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Why gamify support? – The PERKS of Customer Service

Written by on October 11, 2012

Turning a complaining customer into someone who is madly in love with your service sounds really nice and poetic. But how far would your support team go to kindle the spark of romance? Especially when they wake up every morning to screams, rants and cries for help?

And that begs the question – what would you do to create that kind of a motivated support team? How can you incentivize each agent in your help desk to take ownership and pride in every ticket they resolve?

If you want your customer satisfaction rates to be high, and stay there as you scale your business to more customers (and more support agents), you need to create a structure that involves processes, measurability and rewards.

There is a lot that you can learn from games. So this time, we decided to break the important lessons that every support team should learn from soccer. And we are calling it the PERKS (Purpose, Education, Rewards, Knowledge, Success) of gamifying customer support.

Purpose

Does a game of soccer make any sense if you don’t have any goal posts around? Unless your support team knows why they do what they do, they are just a bunch of awesome players running around with a ball. And no, by purpose we are not talking about your company’s mission statement.

Try answering this question – what is the core tangible purpose that I want my support team to work towards?

The first step to setting up a proactive customer support structure is defining the purpose. At the end of the day, you should be able to tell your team something like “Our purpose here is to boost customer satisfaction by 60% and cut down average resolution time to 5 hours”

Education

You can take the greatest football players to the field, but you can’t make Fernando Torres score a single goal if he doesn’t want to. So how do you translate your purpose to something that your support team can directly relate to? Successful businesses educate their support teams by aligning business objectives with the tangible levers that the agents have control of.

It is important to educate your team about the purpose by painting the big picture. But equally critical is tying it down to team level and agent level performance indicators. A good education of the purpose resonates with agents, like resolving each ticket right in the first time, and winning a high customer satisfaction rating.

Rewards

We all love getting a fresh cookie or winning a pat in the back from time to time. When you finally hit that goal, the exhilaration of hi-fives, the joy of seeing the scorecard go up and the mere adrenaline of the goal is reason enough to keep scoring more.

Rewarding your agents for the good work they do both motivates them to keep performing, as well as acts as an example for the rest of the team. And the best of rewards are emotional, not monetary. In fact, going by ole’ Maslow’s pyramid, your rewards need to be able to boost the esteem of your support agents and guide them through self-actualization, where they internalize and starting working in the core purpose.

Knowledge

But if that’s all that agents focus on, what about the knowledge to be gained in actually answering support queries, learning from the best moves and creating an environment of repeatable “WOW”s? It isn’t about creating a troubleshooting transcript either. If you want your customer support to evolve to a point where they can resolve issues and make your customers smile even before they raise an issue, you know you have “reached” as a proactive and customer centric help desk.

That means building on your support team’s total knowledge needs to be a major focus area for each of your agents. Build a platform where your agents can pool in their expertise and share knowledge. And please, please make it easy!

Success Factors

When do you know you’ve won the game? How do you fix your place in the hall of fame? Keeping your success barometer tuned and primed is critical if you want to make the motivation and productivity boost that you see in your support team a continuous process.

If your business involves providing long-term service to your clients, you would probably have “customer satisfaction” as a key metric. Working on each support issue for a few hours before sending out the “perfect” resolution is also as important as being fast. And you also know that unless you are working on a contract, you know that nothing resonates with the customer like being fast and responsive. That’s when customer satisfaction becomes difficult to measure and you need to actually quantify the results. The good news is that you now can.

Go on, give your support team the PERKS they need with Freshdesk Arcade. Game on!

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