How Gamification Makes Customer Service Fun

Description: This traditional customer service experience is process-oriented, tedious, and it leaves customers frustrated and dissatisfied, says Girish Mathrubootham, founder and CEO, FreshDesk.


Date: March 3, 2014


FreshDesk uses gamification to incent employees to provide fast, effective and fun customer service for helpdesk ticketing, automation and customer forums, says Mathrubootham. The model for the solution was Apple’s Genius bar, he says.

“Our first thought was, ‘How do we make this more fun and more engaging for the people providing the support?'” Mathrubootham says. “Obviously we wanted happy customers, but what we realized from talking about models like Apple’s is that happiness is contagious.”

If the customer service agents are happy, engaged and invested in delivering quality support, then they will pass that onto customers. And gamification can be a great way to increase this engagement and satisfaction both from an agent and a customer standpoint,” Mathrubootham says.   READ REST OF STORY 

Questions for discussion:

1.  What is gamification and why is it important?

2.  What potential applications do you see for gamification and in what industries will this add the greatest value?


61 thoughts on “How Gamification Makes Customer Service Fun

  1. shane grant

    Gamification is the process of using game thinking and mechanics to engage an audience and solve problems. It is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems. Gamification has been studied and applied in several ways such as to improve user engagement physical exercise, data quality, timeliness, and learning exercises. Most studies show that gamification has positive effects as it makes boring activities more engaging and more stimulating. Future potential applications could be things like making working out more competitive and fun for people who are not so active. This is also helping a lot in the education system for youth as it makes things like math seem like playing games while actually learning.

  2. bayo adejumo

    Gamification is the application of game thinking and mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems. This would make problem solving exciting, due to the long and boring steps involved in solving problems especially in the area of customer service. Personally I find the process of getting through to customer service agents stressful and time consuming I mostly get read of the product if I can afford to go to the company. It would really give customers a high level of satisfaction if gamification can be improved and can be implemented in more areas.
    One visible area of application for gamification is marketing . For instance we have a lot of applications that involve users in games just to earn credit that be use to buy things on the internet white market with adverts on the side.This use would increase greatly in the future.

  3. Mark(Xiangyuan Ma)

    Gamification is a technology that can provide small games for workers and employees. It is a very creative idea. Some people like to get reward for whatever they are doing, so this technology will motivate employee to work harder and give customer better service experience. However, I believe it is not the best way to solve the problem that customer is unsatisfied with the service. Personally, if I have a problem, I expect that someone will help me to solve it in a short time since I paid for it. I do not care how fun or how boring it is. No matter how fun the game is, will it be more fun to do something that I want to do in other place? I think the best way to solve the problem is to spend more money on hire people who are good at what they do and passionate about it. That way, the customer would be always satisfied with the service. I strongly suggest to save the money from invest a “Gamification” and use them on hiring skillful workers. I believe that most of the people have the same feelings.

  4. Julie Anderson

    Gamification in my mind is where you turn monotonous tasks into a game or a competition in order to improve or “level up”. It can be very important to motivate employees to care more about their work, put genuine effort it, and enjoy their jobs more. It can be an issue to select one method to motivate all of your employees. Not all of them will react to gamification, as seen with the older customer service representatives. It is new and exciting and has many possibilities, but I think companies need to be careful to not view it as a perfect solution. Methods of motivation are much more effective when they are customized to employees and their work style, not blanketed over the entire staff. One way to customize gamification is to tailor different types of rewards to different types of employees. Some employees may want a bonus, some may want vacation time, and some may want formal recognition.
    I think that gamification can be used in almost any industry. With every job, you will have some form of task to accomplish. If your company can find a way to make that task more interesting and rewarding, I think they should do that. There will have to be safeguards in place to protect employees, employers, and consumers though. Often with increased speed, quality will suffer. And if employees begin trying to work too quickly, safety regulations may be left behind. But if there is a well rounded scoring system which includes safety and quality control, this process can be highly effective.

  5. yuxuan.hou

    Based on the article from this article, i see that Gamification is the process of using game thinking and mechanics to engage an audience and solve problems. gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems. Gamification has been studied and applied in several domains, such as to improve user engagement physical exercise return on investment, data quality, timeliness, and learning. A review of research on gamification shows that most studies on gamification find positive effects from gamification. gamification is very important because Gamification is currently being applied to customer engagement, employee performance, training and education, innovation management, personal development, sustainability, health and wellness

  6. Chelsea Minor

    Gamification is the application of game elements and involving them in a business setting. Basically it is taking boring and repetitive tasks and making them fun for both the employee and the customers. The happiness and satisfaction of the customers can be directly related to the happiness and satisfaction the employee experiences every day at work. Like the article said happiness is contagious. FreshDesk uses gamification to incent to provide fast, effective, and fun customer service. Customer service agents can level up by completing specific achievements. They can also gain trophies for being a “speed racer” which means they completed the work the fastest. Workers compete against each other for awards to make it competitive. FreshDesk found that by using gamification issues that arose were resolved quicker and the levels of customers satisfaction was higher. However with every introduction of a new process comes some negative backlash. By using this new type of customer service over traditional customer service it upset long-time customer service professionals. The older generations found that it seemed people believed the job was a joke instead of taking it seriously, while the younger generations loved this new type of customer service. As the article stated this is a completely new way to deal with the customer service field. I believe that restaurants and clothing industries that have a lot of customer interaction could benefit from using gamification. Gamification is a great way to get employees motivated and because incentives follow it can also boost employee morale and as I stated before happiness is contagious so a happy employee often leads to a happy customer.

  7. Ekow Botwe

    Gamification is the use of game thinking and mechanics in non game context to engage users in problem solving..gamification increases customer involvement and also encourages employees to have delight in their work. As we all know game play incites the human brain and proven mechanical from gaming can be brought into marketing as well. As a result of customers keen on for reward, status achievement, competition and self expression, they will try as much as possible to engage with the businesses that give it to them. Gamification also pleases the customers and involves them by way of content and brand, whiles pushing significant value for you business. Gamification can be used as a business strategy by collecting information about customers and customize marketing messages based on this information. Establishing customer loyalty is another benefit. This system can be most effective in all service industries where rendering customer service is key. this will be beneficial to most businesses because most. Gamification awarding points or prizes to customers is a big boost and a more traditional marketing tactic.This is a real time world we live in so the need for feedback is essential to figure out how to engage in gamification and using it to build a better business. Gamification also helps reshape corporate training. Most times companies have hard times having employees attend corporate training so adding a little fun might help to get them involved or motivate them to attend these courses. “If you can gamify the process, you are rewarding the behavior and its like a dopamine release in the brain” (Frank Farral).

  8. Nothando Ngwenya

    According to a websearch that I did, gamification is the use of game-like thinking and techniques, into other areas of life, for example, in this case, for customer service. I do not understand fully how this is beneficial, but with an understanding that a vast majority of the population likes playing games in their downtimes, I am persuaded by the fact that it does, in fact, improve customer service for both those giving and receiving it. It has been proven, in any kind of workplace set up, that if an employee enjoys his job, he is able to produce great results, regardless of what the job it. This can be significantly improved if they are able to carry out their tasks in a way that works well for them and brings joy to them, not necessarily a way that their supervisor would have liked to have them do it. This could mean that, if employees are the ones who are providing online customer service, instead of it simply being what computers do, then it would be great if they could carry out what would otherwise be a monotonous job in a way that brings them joy from the variety it could bring. There is also the customer side of things with this. As the article mentioned, customers are not exactly delighted by the fact that they constantly get greeted by machines that take them through motions that bring them no joy whatsoever. To add onto that, adding a human element will not help the situation if the humans who are providing customer service are grumpy and boring. Gamification is a great way in which to make the experience have fun when they are being served. Being served by someone who is doing their job well in the first place is wonderful, but being served by someone who is doing their job well and also in a fun way just adds to the quality of the service being given, especially if it is given to one who enjoys games themselves. As long as it does not cost more than it needs to, I think that gamification should be used during customer service sessions, but only as an option, as it may be pointless and even more frustrating for people who do not enjoy games, than simple, normal service from a recoded machine.

  9. Britney Anderson

    Gamification is the process of applying game elements and design to non-game applications, in order to make the applications more fun and engaging for users. As the article illustrated, gamification is becoming increasingly valuable in the customer service industry. Gamification is being used to drive more happy and productive employees, which will ultimately result in more satisfied customers. Gamification is used as incentive to get customer service representatives to provide fast and effective customer service. For example, FreshDesk uses a point system to award employees for fast issue resolution, high customer satisfaction, etc. And employees can also ‘level up’ once they have reached specific achievements. Gamification gives employees an incentive to improve their performance by rewarding good performance. It also gives employees a goal to work towards, which also fosters self-improvement.

    One potential application for gamification is marketing. For example, in the past, AirMiles used to encourage collectors to achieve “gold” status by using progress bars and stars. AirMiles would show you how many miles you had earned towards the total, using progress bars. AirMiles would also use progress bars to show collectors how many different vendors they had shopped at, and how many more were needed in order to achieve “gold” status. Gamification is also being used to encourage user participation on social media websites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Social media sites used progress bars to encourage users to fill out complete profiles and use the website’s various features. I can also see gamification being applied to learning and training applications as well. Gamification can make learning fun for small children. But, gamification can also make workplace training fun and more engaging for adults, and could encourage adults to continually learn new things and attend more conferences and training sessions.

  10. Samantha Mazury

    Gamification is important because it increase both customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction, which go hand in hand in the overall support system experience. The happier the employee, the better support and service they will provide, and the better satisfied the customer will be. Gamification starts at improving overall efficiency and happiness at the bottom end (being the employee) to improve the overall ending product (the service provided to the customer) at the top end. They do this by making work a “game”. By setting goals and achievements employees have something to work for while ultimately having fun. This in turn improves the service given to customers, making the one on one communication less painful, less frustrating, and more ultimately and more positive and beneficial experience?

    I see this concept of gamification being implicated in any industry involving customer service. I strongly believe that this use of gamification to motivate employees through goals, achievements, and such will ultimately improve the service they provide to customers, which will in turn improve customer satisfaction. I believe that the Hospitality industry would be one industry where gamification could be implemented and easily adapted. By giving employees more incentives, they will want to provide better service and work more efficiently and effectively to complete specific company set goals. Another industry this concept of gamification could be used in could in the retail industry. By giving employees target sales goals, with promise of certain achievements then they will be more motivated to provide better service. Therefore ultimately I see the most value of this concept of gamification being implemented in any service industry involving customer service.


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