Whether your advisors are inbound or outbound, you can boost morale with contact centre games that they can play while working.
So, here we share seven fun activities for your contact centre, after highlighting the key elements that make up a great game.
What Makes a Great Contact Centre Game?
Morris Pentel, CEO at e-score.today, believes that there are four key elements of a good contact centre game:
- Building a fun habit that lifts staff
- Making it a journey that you can progress on
- Making it about improving the common understanding
- Making it OK to lose
As Morris says: “Games and habits are the basic tools of how we change culture in contact centres and improve outcome.”
With the aim being to improve culture, after you have tried a couple of the following ideas, ask advisors to suggest game ideas to you. This will better engage the team, who may be more enthusiastic to play games of their own design.
The Seven Call Centre Games
Each of these games has proven popular in the contact centres of our readers, who discuss their suggestions below.
1. The “Bookings Ball” Game
The bookings ball game is a spin-off version of the classic pass-the-parcel party game and works particularly well in environments where advisors have to make bookings.
Explaining the game, Karen says: “The ball, which could be anything from a tennis ball to an inflatable beach ball, is passed from advisor to advisor as and when a booking is secured (so the last person to have made a sale is always the person holding the ball).”
“While this is going on, set an egg timer in your desk drawer (in secret). When it goes off, the person holding the ball wins a prize.”
“Reset the timer after each prize is given for the game to continue throughout the day.”
This can be a great way to boost engagement and get the team communicating, as long as you trust your team to be respectful and not to prolong the call deliberately, just so they can be in with a better chance of winning.
As well as for those making bookings, this game could also work in a sales environment, or a service advisor could perhaps pass the ball on once they have handled a certain contact type.
2. The “Postcode Bingo” Game
A game which is easy to play while advisors are taking calls is “buzzword bingo”. However, this game runs the risk of delivering a negative experience if advisors try to use all the words on their card at once. So many contact centres choose to play postcode bingo instead.
According to Mike, the game begins by “giving advisors bingo cards, but rather than having numbers on them, they have postcodes. For example, SA (Swansea), NN (Northampton).”
“The advisors then cross the postcodes off their scorecard as and when they speak to a customer who lives in that area.”
“You can then give out a prize to the first advisor who achieves a ‘full house’ or a line, if you are feeling particularly generous.”
However, when you’re playing this game, ask the team to record the time and date of the ‘winning’ calls so that they can easily be found and listened to when verifying the results.
DAS’s contact centre in Caerphilly plays this game as well, but use call types handled instead of postcodes.
Follow the link to download our free “bingo card” template.
3. The “Customer Experience” Game
One of Morris’s key elements of a contact centre game was “improving the common understanding”, and this game is great at improving the team’s knowledge of what they can do to boost the customer experience.
Alison says that you should first “give each advisor a sheet with a list of things that add value to the customer experience (such as advising them of other products or capturing contact details) – and place tick boxes next to each item.”
“Throughout the day, advisors can then tick the relevant boxes as and when they perform those actions on a call. The catch being that only one tick can be added per customer, so advisors can’t fill in their whole card on the first call of the day.”
“When they have ticked off the entire list, they can exchange their sheet for a raffle ticket (and get a new sheet). The tickets are then entered into a draw at the end of the day/week/month.”
The only downside to this game is that it can be quite hard to track if the advisor really managed to perform each action. So, perhaps start this among small teams of advisors, who would be unlikely to lie to one another, before judging its success and spreading the game out to the wider contact centre.
4. The “Customer Compliments” Game
Here is a simple game that you can run all year round, with very little effort. It is great way of providing those little bursts of encouragement which are key to long-standing motivation.
It is really straightforward, as Karen explains: “Every time an advisor receives a customer compliment, they are rewarded with a box of chocolates or bottle of wine.”
“To make it a bit more competitive, you could keep a running total of the number of compliments each agent receives. You can then offer a more extravagant prize for the advisor who has received the most compliments by the end of the year.”
Although it may seem basic, rewarding good customer feedback is a key incentive for advisors to really do their best for the customer. Even a thank you to recognise a small piece of good work will go a long way.
5. The “Baseball Quality Scores” Game
Games can be devised using advisor quality scores, to greater engage the team with how to improve performance. This is one of those games.
Describing the game, Annette says: “For one month every year, run a “baseball” competition where advisors are able to gain home runs or runs based on their quality scores.”
“At the end of the month, the advisor with the most can either be rewarded with tickets to a local baseball game, or a gift card – if baseball is not their thing.”
However, if you are not American, the theme of the game can also be altered to accommodate rugby, football or tennis fans, depending on the time of year and interests of the advisors.
6. The “Goal Rush” Game
For the World Cup, a team sweepstake or a break room table football competition are classic game examples, but Cathy prefers another option.
Cathy suggests: “During the chosen tournament, allocate a country to each of your advisors and keep a record of every goal that is scored. The team with the most “goals” at the end wins. You could also do this with gold medals at the Olympics.”
While this isn’t exactly performance related, it does help to bring the spirit of the event into the contact centre, which can be so useful to boost morale.
To further boost morale, consider showing the relevant games on TV screens on the contact centre floor, which may also help to reduce absenteeism.
7. Lucky Seats
Don’t send advisors off for the weekend on a downer, instead celebrate the week that has just past by playing the “lucky seats” game every Friday. If this game becomes routine, you can create a habit that gives the team a weekly boost.
Trevor, who recommends the game, says: “Place a winning ticket under a different seat every Friday Simple mood lifter. Or, if you have a Learning Management System (LMS), have it select random winners who complete weekly learning.”
“Also, give each advisor a raffle ticket for every sale or 90%+ quality score they get. Then, on the last Friday of every month, have a weekly/monthly prize draw.”
In Trevor’s first example, the winning ticket could give the lucky advisor a chance to choose an item from the “Winner’s Cupboard”, which is full of various small prizes. Advisors can then choose the award that is best suited to them.
For more incentive ideas, read our article: Staff Incentive Schemes That Work
Just a Quick Warning
While all these ideas have proven successful in the contact centres of our readers, there may be advisors in your contact centre who are against the idea of contact centre games.
As Craig Rich, Founder of ThreeDotZero Studios, warns: “Games are great to foster some team spirit, but some people will not want to be involved and people should be mindful of the broad range of personalities that make up contact centre teams.”
“In my humble opinion, some managers make these things mandatory, not taking this into account. It can alienate some team members and potentially create more of a divergent environment that will make life uncomfortable for those people.”
“Everybody has a place and just because some people do not want to get involved does not mean they are less valuable than those who do. Understand your team and develop ideas accordingly.”
So, get to know your team. If you highly incentivise these games and want everyone to take part, make sure you recognise winners in different ways.
For example, an introvert advisor may like their prize to come with a quiet well done, whereas an extrovert advisor would perhaps prefer the opportunity to make an acceptance speech.
To find more examples of games to play in the contact centre, read our articles:
- Motivational Games for Call Centres
- Motivational Games for Employees
- Five More Motivational Games for Call Centres
Originally published in October 2014. Updated in September 2018.