tangible goals and meaningful incentives to hit targets.
Let’s imagine a call center as an example, with a sales director named Mike. If that outbound call center focuses on insurance sales and Mike knows that his sales teams close deals on 1 of every 7 calls, then he immediately knows that by increasing call volume (without diminishing quality), he will directly increase deals closed and revenue generated.
So, Mike sets up a leaderboard to show the top 20 agents who are making the most calls and another that shows the top 10 agents closing the most deals (by quantity, value, or margin). As a result, his teams are more aware of their daily numbers and their impact on bottom-line growth.
4. Breaking the cycle
It can be extremely difficult to break the cycle of monotony in a routine job and workplace. Performing the same tasks over and over–without any awareness of how you are doing and without incentives to perform them–leads to a high percentage of unhappy and disengaged workers.
Contact centers, in particular, tend to have low engagement and high turnover, so breaking the loop — i.e., lack of motivation ➞ staff turnover ➞ weakened company culture ➞ higher recruiting costs ➞ KPIs not reached ➞ lack of motivation, and so on… — is paramount for success.
This is where sales motivation software comes into play. Having TV screens throughout your office/s keeps everyone connected and excited. Running contests creates healthy competition and inspires people to improve their performance. Thus, work becomes fun again, company culture vastly improves, and revenues soar.
Gamification is a great way to break the cycles of mundane tasks and toxic work cultures. Because of this, sales gamification software is useful even for outgoing call centers!
More motivated workers, less turnover, more celebrations, and, best of all, happier customers are just a few clicks away when using gamification software to create a better business culture, happier teams, and a more productive workplace.