Contact-Center Gamification Gold Rush! cover image

Contact-Center Gamification Gold Rush!

By Gavin Marsh


First Mover Advantage



Gamifying traditional contact centers is the new kid on the block and it is taking the market by storm... but Contact-Center-Gamification is a new technology and as such it will be prone to the increasing technology adoption curve so the financial first mover advantage is shrinking every month.

In simple terms: If Contact-Centers don't implement fast they will lose out financially to there direct competition.

The Business Opportunity

The Rising Speed of Technological Adoption and employee efficiency through technology is not the only metric moving at an exponential rate. A Contact-Centers competitive advantage shrinks at the same correlated rate if there adoption for new technology is slow.

The rate at which newly commercialised technologies get adopted by employees is also getting faster, too.

Visualising Technological Adoption The dynamic chart above allows you to compare the adoption rates of new technologies over the period of more than a century to illustrate that software adoption is the fastest technology adoption in human history (additional technologies can be added to the chart by clicking on the '+Add Technology' button). Contact-Centers need to be bold and act fast if they wish to gain a competitive financial advantage over there competition.

In the modern world, through increased connectivity, instant communication, and established infrastructure systems, new ideas and software products can spread at speeds never seen before – and this enables a new product to get in the hands of your competitor in the blink of an eye. Stay relevant or get left behind.

How this relates to Contact Centers

To understand the full impact of the above chart with regards to the current Contact-Center first mover advantage, it’s worth removing old technologies and focusing on how fast modern technologies like smartphones and Social media have been adopted, as infrastructure is removed and more software is introduced, speed of adoption increases.

It comes down to this, software is simply more malleable and Gamification software can be designed to mould around what keeps agents engaged today and tomorrow. The software moves with the agent instead of a fixed cumbersome antiquated solution, as the agents focus and ateention shifts due to our sociaties cahnges so too can gamification software be tweaks and refined (often in the space of minutes) to increase and maintain an agents attention to align with the greater company goals.

The telephone was invented in 1876, but it wasn’t until a century later that landlines reached a saturation point in households.

Social Media came on the scene in 2006 and reached 70% saturation by 2016 (just ten years). Gamification has been edging towards the spotlight since mid 2016 and if it continues on it's current adoption curve then gamification is set to reach market saturation by 2022 (just six years from now). So what does that mean? In today's software market the agile Contact-Center has a clear three year advantage on there slower moving competition if they implement Gamification now.

New tech = faster adoption curve.

Standing out most on the first chart is the tablet computer, which went from nearly 0% to 50% adoption in five years.

However, it also says something else about today’s employees – which is that they are connected, fast-acting, and not afraid to adopt the new technologies that can quickly impact their professional lives for the better. This is a metric that will only increase as the millennial generation is slowly replaced by Generation X. To this end Gamification will become an absolute necessity to stop the increasing brain drain and sky rocketing attrition rates.

Gamification is a relatively new technology, arguably it has only been around commercially for three years now and large Contact Centers and nimble startups are taking the full advantage of the cost savings and increase in productivity and effeciency. Slow acting decision makers will be left with egg on there face and possible retribution from higher up the corporate chain.

Barrier to entry

Not enough current customer case studies for an organisation to feel they have negated the risk to adopt (no gamification budget ear marked). This is common in today's market, Contact Centers can see the obvious advantage but may not be as agile or informed enough to make a quick decision. Knowlege gaps in technology can often result in Contact-Centers being left behind and losing out on the first mover advantage of new proven technology, which inevitably results in more revenue flowing in the direction of there immediate competition?

What is Gamification anyway?

I want to share a little story, I have two sons Daniel who’s 21 and Luke who’s 19. Now they’ve both left home and share a two bedroom apartment together. Daniel’s doing CAD software design and Luke an Electrician. I was thinking to myself now that they’re earning a little bit of money, how do I teach them about saving and investing. Now I believe the safest and lowest risk investment you can make is property. But there’s quite a bit to learn, you’ve got capital down, Loan to value (LTV), mortgage payments, solicitors, government base rates etc.

So what I did instead was I invited them up to London to watch the new Marvel movie with me at IMAX. We have the largest cinema screen in Europe so my sons jumped at the chance. So we went and the film and afterwards we grabbed a pizza and then headed back my apartment. And what I did I went into my old games cupboard and pulled out Monopoly, and the three of us are sitting there and you know what it’s like the game lasts for hours, but as were playing I’m dropping little hints, so if they purchase a house on Mayfair I’m mentioning “oh your purchasing a property in Mayfair for $100 your probably going to need $10 as a deposit that means you would apply for a mortgage of $90 which is 90% loan to value”. But you know we’ve all played Monopoly, the game lasts for hours. And when you think about that three hours of property investment tuition to a 21 year old and a 19 year old who have an attention span combined of a gold fish. Then gamification really can be a very powerful tool for attention direction and engagement.

The Elephant in the room.

The Global video gaming industry is worth an estimated $100 billion and gamification has become a mainstay of digital development and website design. Indeed, to ‘gamify’ has become a shorthand for improving the user experience. It is understood to be a given that gamification increases customer engagement levels, and sometimes misunderstood that the next generation of users are easily won by catchy 8-bit theme tunes, points, badges and leader boards. This is the popular hype of gamification which, unfortunately, undermines its serious intentions, because no matter how trivial it might appear for a Call Centre to hire Donkey Kong developers to “gamify” there agents user experience, the application of game design thinking can have a bigger purpose at heart, one that is interested in more than just wooing millennials.

The art and science that have grown around the game design industry are directly applicable to contact center agents user experience design. The slickness, polish and “playability” that are found in modern gaming (candy crush, call of duty) are exactly what is needed in Contact centres. Also, like Monopoly, gamified Contact Centre User Interfaces (UI’s) can educate agents while entertaining them.

The second Elephant in the room.

“Gamification only suitable for younger demographics” – rubbish! the appeal extends to all ages. Ofcom’s ‘Adult’s media use and attitudes’ 2017 report found that one in eight adults play games online with or against other people. The computer game has been around since 1958, that’s 60 years, Pacman was released in 1980, so I believe what we will see is the underlying technology being static but the skins will reflect rewards systems that the agents are familiar with so space invaders and Pacman through to Laura Croft and Call of duty Candy crush and Pokémon go .

It’s easy to forget that modern communication, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, is gamified by push notifications: Likes, Re-tweets, Friends and Followers - all of them ingredients in the dopamine reward cycle that is elementary to gaming platforms. This cycle helps companies to reduce attrition and build agent trust and loyalty, if they receive meaningful rewards for their engagement. It also provides the opportunity to promote new service/products and build the agents social reputation.

But all of these benefits depend on a good design and deployment, and that means clearly defining what your company wants to achieve, this means bringing in a Noble Business Analyst to help you define your KPI’s. Loyalty is built on trust and transparency and if you can educate agents to become more responsible and self-motivated, that is perhaps the best relationship you can nurture. Call centres have been around since the 1960’s and it has experienced numerous iterations of the product itself but for the first time in 60 years instead of changing the product we are changing the agents happiness and well being, this truly is the new wave of contact centres. The Contact Centre 2.0.

If you are interested in learning more or would like me to run some business analysis (Free of charge) on what the financial advantage would be for your organisation then drop me a direct email to and lets meet for a quick coffee to discuss more.

Published on April 20, 2019.

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