Managing a call center team isn’t easy. Call center agents are customer service providers 24/7, which means they need to deal with customers with varying moods all day.
Due to the nature of their work, it’s common to see call centers struggle with low agent engagement. And if managers aren’t paying attention, this dynamic can severely impact work performance, customer satisfaction, and other aspects of their operation.
While there are plenty of ways to engage call center agents, there is one low-cost, fun way to boost motivation and general satisfaction with your employees – games!
Why do games help call center agent engagement?
Games might seem juvenile at first glance, but gamification is a popular and highly effective way to engage your staff, no matter their age. By mixing a bit of fun with performance incentives at your call center, you might see more sales, more smiles, and more engagement!
Motivational games can also boost agents’ productivity at work, and there are many different kinds of games to play. Here are a few additional reasons to add games to your call center agent engagement strategy:
Contact centers don’t always have the budget for an employee trip or paid course. Games and activities are usually low cost, and their impact comes from creativity and planning.
They assist with training and performance.
The best games are not only fun, but also opportunities for learning. Some games, when executed properly, can help agents absorb and internalize information more effectively while boosting their performance.
They bring your team together
Games create a great structure for team bonding. This is especially true for call centers that operate remotely, or for call centers that have become remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
8 great games to boost call center agent engagement.
So what are you waiting for? Check out our list of games and activities to try with your team of call center agents:
Contact Center Knockout.
Contact Center Knockout is a great game to play if you don’t have a lot of time or resources. A dry marker board is all you need!
- Draw a grid on the dry marker game, with a box for each member of your crew.
- Anytime an agent makes a sale, they can put their initials inside the box. Once all the boxes are filled, agents can “knockout” other agents from their boxes with more sales.
- If an agent makes a significantly large sale, or if they receive excellent feedback from a customer, they can “lock” the box so nobody else can take it.
- The call center manager chooses the winning boxes before the game begins, and whoever has initials in those boxes get a prize. Some centers use cash, gift cards, early sign offs or sleep-ins, and food for prizes.
This game is a great way to add a bit of fun competition to your agents’ day-to-day, and encourage more sales.
Zip Code Bingo.
Call center agents deal with diverse customers from different areas all the time. Zip code Bingo uses that diversity to help drive engagement.
- Managers give agents bingo cards with zip codes instead of numbers. For example, 101 for Manhattan NY, or 103 for Staten Island, NY.
- Agents cross out those zip codes after speaking to a customer who lives in that area.
- The first agent who gets a line, cross, or “full house” gets a prize.
This game helps agents become efficient in their calls, as they want to move onto the next customer to cross out another postal code. While this is usually a good thing, it’s important to make sure agents aren’t rushing calls to the detriment of the customer’s experience.
Call Center Monopoly.
For call center monopoly, all you need is a pen and paper, and a die.
- Create a new monopoly board, but with property names relevant to the call center. Keep the “Go to Jail,” “Chance,” and “Community Chest” squares, however.
- Set aside 10-15 minutes each week or each day to play.
- Each participant gets monopoly money before the game begins, and can roll the die once they meet a certain KPI target. For example, reaching a number of sales in one day. Each time they pass go, they collect a certain amount of money.
- Instead of spending Monopoly money on property or hotels, the goal is to keep as much of the money as you can over time.
- After an extended period of time, perhaps a couple of months, players can use their monopoly money on prizes like more breaks, early sign off, lunch with the CEO, or any other treats you feel could work.
This game is great for coworker communication and interaction, and long-term productivity boosts.
Snakes & Ladders.
For this game, you’ll need a large snakes & ladders board to post on a wall, or somewhere else that the team can easily access.
- Agents can roll the dice if they receive positive feedback on the IVR survey
- The survey asks about the customer’s experience – specifically, how much effort the call took, on a scale from 1 to 9.
- If the agent receives a 9, they can roll the dice and move up or down the board.
This game is a great way to encourage call center agents to ensure customers are satisfied with their calls. It’s also a great way to make use of Fonolo’s Web Call-Backs (formerly Visual IVR) system, which is accessible, multi-lingual, and gives your agents real-time updates on the status of your call-backs.
Mystery Prize is another cost-effective game that boosts agent engagement.
- Hide a prize somewhere in your call center. Make sure it’s a prize that won’t easily be found or guessed by your team.
- The agent who performs the best on a decided metric each day gets a clue. Each clue should help the agent get closer and closer to the prize.
- The first person that finds the prize wins.
This game really helps agents boost their performance using metrics that are timely and relevant to your call center’s needs.
Quality Scores Baseball.
- Every month or every year, hold a competition for agents to win “home runs” based on their performance
- The agent with the most home runs at the end of the month or year wins tickets to a baseball game.
- You can alter the theme of this game to suit different sports preferences, like basketball, tennis, or football, depending on what your team enjoys.
This game helps agents prioritize performance over the long term. While quick wins are always nice, incentivizing a longer-term, strong performance can help keep sales steady
Agent Target Practice.
This game is a great way for agents to relax and enjoy themselves without thinking about sales for a moment. It’s important to decompress sometimes too, so this could be a great way to give employees that little break that they need to jump back into making those sales!
- Separate your agents into teams
- Each team rolls the die to determine how many bean bags or tennis balls they can throw.
- Managers decide the value of points for each target.
- The first team to reach an agreed-upon number of points wins!
- The winning team gets a small prize.
Get your call center into a festive mood.
Holidays are great opportunities to get your call center in a festive mood. Managers and employees might share culturally festive foods and treats to share on the days nearing Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and more.
There are also many opportunities throughout the year to play holiday games. You could have a leprechaun relay or St. Paddy’s Day trivia for St. Patrick’s Day. Or, you could try a Halloween Jinx or candy corn game for Halloween.
Don’t force your call center agents to participate.
While the benefits of engaging employees through games are clear, it’s important to remember that if anything is forced, it’s not fun. Some agents might not be comfortable with the public competition or exposure brought on by workplace games. Additionally, if a manager forces their agents to play a specific game, it can be seen as patronizing.
Instead of deciding on one game for everyone to play, allow your agents to choose which game they’d like to play. And, if they don’t want to play any games, ask them about any other ideas they have. Taking your agents’ voices and opinions into account increases their engagement because it helps them feel valued.
The bottom line.
Call center agents learn a lot from their day-to-day work, and the many call centers offer opportunities for learning and growth. However, when it comes to your job, culture is important too. Having quality time with your coworkers and management, enjoying each others’ company, celebrating holidays, and having a little fun once in a while goes a long way with employee engagement.