NICE Teams Up with Bunchball

Aiming to motivate contact center employees to deliver better customer service, NICE is incorporating Bunchball’s gamification solutions into its WFO solutions.

“Gamification has been a buzzword here in Silicon Valley, but now we’re seeing it enter the mainstream,” says Scott Buchanan, head of solutions marketing at NICE. “A lot of people think gamification means fun and entertainment, but as we understand it, it’s fundamentally about measuring performance and motivating improvement, and that aligns with what NICE is trying to do with its performance management and compensation management products.”

Gamification also takes incentives to a new level by not only offering techniques such as virtual challenges, contests, and quests, but by combining them with social media.

“It’s a form of incentive, but with social currency,” says Buchanan. “Employees use our products every day; it’s on their desktop. If you think of performance management, [for] example, that’s a product that front-line employees log into every day to see how they’re doing on all of their metrics versus their targets, versus their peers—they need to know where they stand. For example, a front-line employee who logs in and sees that [she’s] struggling with with handle time will be presented with the opportunity to earn a handle time badge. To earn that badge she will need to complete a series of objectives that will tune up her skills.”

“People have fundamental needs and desires for reward, status, achievement, self-expression, competition, and altruism, among others,” says Buchanan.“These needs are universal and span generations, demographics, culture, and gender.”

While it is a relatively new concept, NICE is betting that more companies will be investing in gamification. According to the company, Gartner predicts that “by 2015, more than fifty percent of organizations that have managed innovation processes will gamify those processes.”

“A gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay, or Amazon, and more than seventy percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application,” Gartner wrote in a research report.

“Gamification is hot as a topic, but it makes some of our customers a bit anxious because it’s new in the contact center and service operations space,” says Buchanan. “The key thing that we’ve found is that by reinforcingit fundamentally as [a way] to motivate employees, they get it. A big thing companies are struggling with is delivering a better customer experience…. They need more engaged employees, and this is a critical way to do that.”