Published: May 17, 2016 | Comments
LiveOps is often asked how we keep our community of independent agents engaged and interested in training, especially when these agents are geographically dispersed and not physically in a classroom. To overcome these challenges, we use a proven distance learning methodology and test new technologies in the learning industry that can be incorporated to improve our model.
A few years ago when gamification was still in its infancy, we saw an opportunity that aligned with our model and started down the road of testing. Doing so involved implementation of a full gamification model that combined social and financial rewards for completion of training and performance improvements.
Our gamification efforts began by partnering with a leading gamification platform. We put our agent hats on to help envision how gamification would be perceived by the agents, how it would motivate, and how would impact their skill sets and success. We considered what rewards and incentives would be meaningful to them, what behaviors did we need to promote for increased performance, and what learning material the agents needed to rapidly build their skills. We quickly realized how a gaming framework was a perfect fit for building healthy competition for our community of agents.
We developed a model focused on identity and reputation as well as social and economic behaviors. This required implementation of avatars, leaderboards, badges, point systems, gaming, and forums. Our next generation of community management provided instant and relevant feedback on performance and quality using gaming mechanisms. Agents were invited to opt-in, and 80% did so within a week of rollout.
While the constructs we deployed were not by themselves novel, we found that the returns were significant. Gamification proved to rapidly connect an agent’s individual action and behavior with tangible outcomes. It helped agents correlate time spent improving their skills through certification to achieving high quality metrics which was all made visible through leaderboards and other online social identity displays.
Agent Post: “We did it team! Back on top of the leaderboard, let’s keep this momentum going, work lots of commits and keep converting, thanks to all for the great team effort!"
In fact, we found that game mechanics drove even better performance and insight than just facilitating community interaction. By channeling competitiveness in a positive way we created a net benefit to our clients. With rapid feedback, comes even more accountability. For example, if you managed to pacify an upset caller, everyone can know you did a great job or if you didn’t reach a client’s expectations for service, it’s very motivating to see where you need to improve!
In conclusion, our gamification test was a success. By rewarding and incentivizing desired behaviors through gaming mechanisms we were not only able to better engage our remote agents, we were also able to reduce training time and improve performance on calls.
If you are looking for ways to implement gamification into your training, be sure to clearly define what behaviors you want to impact. Is it only to improve training rate or are there additional performance outcomes that can be gained? Having this defined upfront will allow you to better identify which elements to introduce. Gaming with no defined outcome is just a game.