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Why You Should Gamify Your Helpdesk

Written by on August 11, 2016

Remember the hours you spent chasing pac-dots in Pacman, racing Rhonda in Road Rash and shuffling cards around in Solitaire? That feeling of elation you got when you headed some coins or watched balloons go up when you finished a game? That feeling that kept you going back for more?

Games have a way of engaging us like nothing else can. They drive us to do things like sit at a table and think hard, with relish and wanting to do it again. Strategy, competition, achievement – games play on everything that challenges and excites us. They can make even the most boring of tasks interesting and engaging.

So why not apply this magical ability of games to make anything exciting, to our everyday lives?

What if we applied the game mechanics that make games so engaging, to business tasks? Wouldn’t we approach the day’s tasks with a childlike vigor, have fun achieving goals, hitting milestones and revel in excelling at our jobs?

To be fair, it’s not like people haven’t thought of this before. The application of game strategies to business tools is actually fairly old – remember when ‘Clippy’ would congratulate you for certain actions inside Word?

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Clippy might not be around anymore, but the idea of deeper engagement systems with game mechanics lives on. With points, levels, quests and leaderboards, such systems are impressive drivers of behavioral change that are about much more than just making work fun. They’re about designing careful rewards for user actions and ultimately furthering the organization’s business goals.

Want to try gamification in your helpdesk? In the Achievement Unlocked series, we’ll walk you through the gamification process.

A Scoring System

When you’re gamifying a process, the first game mechanic that should be introduced into your process is a good scoring system. Just like games give players incentives for following the story, completing tasks – and on occasion, crashing cars – a good scoring system for business processes will go a long way in improving performance. Everyone would earn points for desired actions and work transparently towards business goals. When something needs to be tweaked in the process, a slight change in points or quest rewards will achieve the change you want in the entire team.

For a support team, these mechanics would be directed at improving key metrics like resolution time, tickets resolved, customer satisfaction rating, etc. So how can we start changing behavior so that everyone in the team works towards the common goal?

Define business metrics

As simple as it sounds, simply making sure to define the key business metrics will help you understand how to start assigning scores for actions. For a support team, these would typically be:

  • Ticket resolution time
  • First call resolution
  • Number of tickets solved/calls taken
  • Customer satisfaction ratings

Rank actions

Order these metrics by their importance so that your scoring system reflects your priorities and gets the team working towards the right things. Say, customer satisfaction rating is the most important metric for your business, and the number of tickets left unresolved within the SLA isn’t as important right then. You’ll rank the metrics you’ve identified in this way:

  1. Customer satisfaction ratings
  2. Number of tickets solved/calls taken
  3. Ticket resolution time
  4. First call resolution

Define scores

Now that you’ve decided which actions you want to reward, and what place each action takes in your list of priorities, you can start assigning weightage to the actions. So, if customer satisfaction is more important to you than faster resolution time, you’d accord 20 points to a positive survey and 10 points for resolving a ticket within SLA. Your team will go after actions in line with how important they are, and ultimately come to produce the changes you wanted to see in your helpdesk performance. When you want the team’s performance to take a different turn or focus, all you have to do is change the scoring accordingly.

If you have Freshdesk, you can set up this system by entering scores into the Arcade section of the Admin panel.

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Communicate the scoring mechanism

As much as setting up the scoring mechanism communicates priorities and goals to your team in itself, nothing beats talking to them about it in person. Just the act of coming together to talk about the month’s priorities and desired outcomes will boost performance and help direct efforts to the right things. Everyone can get on the same page and work towards goals as a team. This way, the chances that agents will cherry pick tasks just to accumulate points are lessened. Knowing that they play a key role in the company’s performance, and keeping the big picture in mind, agents will work to achieve the entire team’s goals instead of trying to achieve short-lived personal gratification.

So if you’re focusing on closing tickets this month, change your scoring configuration and call a meeting so everyone stays updated on what they’re fighting for.

Leaderboards FTW

Now that you’re all set, let the games begin! On Freshdesk, the scores start rolling in with minimal configuration, and everyone can see how they’re doing on the leaderboard.

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Congrats on completing round 1 of Achievement Unlocked – we’ll see you again in round 2. Next time, learn how to get your agents levelling up with you, as they work hard to accumulate points.

Also, we’d like to hear from those who’re already using gamification for support. What scoring works for you? Take a screenshot and post a link in the comments below!

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