Call centers, vitally important to businesses such as airlines and credit card companies, often have agents who say they feel isolated, receiving little feedback on how they are interacting with customers. To help, Xerox researchers have invented software that uses gaming techniques to provide feedback and encourage teamwork.
“Our studies on call centers indicate that embedding game dynamics in the workplace helps agents and their managers set priorities and provides agents with a common challenge that they can collaborate on and talk about,” said Xerox researcher Ben Hanrahan.
Social scientists at the Xerox Research Centre Europe (XRCE) in France studied various aspects of how call center agents work to gain a better understanding of challenges. Building upon their findings, researchers created the Xerox Agent Performance Indicator Software (Xerox API).
Over the course of the workday, Xerox API provides agents with continuous feedback on their performance in a fun, interactive way. Using green, yellow and red color codes, agents can see how they are doing in areas such as time spent on a call, number of calls handled and other key performance indicators. Traditional feedback methods involve a manager emailing performance reports to agents once or twice a day.
Agents using the technology show significant improvement on standard performance measures such as the amount of time spent solving a customer problem. The tool also has helped streamline the relationship between managers and their team.
“This innovative approach to providing support and immediate feedback to call center agents has been well received, earning us an Innovation Award from the National Contact Center Association in The Netherlands where it was first deployed, “ said Simon Verzijl, Group President Commercial Xerox Services Europe. “The technology encourages collaboration and setting goals along with some fun and healthy competition.”
The technology has been deployed to 1,500 agents working in Xerox contact centers in Europe which provide customer care services for 25 Xerox customers.
Xerox plans to expand the use of the tool with planned roll outs in other countries including the United States. With more than 48,000 call center employees supporting clients in 150 locations worldwide, Xerox is a leading provider of customer care solutions, handling more than a million consumer interactions every day via the phone and Web.
Since the invention of Xerography more than 75 years ago, the people of Xerox (NYSE: XRX) have helped businesses simplify the way work gets done. Today, we are the global leader in business process and document management, helping organizations of any size be more efficient so they can focus on their real business. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., more than 140,000 Xerox employees serve clients in 160 countries, providing business services, printing equipment and software for commercial and government organizations. Learn more at www.xerox.com.