Here is our run-down of why you should incorporate motivational games into your contact centre, along with our top ten recommendations for you to try.
Why are motivational games so important?
Carolyn Blunt, a Contact Centre Expert at Ember Real Results, tells us that motivational activities in the contact centre are so important because of the “culture of being tethered to a desk by a set of headphones, having set shift patterns and having to be at your desk ready to take calls.
“Advisors don’t have the same freedom that those who work in other environments have to take time and do whatever they please. In almost any other job, whilst you still have to be physically in that space, you are free to move around.
“So, advisors can get burned out and motivation is really, really essential.”
Whilst rewards, incentives and job progression are all good tools for motivation, games can help to revitalise an advisor’s day and there are many to choose from. So, look out for the perfect game that can be easily tailored for your contact centre – you may even spot one in our list of ten below!
What are other contact centres doing?
What’s required is a mix of company policy with motivational tactics, along with an active participation by the management and a conscious effort to reward the employees, not only monetarily, but also with appreciation and recognition. Sounds difficult?
Rob Lalim, a director at Southwest Airlines, says, “We use caution not to create a kindergarten-type environment to motivate employees. Our motivation efforts are geared towards treating employees like adults. We host fun-event days and internal contests to motivate.”
This event strategy has become popular in contact centres and many have started organising their own on a regular basis to encourage employees to bond with one another.
Various contests such as Scavenger Hunt, Halloween Howl, Talent Show, and Mr. and Ms. Customer Service Contest are also organised for recognising the latent talents of employees. The recognition they get further improves their morale.
So, be on the lookout for event-based games in amongst the following group of examples that we have put together!
Our top ten games
Here, is our list of motivational games that have been sent in by contact centre professionals and have all proven to be successful when deployed.
1. The Wheel of Wow
This game was suggested by Dan Moross, Director of Customer Experience at MOO, who believes that spinning a makeshift wheel, the ‘Wheel of Wow’, to give out spot prizes to deserving advisors, can boost team motivation.
According to Dan, MOO look at: “Productivity, C-SAT and internal quality reviews, to recognise and nominate people, based on a tiered system, who then get the chance to spin the ‘Wheel of Wow’
“The Wheel of Wow has things like leave work an hour early, have a free lunch on MOO and a free bottle of wine to much smaller things. But getting everybody up in the middle of the day to spin the wheel, which creates a loud clicking noise gets everybody’s morale boosted for the afternoon.”
2. Holiday-themed Competitions
Associating occasions that often bring excitement, enthusiasm and happiness with the contact centre can spread positivity, and bringing games into this equation can further boost morale and motivation.
Sarah, one of our readers, has used this approach in her contact centre, where her company are “currently running a fun Valentine’s themed competition.”
In this competition, “advisors are awarded hearts when they achieve their call targets, double hearts where they exceed and are awarded Ace of Hearts where they have done something exceptional.
“Whoever has the most hearts at the end wins the competition. This is all over our walls so advisors can see who is in the lead and it will drive them to do a bit more to win.”
3. The 100% Club Raffle
Whilst motivational games are important, so is advisor performance, and that is why many of these suggestions align the two. This example, sent in by Laura (another of our readers), is no different.
Laura says that the contact centre of which she is part “runs an incentive called the “100% club.
“When an agent achieves a score of 100% for their quality assessment we award them with a voucher. During the month they collect the vouchers and at the end of the month these are exchanged for raffle tickets.
“We then do a raffle of small-cost items; the more raffle tickets earned, the higher the chance that they win. The target can be amended to suit your contact centre.”
4. Under-the-desk Prizes
Raffle ticket prizes can be particularly useful in the contact centre as they are fun, versatile and you can get creative with the games that you use them for.
For example, you can use them as in the suggestion above or, as our reader Helen recommends, “tape them underneath everyone’s desk.”
Helen says this incentive works by choosing “different agents, throughout the day, to pick a number and the winning desk would pick something from our rewards cupboard. Overall, it’s about 20 agents that win, but it creates a real buzz in the office.”
5. Contact Centre Bingo
As mentioned previously when we referred to the scavenger hunt, you can recreate well-known games to fit the call-centre dynamic. This allow advisors to automatically link the office with activities that have fun connotations.
According to Charlie, a regular visitor to our site, his contact centre has previously followed this principle, saying they have “done call centre bingo before.”
This version of bingo starts with “every agent getting a card with a number of things on to cross off, like ‘made a lead’, ‘spoke to a John’, ‘spoke with 5 women’, etc. And first to get a line, then a full house wins.
“It gets everyone wanting to take calls and excited about whether that next call will get them to cross one off. And, of course, they have to shout BINGO!”
6. Survivor Island
Friendly competition between advisors is always a bonus as it helps to create a sociable environment that improves morale as well as motivation.
Lisa, who submitted the following idea to us, runs a call centre of “20 agents that generate about 10-20 deals per day per advisor” and has found a game called Survivor Island useful in providing healthy competition.
Lisa starts this game “in the morning and writes all their names in a big circle on the whiteboard.
“Every time an advisor gets a lead they can erase someone’s name off the board. If they get a lead and someone has already erased their name, they can put their name back up. It is really fun to watch the agents team up against each other.
“We start the game on Monday and if nobody wins we up the prize and continue it on to the next day. It has lasted as much as 5 days before.”
7. Pass the Parcel
Of course, we had to include a makeshift party game, and why not go with the classic Pass the Parcel!
Using an outbound sales contact centre as an example, Sarah adds that “the parcel starts with the first person to get a sale – unwrap a layer!
“The next person to get a sale in unwraps the next layer, and so on. There’s a prize at the end, so advisors have try their best to get as many sales in as they can.”
“You never know, there might be mini prizes in between the layers too.”
Whilst this is well suited to the sales field, it can be modified so that the advisor can unwrap a layer of the gift after a call in which they receive a 100% quality score.
8. Cell Wars
Popular contact centre games often involve creativity to rejuvenate advisors’ minds, to boost morale and provide motivation during a repetitive routine.
This idea, submitted by Steven, incorporates this principle and the “object of the game is to have agents pretend they own their own multi-million-dollar store franchise.
“The better their customer surveys were, as well as their first call resolution, the better the health of their store was.
“Each agent came up with a fun name for their store, and as their manager, I sent daily financial updates of their stores as well as positive customer surveys for the agents to see the kinds of comments customers are sending.
“There are five winners, with the top three receiving a $5 gift card and the top two receiving a free lunch.”
9. Roll the Dice
Whilst some of these games have been quite elaborate, you don’t always need great preparation to boost motivation. Indeed, in an example sent in by our reader Sydney, all you need is a “wipe board and a set of dice that are different colours or can be marked a different colour.”
To play this game, “draw a grid with 1–6 across the top (in red) and 1–6 down the left side (in blue).”
“For every sale (or any initiative) your reps get, they put their name/initials in a box. Once the board is full, roll the dice and the numbers that match is the square that wins.
“You can make the prize whatever you want. My team really enjoys this game.”
10. Contact Centre Dodgeball
Another idea that simply involves a whiteboard is contact centre dodgeball, which, according to one of our readers, Ruth, “used to go down a storm” in her contact centre.
You can play this by “using a whiteboard or a flip chart pad and split the team / office / floor into 2 teams, girls v boys or whatever. The teams need to be of equal sizes and all individuals will be listed on the chart.
“For each sale / successful call outcome / set target the individual takes a turn and can knock off a member of the other team (cross their name off the list).
“Eliminated team members can no longer play until they are reinstated (have their name put back on the list) by another ‘live’ team member on their go rather than knocking out a member of the other team.
“As pride was at stake no prizes were ever needed! And you can play this with up to 50 or 60 agents and as few as 8–10.”
If you are part of an American contact centre you might have recently noticed high levels of absenteeism on the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday, with advisors lacking the motivation to come to work the next day.
To avoid this happening again you can try to bring the atmosphere of the event into the contact centre and run relatable games that provoke healthy competition between advisors.
As noted earlier, event games are now becoming a prime way of motivating employees, so you can adapt high-profile events, like the Super Bowl, into contact centre games.
But what about you? Do you have any other motivational games that you would recommend?
If so, you can leave them and any other thoughts in the comments section below.
Find some more ideas for motivational games in the following articles:
- Six of the Best Games for Your Contact Centre
- Motivational Games for Call Centres
- Five More Motivational Games for Call Centres
- Six of the Best Games for Your Contact Centre
- 4 Team-Building Games for the Contact Centre
- Team Building Game – Through the Key Hole
- What the Experts Recommend: Team-Building Games and Exercises
- New Interactive Board Game Helps Train New Recruits
Originally published on 1st October 2004. Recently updated.