Call center/customer service work is hard. Representatives on the phone can take a ton of abuse no matter when channel they are working. The environment must be one of comfort and….yes its ok to say…FUN!
Our job is to make the customers that interact with our center have a world class experience. We cannot do this if we have associates that are lethargic, have bad attitudes and do not want to be at work. One way we can help them is by making the contact center THE fun place to work.
The contact center can be a place where you can do things that you cannot do in any other department. You can yell out loud, high five, cheer each other on! You can’t do that in accounting! Show me a quiet contact center floor and I will show you one with high turnover, low quality and more importantly one that reflects that the associates are not enjoying themselves.
If we can get our associates to have fun at their job it takes their mind off of all the negative things that hamper great contact center work. All contact centers have associates that seem to always come in with their daily troubles on their sleeve. All contact centers have reps that leave “sick” every day because they are just plain bored. If we can take their attention off these things and channel it into something positive, then we have taken a huge step in improving our center.
It does not matter if you are running a center with an insurance, banking, pure customer care or sales vertical. You can, and in my opinion, must make the environment enjoyable.
Take a look at your center. Most of you are probably at work right now looking at this so take a second to look at your center… I’ll wait… lol
Does it have energy, or is it just plain and boring? If you were an associate would you like coming to work in this room every day? For that matter do you like coming into the room every day!
I’m not saying you need to overhaul your center if it’s not where it should be. There are a couple basic things you can do. Also I would love to get some of your ideas on this as well.
- Balloons can add a ton to a room. Just some “company” balloons or “great job” balloons go a long way. As basic as that sounds, if you give a balloon to each team’s top producer daily based on your specific KPI, it goes a long way for moral and adds to the fun look of the center.
- Team Crests/logos/mascot pics can really brighten up the room and add to great team spirit. Just having each team decide a team logo can be a lot of fun for the team members. You can even make a game out of it where each sale/great call/cross sell gets to add a name for consideration and the top producer get to pick the name. Use your imagination.
- Posters. I really like to put up great sayings that my reps used on a call. It’s a reward for them to have a poster “named” after them and the phrase will get more uses because an actual rep used it. Having generic posters in a room is OK but tends to just get ignored a bit.
I have a TON of games that can be played in a call center. This hopefully will to give you some ideas. These are games that can be played daily on each team. Every day each supervisor MUST have some game going on with their associates. You can do team vs. team or rep vs. rep. Please understand these are daily games to help keep our associates focused on their daily job and to have fun. These are not monthly or quarterly sales or service motivations for your overall top producer. That’s a separate topic…
- Bingo- Set up a board that includes some KPIs that can be measured during the day. Each time an associate hits on of the goals they mark it off the sheet. Once they get enough BINGO gets yelled out and you have a winner.
- Poker- Each time a rep hits a KPI they get a card. Best poker hand wins at the end of shift.
- Sit Where?- I don’t know about you but in my center the supervisors have different chairs that the reps love. We play pass the chair. Each time a rep gets a sale or hits a KPI, they get the chair until it get “stolen” by the next person.
- Pass The… – Like the chair we will pass an object for each Sale or KPI hit. If its summer, I will go get some beach balls and we will pass or hit around a beach ball, winter, maybe a stuffed Santa. You can award the owner of the ball each hour or just once at the end of shift.
- Off the Clock- Reps love to be off the phones, its human nature. Set up some games like having a putting green on the floor, little nerf basketball hoop or some darts up in your center. Again however you have it set up, great sale, great monitoring score, KPI hit, the rep gets to get out of the booth and go play the game for a small prize. The real prize though is the 5 minutes off the phone!
- Hangman- Pretty self-explanatory. Supervisor set up a board and the word/phrase and the reps get rewarded with chances at guessing a letter and the word or phrase.
- Human Board Game– We set up a “board” that goes around the center. We put down “lose a turn”, “Go back to start”, “move ahead 5 spaces”…on the floor of the center. We then will move around playing pieces of the associates choosing like a board game. Use your imagination. The associates are great at setting these boards up as well!
- Battleship- Set up a board full of prizes (5 minute break, candy bar, $10 dollars) and also ships that represent each team. Every time an associate hits a metric they get to choose a space. they try to sink the other ships and also get prizes.
- Golf/Putt-Putt– Very easy game..we bring in a putter and get up points from different distances with varying point and a cup against the wall. Reps try to put the ball in the cup
- Dice’m up– We have an oversized Die that we will roll on the floor. On the floor we take areas with certain point totals based on how hard it is to get the die in the area. These different areas have different numbers on them 1, 2, 3, 5. These serve as multipliers. If a rep rolls the die and sits it in the area with a 2 then what ever they rolled get multiplied by 2. We do this as a team game…its easy and lots of fun.
- Ramp it up– We set up a ramp (can be made with a piece of wood, a picture frame or anything flat) and have the reps roll a ball from 10 feet away up the ramp and try to get it onto two baskets we have set up behind it.
Those are all just a very small sample of games a supervisor should be playing at all times on his/her team. Remember this is in addition to a center wide motivation that maybe runs for a week or a month. Email me for more if you are interested.
What should the prizes be? Well I can tell you they do not have to be big to have the reps fighting over them. Candy, lottery tickets, a new pencil or pen, cup, homemade cookies, a free soda are all things that work. In out outbound center we play for break time for the ability to leave 30 minutes early on a Friday paid.It’s funny it really depends on how your supervisor sells it. I had a supervisor give away a 5 cent pencil eraser. Sounds boring right? But the way she sold it to her reps made it should like the greatest thing every. They died to try to win it.
It’s very important that your middle management buys into all off this. I cannot express the need to have energetic supervision that leads the team. Take a look at some of my other posts on middle management training if you are interested.
I hope you enjoyed this, brought back some great memories of some of the fun I have had on the call center floor. I hope it gets you to realize how important your role is in the overall “fun” culture of your center.
We have a ton of motivational games we play. Message me if you would like more.
Thomas Laird is a customer service and contact center consultant and operations professional with over 25 years of experience. Thomas is currently the CEO of Expivia Interaction Marketing Group, Inc. and the usacallcenter.net A 100% onshore multi-channel contact center.