Motivating Contact Center Agents with Gamification

Encourage gamification in contact centers to reduce high agent attrition, increase engagement and empathy.

December 1, 2022

5 Min Read

By Scott Kolman


Scott Kolman

Contact centers are notorious for experiencing high agent attrition, an issue that has only been magnified during the Great Resignation and challenging macroeconomic times.

Unsurprisingly, agents who are unmotivated and disengaged at work are the most likely to seek a change of scenery. Adding to this challenge is that the role of the agent is becoming more complex since most routine inquiries are now handled by self–service channels.

To face the talent retention and recruitment challenge, contact center channel partners are leveraging technology, and increasingly artificial intelligence, to enable contact center agents, managers and supervisors to be more efficient and productive, while at the same time enhancing the customer experience. But to improve engagement and motivation, channel partners would be wise to encourage “gamification” within contact centers.

Add Gamification for Productivity

Put simply, gamification is the process of adding elements of a game (competition, points, etc.) into a nongame environment. It’s one of the key ingredients behind the most productive companies. Common examples are company leaderboards (where employees are awarded points for their accomplishments), goal-tracking bars (where staff can track their progress on something using goal-tracking software) or badges and achievements (to recognize and reward employees for accomplishments).

When incorporated into a workplace correctly, gamification can have a variety of benefits for contact centers. Let’s dig into it:

Gamification Challenges Agents to Be More Productive

It’s no secret that not all employees are engaged at work, or they are not engaged all the time. In fact, according to a Gallup poll, a whopping 15% of employees are actively disengaged. While this may not seem astronomically high, the cost of disengagement is — these employees cost U.S. companies more than a trillion dollars every year.

On the flip side, the employees who are engaged with their work tend to be enthusiastic about their daily responsibilities and feel positive about their workplace. This engagement typically leads to enhanced productivity.

In the contact center, it can be easy for agents to become disconnected from their work. Customer service jobs can be emotionally fatiguing and contact centers are no different. Agents are frequently required to work in a high-stress, fast-paced environment, responding to hundreds of calls from typically frustrated customers. Additionally, answering phones all day can become physically and emotionally draining, not to mention repetitive. This is a recipe for disengagement and reduced productivity.

Most importantly, there is a direct correlation between employee engagement and customer engagement and satisfaction. Simply put, happy employees make for happier customers.

Channel partners that can effectively encourage gamification within contact centers will reap the rewards of highly engaged agents. In fact, research indicates that gamification makes 89% of employees feel more productive and 83% feel more motivated. In a role that can lead to high burnout, gamification can bring fun and competition to a workplace and have a drastic impact on agent effectiveness.

Gamification Makes Agents Happier at Work

Data shows that gamification will not only make agents more productive, it will also help them enjoy their work more. In fact, a whopping 88% of employees said that gamification makes them happier at work.

Partners that gamify their contact centers will create a high-energy, positive workplace. As mentioned earlier, contact centers can be a challenging place to work and can lead to burnout and demotivation. Gamification gives agents something to look forward to. It can make a highly repetitive job more manageable and less monotonous by sparking a bit of competition in the workplace.

Gamification can also have a dramatic effect on morale and team dynamics. By creating a culture where employees work toward a shared goal and operate less individually, it can help employees become closer as colleagues and significantly improve overall morale.

How Do You Incorporate Gamification?

We’ve established that gamification is great, but how can partners incorporate it into the contact centers they work with?

Some of the most popular ways to gamify a workplace is to use badges for milestone achievements, or award points in an app or program. While those are great for remote workers, in-person workers may appreciate physical rewards (like a bottle of wine or gift card) or even an office leaderboard. There also are a variety of gamification apps and software that companies can try out.

For contact center agents, gamification could be as simple as supplying points to the person who answered the most calls on a particular day, or rewarding the agent who had the quickest call times.

It also creates an opportunity for contact center coaches and managers to measure agent productivity and motivate those who aren’t meeting benchmarks.


Gamification might not be the same as playing the PS5 at work all day (although agents could work from the metaverse), but it’s an extremely effective way for channel partners to engage contact center professionals and drive their job satisfaction through the roof.

It’s essential that contact center partners constantly seek new ways to invigorate and inspire the agents they work with. Engaged, happy agents will lead to happier customers and improve public perception of a company, all factors that positively impact contact center partners. Additionally, as businesses strive to retain contact center agents during uncertain economic times and the Great Resignation, gamification is a powerful way to both retain existing agents and attract new talent.

Scott Kolman is the CMO at Cresta, where he oversees the positioning, promotion and branding of Cresta’s real-time intelligence platform for the contact center. He has an extensive background in corporate marketing and promotion of SaaS and enterprise software. Prior to joining Cresta, Kolman held leadership positions at Five9, Genesys, Synchronoss Technologies, SpeechCycle, Amdocs, Lucent Technologies and Octel Communications. You may follow him on LinkedIn or @cresta on Twitter.

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