Can 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.

Source: cio.com

Date: March 3, 2014

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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?

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20 thoughts on “Can Gamification Makes Customer Service Fun

  1. Jingyue Wang

    gamification makes the process of connecting with customer service more interesting than usual. It makes the process more engaging for both customers and customer service representatives. If the customer service agents are in good mood, they will give high quality support, then they will pass that onto customers. The important thing of gamification is gamification can bring several benefits to businesses. First, most gamification platforms require users to log in with a valid email address or social media network, so these gamification platforms are able to gather data on people who is using the platform and see what they do on their website, or sending ads to their emails. Second, when customers are participating on the platform, the operator can ask them for feedbacks. Also, gamification could be a great educational tool. For a business, it is easier to introduce customers to a new product that the business may just have launched because gamification make the process more enjoyable and creative.

    Reply
  2. Waylon

    A revolution is quietly impacting the way organizations educate students and workers. Gamification is increasingly being integrated into curriculums and courses. Incorporating game play produces a better educational experience by adding realism, fostering competition and delivering quicker progress feedback. The value for the organization and worker is compelling: improved problem solving and collaboration skills, higher learner engagement and greater knowledge retention. Organizations should consider how best to leverage Gamification methods into their most important training regimes.
    Gamification programs blend the principles of video game play, social networking, data analytics and behavioural psychology into a formidable platform for inciting change and engagement. Organizational training and education is a natural place to include gaming. The teaching/learning process is often dull, data starved and overly mechanical, which depresses student engagement and makes the linking of training results to business value difficult. Gamification accelerates learning by leveraging the power of digital technology and intrinsic motivators such as: providing instantaneous feedback (mastery), egging on the competition (social interaction), and rewarding even tiny steps of progress (recognition).
    Another benefit to having customers log in and participate on your website is that it allows you to use them as a sounding board. Companies like Allstate and GE have turned to crowdsourcing to help them come up with answers to complex business questions

    Reply
  3. Danae

    Gamification is a way to encourage employees in their work by providing a form of competition or some sort of ‘game’ for them to ‘play’. The goal is to provide an incentive to employees through the use of a game in order to improve their work performance. If employers invest in their employees through a game, the result will be happier employees who provide better, high-quality customer service. The return on this investment is happier, satisfied customers who will provide positive feedback to employers. Customer service agents don’t necessarily have the best reputation and I’ve definitely heard many frustrating stories from family and friends about the phone calls they have had. If the employees we interact with have better attitudes, it will allow us to have a better experience. Instead of dreading that customer service phone call, we will have a positive attitude about that call. North Americans value their time and they don’t like spending it on phone calls with grumpy employees who don’t seem to give them any guidance. Well-trained employees with an incentive to do well will provide a better experience to customers. These customers will then feel like their time is not being wasted but rather, they benefited from it.

    Reply
  4. Samantha

    Gamification is the new wave customer service experience. It was designed for the employees running the service. It engages customer service agents and gives them incentive to provide fast, fun and effective customer service. If agents are happy and engaged, customers will follow suit. Customer service is essentially turned into a game where, the employee wins, but ultimately the customer wins.

    Playing the game is simple, points are awarded for quick resolution and customer satisfaction. Gents are also able to level up and collect trophies. This new approach to customer service is innovative, but does have much opposition from traditional service companies with traditional methods.

    This approach could have amazing results in the world of IT. Happy engaged employees to resolve my issues would keep me loyal to companies in which I buy product from. An industry that should adopt this approach is the banking sector. Have you ever called your bank helpline and needed information or a statement? Tedious and monotonous! A happy useful agent who made me feel like a name and not a number would keep me loyal in such a competitive industry.

    Reply
  5. Ajay

    Gamification is a competition based game which provides incentives for the employees. This will engage employees to provide fast, effective, and most importantly, FUN customer service. The idea behind this concept is to provide a “happy” interaction between both the customer and the customer service representative. This will help customers resolve their issues in a shorter period of time, to enable customer service representative to help more customers. This will level-up the employee, which is the whole purpose of this “game”. If customers are happy with the service, they will provide positive feedback to others which can increase the demand of the business.

    This idea can be very beneficial to all companies who offer a “Help-Line” service. It will make customers happier to call in, and also it was engage the employees to offer good service. This can cut a lot of costs that companies endure in trying to resolve issues with angry customers. It can also create a positive and competitive environment for employees to work in. Making the customer happy can also make the employee internally motivated. This will make them want to close as many tickets as they can. Gamification would change the concept of “Help-Line” services completely

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  6. Michelle

    Gamification is making the process for customer service more enjoyable and fun for both the customer and the customer service representative by increasing the interaction between the customer and the employee. The FreshDesk Gamification approach which is a optional package, offers the employee to learn and master different kinds of customer service activities like: quick issue resolution, speed efficiency, low instances of reoccurring problems, which all result in customer satisfaction.
    The employee learns different strategies and solutions to provide better customer satisfaction by earing points and moving up through different levels. This is definitely a different and new approach to customer service but if the end results are positive and there are far more happy customers then why not right? I also think by having the privilege to interact with a customer service representative is definitely a positive thing especially for a customer who is wanting to talk to a representative over a product that they are not fully happy about. Having a happy and trained employee will only enhance the situation leaving it with fast results and a satisfied customer. By offering gamification the business will save time and money making production more efficient as well as beneficial for both the customers and employees.

    Reply
  7. Sheldon

    Gamification is an incentive and competition based game created to not only engage customer service representatives, but also motivate them to perform more effectively and efficiently. The idea behind this is that a happier and more engaged representative will not only change the tone of an interaction, but likely resolve said interaction quicker as well. Great customer service and resolution centers are of extreme benefit to any company, especially now that in many industries, the price of a product or service is equal among many competitors. Having a great customer service experience is likely something all of us would appreciate, and the utilization of Gamification will hopefully bring that dream to reality. While the “Game” is actually for the service representatives and not the customers, dealing with a positive, speedy, and knowledgeable voice on the other end of the phone is truly seen as an invaluable asset to many businesses. Application by not only major chains, but also smaller businesses is possible as well. However, the true test will be the outsourced call centers that endless businesses use to resolve issues, answer question, troubleshoot devices, and so much more. The ability to make the representative’s job more fun can be viewed from an employee retention perspective as well. So, regardless of what side of the call on may be on, the goal is a better overall interaction.

    Reply
  8. Blake

    Gamification is a way to engage both employees and customers to enhance the customer service experience. It allows the customer to interact via social media. It also allows the employees in a company to have fun with customer service and pass this positive attitude onto the customers. By doing this it makes the customers feel good about their experience with customer service. Which most all of us can relate and tell a story about horrible customer service and tedious phone calls. This is important because if a company has excellent customer service they will retain and attract new customers and increase their profits. The employees also have incentive programs to make their delivery of customer service better for the customer. By having incentive programs such as a point system for good customer service, quick fixes, and less repeat complaints employees can work toward trophies and other incentives to continue to give outstanding customer service.

    I think Gamification will only improve customer service and will continually be improved upon to give customers the best service and experience they can. Customer service has such a negative connotation right now that it is important for businesses to improve this and they will in return will retain and gain customers. The industry that this will impact the most I think is the technology industry. With technology advancing at such a rapid pace it is making life easier for some and more complicated for others. The initial set-up is usually the most confusing part for people and they need help to get to the next step. However they think “Oh, no” they will have to talk to some tech. geek that will be of no help to them. By companies putting Gamification into their business this will make customers not want to just throw their computer, TV, fridge, etc. out the window. Customers will feel good about calling customer service because on the other end will be a happy person who is more then willing to help you and make your experience with them quick and painless.

    Reply
  9. Ashley S

    “Gamification” is an incentive, used by companies like FreshDesk, to promote fast, effective, and fun customer service. The idea behind gamification is that if customer service agents are happy and engaged in delivering great support, the customers will then feel the same enthusiasm. When offering customer support, gamification is used to promote quick issue resolution, good customer satisfaction reviews, etc. CSAs can achieve new “levels” based on specific scenarios, and more points are given out to add to their scores.

    Rewards for different skill levels are also given, thereby creating incentive for agents to shoot further and continually improve. An example of a skill level is “Speed Racer”, where the agent who resolves issues quickly is recognized. Agents compete against each other for “trophies”, which even further encourages them to do well in their jobs due to the added level of competition amongst coworkers.

    If gamification is being effectively used in promoting better customer service, while still maintaining a level of professionalism in the workplace, those who deal primarily in phone-sector customer service could see huge jumps in both customer happiness and employee productivity. Though this concept may not reduce costs in an industry, it boosts employee morale and can aid a company’s reputation by giving superior service in what can be a very boring area of that business.

    Reply
  10. Ashley S

    “Gamification” is an incentive, used by companies like FreshDesk, to promote fast, effective, and fun customer service. The idea behind gamification is that if customer service agents are happy and engaged in delivering great support, the customers will then feel the same enthusiasm. When offering customer support, gamification is used to promote quick issue resolution, good customer satisfaction reviews, etc. CSAs can achieve new “levels” based on specific scenarios, and more points are given out to add to their scores.

    Rewards for different skill levels are also given, thereby creating incentive for agents to shoot further and continually improve. An example of a skill level is “Speed Racer”, where the agent who resolves issues quickly is recognized. Agents compete against each other for “trophies”, which even further encourages them to do well in their jobs due to the added level of competition amongst coworkers.

    If gamification is being effectively used in promoting better customer service, while still maintaining a level of professionalism in the workplace, those who deal primarily in phone-sector customer service could see huge jumps in both customer happiness and employee productivity. Though this concept may not reduce costs in an industry, it boosts employee morale and can aid a company’s reputation by giving superior service in what can be a very boring area of that business.

    Reply
  11. Jeff Fero

    Gamification in this instance is being used as a way to motivate employees, by creating competition. In many instances this type of competition could detract from customer service, however, when the competition is customer service I am sure it proves to be quite useful. The reason it is a useful and important method right now is because of the generation that is slowly taking over the work place. Generation Y, many of whom truly relate to and enjoy the aspect of Gamifacation. Should you try this on a group of traditionalists, it might not go over so well. However, Generation y is the current majority and will continue to be so for a while, and this means that this trend of Gamification can prove to work in many aspects of work. It reminds me of the TV show the office, where they try to offer an uninspired prize for whoever makes the most sales but no one really cares, because no one can relate. Only the prize is actually sought after in Gamification. Depending on the corporate culture, if an organization can actually build some sort of worth into an employee “leveling up”, then there is a great future for using this as a motivation method in almost anything. Sales, attendance, customer service, innovation, the options are almost endless.

    Reply
  12. Daljot

    Gamification is a way to make the harder things in life a little bit more fun. It adds the elements of gaming into a different environment, such as customer service in this article. The elements of gaming can include scoring points, competition and even basic rules about how to play. It is important in this case because it is a way of marketing which aids in keeping or encouraging the person on the other end of the phone to engage with the service or product.
    Gamification can be used within organizations to improve the amount of work a worker puts in. For example in a call center, making teams ans putting up target goals and giving out rewards for the teams that meet the goals, or even having a point system and at the end of the month seeing who has the most amount of points and rewarding them with something. It is a good way to keep your workers motivated and get them to enjoy the work they are doing. This can also be used in schools to improve the amount of participation students put into classroom discussions and almost any aspect in life that may need incentives or some type of motivation.

    Reply
  13. Denaye Corbeil

    Gamification is a new method currently used in some customer service industries that focuses on making the experience more fun and enjoyable. It provides an incentive for employees to provide fast and effective customer service. Gamification works by giving points to the employees who offer quick solutions to problems, and offer high levels of customer satisfaction. There is also the chance to earn bonus points by commenting on specific articles, describing problem resolutions, so other employees can customers can read the comments and gain knowledge on the topic as well. Gamification also gives the chance for employees to win awards or trophies that is based on mastering certain skills. For example, a worker who has the highest points in customer satisfaction may be awarded with a trophy for their achievement. I think Gamification is a great method because it shifts the focus from only looking at customer satisfaction to including the employees as well. One of the main rules of working in customer service has always been to make sure that the customer is satisfied, but the workers happiness never really mattered. I think Gamification is a great method to keep both the employees and the customers happy. I think this is a great strategy for companies as well because their sales and customer satisfaction levels will increase, since the employees have an incentive to work harder in these areas.

    Reply
  14. Katherine

    Fascinating!

    This is nothing new; the use of games to acheive a goal. Who hasn’t used a game to get kids to clean the house or understand a concept? Bringing games into the work place may be the way to up engagement with the Playstation generation that is joining the business cycle. Have issues with productivity? Make it fun. Make it a game.

    Gamification may be a great way to bring in the best of the best in the up and coming generation. Creating that fun, easy going corporate culture has obviously been successful. Who hasn’t heard tales of what it’s like to work in the Sillicon Valley tech start ups?

    Bringing gamification into the work place is just another way to engage employees on another level. The opportunities are endless!

    Reply
  15. Austin Smith

    Gamification is a new form of customer service model for the person calling/emailing in to receive help and also the customer service representative. This model is supposed to improve the attitude and atmosphere of both individuals. Essentially gamification works by creating a competitive like experience for the customer service representative while still keeping them happy. All the employees compete with each other to fix the most problems in the shortest time possible. Doing this earns the representatives “points” in which they can earn trophies. The employee with the most trophies at the end of the time frame is the winner. This is important because it provides the employees with an incentive to work hard while being happy at the same time. In the customer service industry, your day to day work can become excruciatingly boring and can make you want to rip your hair out at times. This systems works to keep the employees content while having them compete against the other employees to earn the most points in a given period. Gamification would add the most value to customer service industries within big tech companies such as Apple, or Microsoft and big electronic companies such as future shop or best buy. Everyone has or will have trouble with electronics and incorporating this model into the customer service sector of this company would be an effective and efficient choice.

    Reply
  16. Dan Wilde

    Gamification is the basic idea that if Customer Service representatives are happy and engaged, then their overall demeanour will be contagious to both the workers around them and also to the person that they are providing assistance to. Gamification basically is where a person will receive a certain amount of points if they meet a required amount of questions resolved, or they will “level up” after they have helped a certain amount of customers. This allows the workers to try to have fun and be engaged in what they are doing. This is important because it will raise the overall approval of the company from the eyes of those who are receiving help because they will be met with someone who is anxiously trying to help them, and it also is important because it allows the workers to have a higher sense of pride in their work and builds a more cohesive work force.

    I think the greatest application that I see for Gamification would be things that have already been implemented in the past and are currently implemented by companies such as rewards points, and when you have a certain amount of rewards points you will be able to use those points for something you want. This is beneficial to credit card companies, air miles, etc. all the companies that want to keep their customers around and using their product.

    Reply
  17. Tom

    The whole point of gamefication is to make customer service fun. We have been through that long, boring, and angry phone with the customer service of a company is just not fun. Gamefication is a way to relief the tension of an angry customer and the company’s service so that both parties will benefit from it. Gamefication modifies the website so that it engages the customers and the clients by having game like features to make the long and tedious process into somewhat fun. Theres a program called “Becoming a Speed Racer” within this gamefication which is essentially a game that a customer can score and win points and compete against each other to score for “trophies”. However, there is an issue with this gamefication from the older generation. The older generation does not agree with this gamefication because they believe that it is very unprofessional because they believe that the company is not taking this customer service very seriously.

    Potential that i see for this application would be companies that require a lot of customer service for example Telus. Im a customer of Telus and their service is excellent however with this gamefication this can resolve a lot of problems with tension between customer and it service provider.

    Reply
  18. Stephanie

    Gamification is a new customer service model that runs on the theory that happiness is contagious. If you people providing the service are happy and motivated then your customers will be as well. To help improve the overall cheerfulness of your employees you use a reward and competition system. All the employees compete with one another to see who can resolve the most problems in the most time efficient manner. They then award trophies based on these achievements and whoever has the most trophies at the end of the time frame is named the winner. This is important because it gives your employees something to be excited about. The day-to-day grind, especially in customer service, can be very boring. Answering the same questions fifty times in one day is enough to drive anyone crazy, this system gives employees something else to look forward to and helps set achievement goals in a fun and interactive way. This system would work well in retail and customer service industries. It would be especially helpful in areas where employees are paid by the hour and are not motivated by commission as hourly employees are more likely to lose interest. Adding an interactive program where you can have fun and bond with your co-workers can help people feel more excited about their work.

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  19. Meghan

    Gamification is a new form of customer service support for both the customer service representative and the client or customer phoning or emailing in to receive help. It is a process that is supposed to lighten the mood of customer service situations and make the experience more enjoyable for both parties. Specifically, gamification works by creating a gaming experience for the customer service representatives at the given company. The more happy, engaging, and successful encounters they have, the more ‘points’ they earn which can lead to earning ‘trophies’ or awards. It works by creating a competition like atmosphere in the workplace which results in workers wanting to earn respect from their co-workers as well as earn the points, which comes from happy light interactions between them and customers.

    Gamification is important for businesses, as customer support is a large part of any business. On any given day, there are numerous calls going into each representative per hour, making the process tedious and boring. This typical unsatisfactory experience is felt by both the representative and the customer; equaling a negative relationship. The implementation of gamification allows employees to be excited and fully engaged in their job which relays to the caller or emailer – if the person you are dealing with is happy, then chances are it will affect your mood as well. Gamification significantly increases customer and employee moral, which can result in loyalty from both parties and increases in business for the company.

    Reply
  20. Ashley

    Gamification is the next big thing in marketing world. It’s a way to engage the customers and clients by adding game like features to a service to make the process fun and enjoyable. It has been proven to be a positive addition to a service, but has been critiqued by an older generation in the field as not following the professional aspect of customer service. I think that with everything else in society we are changing the way we provide services and this is just another example of that. I previously worked as a Human Resource Officer and we had a helpdesk system where tickets were issued and assigned to a database, we had to go into the database and answer the questions/fix the problems. I could see the gamification concepts making this process more enjoyable and possibly speeding up the closing of tickets.
    One critique of this system would be if there were points assigned to the number of tickets that were closed you may have helpdesk professionals choosing the easier tickets and closing them off quickly leaving the more complicated tickets because they take too long to close. This is not a good customer service practice that would create a lot of angry customers.

    Reply

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