Hey there, I felt the need to amplify and add a short addendum to Lauren’s fine post about the tactic of Gamification of Customer Support as a team bonding and stress reducing enhancement for CS teams.
I couldn’t agree more with the concept of adding gaming elements to a non-gaming activity to encourage action and participation, to make an arduous job more fun and help reduce burnout while simultaneously improving overall output of your team. A little friendly competition and props to the leaders can really be helpful and give folks something to strive for beyond the clock ticking on to the end of their shift.
What I’d like to add and augment is the importance of two things.
1. Rewards for the leaders
2. Rewards for the whole team
These may sound like the same thing but they’re not at all.
Cadillacs, Steak Knives and coffee is for closers!
1. For every game there must be a winner. Be it most cases solved, quickness of resolving difficult issues, or highest + rating by customers, each category has to have a leader. Making sure that all are aware that this week’s weekend shift customer positive rating was won by Zach or that morning shift resolution times was owned again by Danielle is important — to give proper homage to the efforts of the winners and to keep them striving to hold onto their positions and that chance at the monthly blue ribbon. The kind of reward isn’t terribly important — it can be small and humble like a pair of tickets to a movie or a gift card at the cafe on the corner. Like your aunt Claire always used to say, it’s the thought that counts. And it does. Something as simple as a free sandwich on Friday from the local Greek Deli can do a world of good for the morale of the winner, making them feel super appreciated by way of reminding them that someone notices and is thankful for their efforts at making the company look good.
2. In every race there must be a second place. It’s physics. But rewarding everyone for trying in the ultimate goal of good customer service is important too. Make sure there is a team reward event. Perhaps a once a month sushi lunch on Friday or every other Tuesday working as a team from a local cafe over cappuccinos and scones. Making everyone happy about the process and the friendly competition is one of the biggest bangs for a buck you can spend — best ever example of this is when I took my team (3 women and 2 guys) out for a pedicure and a glass of wine. It felt great, we all had fun together in a non-work environment and damn, my feet looked good when we were done. It cost a couple of bucks but the team bonded tremendously over the fête (har!) and we all worked just a bit better together from that moment on.
Come up with your own example and always remember, if you make the atmosphere at work just a little bit fun, you can exponentially improve the output of any team.