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The Worst Way to Combat Employee Distraction

The Worst Way to Combat Employee Distraction

Erika Blaney


Call centers are fundamental to the customer experience, and the customer experience is key for driving sales and revenue. That’s why call center managers are constantly on the look-out for ways to improve operational efficiencies and performance overall.

Here’s a case in point: We recently helped a customer that needed a fresh approach to a variety of traditional call center challenges. Specifically, the call center managers at this company wanted to decrease employee attrition, increase IT service associate and manager engagement, improve customer satisfaction and reduce support costs.

How were they able to tackle all of that –without asking call center agents to learn yet another new system? They did it by integrating Bunchball’s digital engagement platform, Nitro, into their Salesforce Service Cloud deployment.

Today’s employees are distracted. Email. Meetings. Mobile devices. Social media. Chatter across open layouts. Researchers say office workers are now interrupted—or self-interrupt—about every three minutes. No wonder it’s so difficult to motivate people to stay on task.

Employee engagement has taken a nose dive, and without engagement, any systems from HR, marketing, sales, service, finance, etc. will suffer from laggard adoption or event the “garbage in, garbage out” syndrome.  Launching a new community or intranet? Upgrading your learning management? Need to drive activity and data integrity in your CRM or Support Portal? Motivating user participation is critical – and yet few companies know how to build and sustain engagement. This, in turn, decreases the value of the data, the value of the system and (ironically) the value of the employees who are resisting the use of the system.

What can you do to solve this conundrum? Is there a way to engage employees in a scalable, cost-effective manner?

There is. But it’s probably not what you have in mind right now.

When we talk to managers about how to improve employee engagement, most of them think their best option is to scrap whatever it is they’re doing now. Essentially, they want to win the “attention war” by asking people to adopt some shiny, new –and very exciting! –thing.

And I’m here to tell you that’s the absolute wrong approach.

Instead of introducing more distraction in the form of yet another optimized efficiency product, I challenge you to think about this problem in a different way. What if your existing technologies were simply used better? What if people simply used the systems they already know, but did so more correctly and consistently? And what if you could take advantage of the data created by increasing engagement in your existing systems to further improve business performance across all your departments and stakeholder circles?

That’s precisely what a digital engagement platform can do.

A digital engagement platform integrates gamification, performance intelligence and big data analytics with existing systems to generate what we at Bunchball call “performance enhancing data.” Think about it: The systems you’re already using are churning out huge amounts of activity data from virtually any business process –including learning, training, customer service, sales, customer relationships management (CRM) and others. A digital engagement platform turns that data into performance enhancing data so you can use it to increase engagement, without your employees and partners having to learn anything new. Performance enhancing data helps you better motivate employees to engage in familiar activities and take actions – and these new and changed behaviors can be correlated with direct impact on the bottom line.

So don’t add to the distractions. Don’t bother wasting everyone’s time on some app du jour. And don’t think lack of employee engagement is a problem that can’t be solved.

Focus on getting your employees to use existing workplace systems correctly and consistently. Then, you’ll achieve the value these technologies promise and have the performance intelligence and insights needed to measure business impacts – and determine actual ROI.

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