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Article : The Four Freedoms Of Games And Gamification

#contactcenterworld, @puzzelsolutions

Bjørn-Rune Hanssen, Gamification Manager at Intelecom explains why it’s good to experiment and fail when it comes to gamification in contact centres.

According to UK & US Contact Centre HR & Operational Benchmarking Reports, agent attrition rates in the UK averaged 22% in 2015. Globally, it is much higher. Reports that employee disengagement and staff unhappiness in contact centres is costing the UK economy £2.3 billion every year. It is well known within the industry that keeping agents motivated and happy is a massive challenge.

Why is it so hard to keep agents happy and engaged? We know games and gamification can be used to great effect here, but what makes games effective motivators to begin with? What is it about games that engage humans, and what is it that makes them different from ‘real life’?

An MIT professor named Scot Osterweil has defined a concept which he called The Four Freedoms of Play, a concept which explains much of the learning and motivational value of games. This is worth exploring because it provides some useful guidance on how to gamify successfully and it can help explain why your employees are disengaging.

The Freedom To Fail

The first of Osterweil’s freedoms, and possibly the most important of them, is the freedom to fail. Games by their very nature, allow the player to fail without persistent and harmful consequences, as opposed to the real world where failure usually comes with repercussions. In the contact centre, failure on the part of the agent can result in negative customer experiences, and could lose the company money.

As a rule, this doesn’t happen in the world of games. You fell down? That’s alright, go back to the start, try again and learn from your mistakes. Now you know that you can’t actually do that jump, so try something else. This is how the gamer learns the game; it is how they become masters of their craft. As the saying goes, once bitten, twice shy; there is no better teacher than failure, and there is no better environment for failure than that of a game.

Losing a customer in the real world is not the same as losing a game. However, that’s not to say you can’t allow your agents some slack. Instead of treating errors as something to be punished, think of them as opportunities for learning and improving service.

The Freedom To Experiment

In the real world, people and companies generally avoid trying new things if the old things they are doing seem to be working (and even when they aren’t, we are still generally averse to experimentation). To illustrate, consider a PBX-based contact centre solution which ‘gets the job done’. It may be a hard sell to upgrade to a cloud solution, as the PBX is ‘good enough’. A cloud solution might be massively beneficial, removing frustrations for agents, managers, and customers alike, but it’s just such effort, and that associated risk.

Games get around this kind of thinking through the previously mentioned tolerance of failure, but even if you don’t fail you’re still allowed to do things multiple times. That allows you to try different strategies, use different information, and accomplish your goals in different ways. Maybe the way you did it first was the best. Or maybe you find a way that is fifty times quicker and simpler. And the best part of it is, there is no cost to trying!

It is important to realise that these freedoms are not binary. It’s not a matter of having them or not having them, but of to what degree you have them. Even within games these freedoms are restricted to varying degrees. Which means that you might want to look at your contact centre with an eye to seeing how much freedom to experiment your agents have. And maybe consider if the work flow scripts your agents are required to follow are truly necessary, and if they are really conducive to improving your agents’ motivation. Probably not.

The Freedom Of Identity

We all live our lives behind a few different identities, such as the professional, spouse, son or daughter. These identities are distinct, but also borne out of expectation: You can’t be the spouse at work, it would be weird to be the professional when you’re chatting with your friends and family.

Games allow you to redefine yourself as you wish, to free yourself from the shackles of expectation and even reality. Games don’t want you to be yourself, in any real version. They want you to be a wizard, a spy or the captain of a spaceship fighting aliens. Or become an actual alien yourself.

You might think that while this sounds freeing and nice, it’s not very useful. Think of it like this, games allow you to not just see things from someone else’s perspective, but to be that someone else. What better way to train your contact centre agents to provide excellent service, than to have them take on the role of the customer demanding it?

The more authentic you make your scenarios, the better the agent will learn, and the more empathetic and helpful they may be when in the future they end up talking to someone in the same role they once played.

The Freedom Of Effort

There are limits to how much effort anyone is willing to put into anything. A child may run around the playground for ages playing tag, perfectly avoiding capture, until suddenly stopping and allowing capture. They’ve reached the limit of how much effort they are willing to invest in the activity.

This happens at work, too, but unlike on the playground the employee never has the option to simply stop working. The calls and e-mail keeps coming and in response to this never-ending torrent of work, a lot of agents disengage or at the very least lose focus. But gamers can play for hours on end, putting in masses of effort in the process, seemingly without disengaging or losing focus. Why?

The answer is that games allow you to take breaks as required. Single player games can be paused or interrupted. Multiplayer games usually give you plenty of opportunities to take some time off or at any point you can simply leave the game if you don’t want to play anymore.

In the context of work, this idea sounds horribly inefficient, but there may be some lessons to learn. You could, for example, implement a system where your agents earn ‘break points’ that they can cash in for pause time, or they can save to cash in for other rewards. It might be costly to allow agents to take too much time off the line during their shift, but ask yourself this question, would you rather have agents on 100% of the time, but actively disengaged and frustrated for half that time? Or have agents on 90% of the time, but ready and up for it the entire time?

What This Means

By default, life severely restricts these freedoms, so one might question the benefit in considering them. As mentioned, I believe it may be helpful to think of them as continuums, where the question isn’t ‘do you have the freedom to fail’, but ‘how much freedom to fail do you have’. Less freedom means more frustration and more disengagement, which drives costs up and lowers customer satisfaction. If you keep these perspectives in mind and make an effort to increase the degree of freedom experienced by your agents, maybe through the use of games and gamification measures, you will soon see a return on investment, with agents, the contact centre and organisation all becoming winners.

#contactcenterworld, @puzzelsolutions

About Bjørn-Rune Hannsen:
Bjorn-Rune’s role is to develop and manage Intelecom’s gamification product content and strategy. With nearly 10 years’ experience in digital technology, including game design, his focus is on bridging the gap between making training a primary differentiator for contact centres and the perceived expense of agent education programmes.

About Puzzel:
Company LogoPuzzel (formerly Intelecom) builds on 20 years’ heritage. It was one of the first pioneers to develop a cloud-based contact centre. Puzzel also encompasses leading mobile messaging and mobile payments to deliver a flexible and customisable customer interaction platform to meet the needs of today’s omni-channel and mobile environments. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Puzzel employs over 130 people who are all passionate about delivering innovative customer interaction solutions for contact centres and mobile environments.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Understand the Processes And The Culture

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2017

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2021 Buyers Guide Dialer Solutions

Acqueon Technologies Inc.

Acqueon's AI-driven conversational engagement software enables sales, marketing and service organizations to engage in emotionally connected dialogs with customers via their channel of choice for significantly improved results. The Acqueon suite adds multichannel campaign management, contact center analytics, desktop, and CRM connectors for your contact center software of choice, including Amazon Connect, Cisco, Nice inContact, and Twilio. Acqueon conversational engagement software leverages the Acqueon IQ platform to aggregate data from the various applications, assemble rich customer contexts, and drive next-best-action using powerful statistical and predictive models.
PH: +1 888-946-6878

Avyukta Intellicall Consulting Pvt. Ltd.

Dialer CRM VoIP CTI Cloud Solutions
We are a single roofed solution for Dialer / Hosted Dialer / VoIP / CRM and CTI Solutions . With 300+ call center clients in above 9 countries and recent features such as :

Dynamic custom agent crm popup

avatar module

10+ Custom Reports

Cloud Telephony with/out "Host your Trunks" option

and End to End CRM on the cards we are supposed to grow exponentially within the next 6 Months
PH: +91-9549999916

Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.
PH: +1 512-872-7565

Cloud IT Services GmbH

Dialfire offers you a complete call center solution that is simple and intuitive to use and adapts to your needs. It's completely cloud-based, saving you the hassle of setting up a phone system and installing software. In addition to predictive dialing and call blending of inbound calls, you can create personalized campaigns through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Features include automated workflows and full control over the agent screen.

You can see the full list of features here:

ComSys S.A.

CList for Outbound Campaigns Management
CList by Comsys is an application that helps contact centers enhance the performance of their outbound campaigns. It accomplishes that by enabling the planning and execution of sophisticated communication strategies. Additionally, the AI-powered module of CList extends the possibilities of outbound campaigns delivering unprecedented results.
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with t...
(read more)
PH: +302109241486

Consilium Software

Consilium UniCampaign™
Reaching the right person with the right information on the right channel at the right time is a tall order. That’s the power the new Consilium UniCampaign™ has been adding to Cisco outbound contact centers, easily tripling or quadrupling results, from improving digital customer acquisition to managing post-sale customer relationship. Delivering proactive outbound engagement in a game-changer product, Consilium UniCampaign™ is an omnichannel List and Campaign Management (LCM) solution which complements the strength and robustness of Cisco's Outbound Dialer with the implementation of multichannel (voice, email, and SMS) outbound contact strategies. The new 7th release of UniCampaign™ is des...
(read more)
PH: (+61) 406 501 368


Dialer software that makes customer contact pain free, so your team aren’t worried about complex technology and can focus on what they do best. Dramatically increase agent productivity using a variety of dialers, combined with AI, leveraging data-driven contact strategies to ensure the right agent is contacting your customers at the right time.

Take control, and ensure your team are on-message by designing the perfect agent interface with a drag-n-drop visual WYSWYG editor.

Rotate CLIDs, and auto-wrap certain calls to ensure maximum agent productivity and performance.
PH: +6188803111


Genesys PureConnect
Genesys PureEngage

Cloud IT Services GmbH

Companies of all sizes rely on the cloud-based call center platform Dialfire and its powerful predictive dialer. Dialfire is ready to use within minutes and easily personalizable. From small ad-hoc to large multi-step campaigns, Dialfire offers high scalability. Adapt customer masks and automate workflows per mouse click. Integrated scripting and APIs ensure a smooth connection with external systems.
PH: +49 351 44529800


With Megadialer you will get a customized call center software. With the creation of personalized questions, surveys and sales script you will have the information you need from your customers quickly and efficiently. Improve the performance of your agents with a 100% online contact center, real-time analytics and predictive dialer to optimize the time between one call and another.

All rates include:
Instant Call Reports
On-Demand Recording
Call Supervisor
Call Layout after Completion
Your Own Caller ID
Call Monitor
Automatic Re-Calls
Automatic sending of Mails
Incoming Call Management
Real-time Activity Panels
Call Lists for Agents
Different Levels of Administration
PH: +34 952 667 511


Advanced outbound solution including predictive dialing, featuring patented technologies such as Live Person Detection (LPD™) and SNoDrop™ using Artificial Intelligence to deliver compliant & effective predictive dialing with 0% abandoned call rates. The solution includes its own CRM system as well as visual campaign creation and management as well as automated data import and export capabilities. The package comes with highly visual and open call scripting technology and an SDK (Software Development Kit) is also available for embedding the dialer into your own user front end.
PH: +44 345 0181 070

Nuxiba Technologies

Discover Nuxiba's all-in-one dialer solutions. Either predictive or automatic, our software adapts to your business needs with a powerful and easy-to-use system. We offer TCPA compliance options, so you never have to worry about issues with the law and PCI Data Security so you can protect your cardholder's data information during every call.

Stop worrying about technicalities and focus on the most valuable aspect: giving the best service and customer experience with our intuitive features. All of our features and modules are fully adaptable to any business needs.

Obtain the benefits of using software fully tailored to your business, start saving money, and boosting your productivity.


Reach more contacts, in less time with PhoneBurner. Powering thousands of client and millions of calls, our cloud-based software eliminate repetitive tasks so agents have up to 4x more live conversations. Unlike other dialers, PhoneBurner delivers 100% delay-free connections with no awkward pause. Conversations start off with promise, not hangups.

- Call 60-80 contacts per hour, per agent
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Scales to any size team with no contracts, no setup fees, and no per minute charges. Start a free trial without a credit card.
PH: 877-588-2292


Predictive Dialler
A predictive dialler is an outbound call system that automatically dials from a list of telephone numbers. Also known as Power or Auto dialers it will automatically help agents make more calls, generate higher rates of connections, increase conversions, manage voicemail, no-answers and disconnected numbers.

We’ve made it easy to get started, we offer packages to best suit your needs and don't tie you into long term contracts. Don't take our word for it take out a no-commitment free trial!
PH: +441617102740

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
The InterDialog Dialer is an independent & intelligent auto dialer software that controls the outbound calls using various algorithms. This call center dialer works as Predictive Dialer Software, Progressive Dialer Software, Preview Dialer Software or Power Dialer Software based on the requirement of the process. It allows the system to create groups/caller lists and then dials out to multiple calling groups/lists at the same time, thus helping target a wider market segment in a shorter period of time.

The predictive dialer software and automatic dialer algorithms used by the InterDialog Dialer are designed to improve efficiency by lowering the wait time, the number of dropped calls and t...
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Tru29 Outsource Solutions Inc.

Custom Outsourced Solutions
Tru29 Solutions tailor fits a dialer solution that will truly suit your needs.


Voiptime Contact Center
Our contact center solution allows processing the high volume of client requests from different channels (voice, webchat, email, web callbacks), running massive outbound dialing campaigns, and makes all call center operations visible for management. Voiptime Cloud Contact Center is a professional calling solution for outbound and inbound calls. It’s a plug-and-play software that immediately increases the productivity of your call center department. With the help of our solution you are able to:
- Automate lead prospecting and have 4x more live conversations daily;
- Increase the agent occupancy up to 80-90% with the help of the fastest Predictive dialer;
- Smooth out the peaks of calls by...
(read more)
PH: 1-720-362-5005

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