In Conquest of Helpdesk Gamification

Only other organisation and self-improvement enthusiasts might sympathise with me when I say I’ve spent hours trying out almost every habit-building and productivity app out there. CARROT, Habitica, Jane McGonigal’s iconic Superbetter – you name it.

All these apps use a variety of game mechanics to deliver on their promises, but the game mechanic that I’ve seen universally used is the quest. Taking ordinary everyday tasks and turning them into quests – meaningful journeys of improvement and learning – is one of the most simple yet ingenious ways to get people to change their habits. The player is more motivated to complete the task, becomes more skilled as they complete it, and builds the awesome habit of taking initiative to keep doing better through such quests. The rewards that recognise these achievements keep quests fun and serve as great motivation – I know I’d do my daily yoga just to be able to get my incredibly cute Habitica avatar some of that macho Leather Armour.

So when it was time for our next Achievement Unlocked post, I knew I was going to have to write about how we can use quests for helpdesk gamification.

If you use a customer service software like Freshdesk, chances are you know what we’re talking about and you probably have some default quests in place.

“Share Knowledge”, “Be a Knowledge Guru” and “Show them you can write!” are all quests about writing relevant solution articles but all of them differ based on the obstacles themselves (the number of solution articles you have to write) and the rewards. Because the chances are that every business will have a different average number of relevant solution articles that can go into their knowledge base every month because the nature of each product and service is different. Setting a fair time constraint for the quests also depends on this.

This is why we highly recommend that you create quests and rewards particular and relevant to your domains. Here are some guidelines that can help you design just the right quests for your business’s support team:

Identify the areas you want to convert into quests

Gamified habit-building apps have one clear agenda specific to which their quests are designed – to help the user form habits that stick. But your helpdesk probably has much more than just one agenda on the table – you want to keep overall customer satisfaction up, you want to resolve critical issues quickly and well, you need to maintain your knowledge base. Identifying all the different areas in which you need to get things done can help you set up the right quests to reach those targets. In Freshdesk’s sample quests, for example, we cover a wide range of areas like customer satisfaction, knowledge base maintenance, community engagement and resolving tickets on social channels.

Make sure the quests are adequately challenging

Quests need to be achievable yet challenging. Sure, it’s tempting to set up quests that when achieved will reduce your response time to hitherto unheard of levels, but the effort will be futile if the quests are too difficult to complete in the first place. While quests do need to be challenging and difficult enough that they give a sense of accomplishment when they’re completed, they don’t have to be insurmountable tasks.

On the other hand, you also need to make sure that quests are built around stretch goals that require conscious extra effort on the player’s part. A good rule of thumb for a starter quest would be that 80% of the team should be able to meet it. For each harder quest, keep cutting down achievability by always only having 90% people who can achieve them.

Give the quests meaning and story

Making quests about more than just getting an “awesome” customer satisfaction rating on 10 tickets is really important to motivate players. When you make the same challenge about “earning customer love”, it becomes much more meaningful and important a quest to complete. It also sounds less like a chore or a task which is a part of the job and more like an act of reaching out for excellence.

Design careful incentives to motivate completion

Meaningful and comparable rewards are the key to running successful quests. Agents should feel a sense of achievement when they complete a quest and know that they’ve mastered or managed to finish a substantial task. So make a big deal about it – set the right rewards, give quests a flashy badge and fancy title. Give out material rewards if you can; it doesn’t have to be something flashy. It can be anything from a simple “You’re a champ!” card to a full-on trophy. Don’t forget to make sure everyone gets notifications when someone unlocks a badge.

Keep them fresh and new

Quests are used best when you make sure there are always interesting challenges for agents to keep unlocking as they go. With our simple editor, creating configurable tasks is a breeze, so you can keep changing up quests every other week. Go ahead and get creative – you could do superhero-themed quests for a quarter – the possibilities are endless!

Here are some sample superhero-themed quests you can set up:

  • The Hero Your Helpdesk Deserves – resolve 10 urgent tickets with “awesome” customer satisfaction ratings to earn the Batman badge and get 300 Bonus Points
  • The Fastest Man Alive – hit an average resolution time of under 1 hour and earn the Flash badge and get 300 Bonus Points
  • Truth, Justice and the Support Way – write 52 knowledge base articles in 1 week to win the Clark Kent badge and get 300 Bonus Points
  • Your Friendly Neighbourhood – participate in 37 community forum discussions in 1 day time to earn the Spiderman badge and get 300 Bonus Points

You could even setup quests for peak hours or a holiday season. Someone just resolved 50 tickets in an hour? Give them a special badge and extra Bonus Points. An agent closed 200 tickets in one day? Buy them doughnuts and coffee.  With the variety and intrigue that helpdesk gamification provides, you can reach new heights of productivity while having a whole lot of fun.

Look out for our next Achievement Unlocked post on leaderboards for the helpdesk, and let us know your thoughts below!