Gamification in Service Management GuideThe Impact of Gamification


A major player in the leisure industry was facing issues with service desk performance.The proportion of issues being solved at the first line was 1/3 of the industry benchmark, meaning that the expensive 2nd and 3rd line resources were constantly being pulled in to help solve low level issues.

A closer look at the problem revealed that staff turnover was very high and engagement was very low. Due to the number of repetitive tasks that analysts were handling, they were bored, unmotivated and easily tempted by other organizations. Staff were burning out soon after they had completed their extended training.

The knowledge and skills that the company had invested in was leaking out of the organization, so the burden of incident resolution was falling on the more technical people. Inside the service desk, a never ending cycle of recruitment and training meant that only a small proportion of service desk analysts were fully trained and committed at any given time. They were suffering from an engagement crisis.

The key objectives were to improve staff retention with better engagement, drive the capture of knowledge to reduce the impact of “brain drain” and promote the re-use of knowledge within the service desk and end user communities to improve productivity.

With a clear idea of what needed to happen, the organization began mapping out the specific actions/ behaviors they wanted to encourage. To solve the problem of mundane and repetitive work, they planned out a game model for the service desk – introducing points, skills badges and a leaderboard to incentivize key behaviors and give analysts instant feedback and rewards.

By giving incident management a structure that went beyond simply picking up the phone again and again, gamification gave more meaning to the work that analysts were doing and created a powerful motivation layer.

Much of this was focused on knowledge capture - motivating analysts to categorize and document incident resolutions properly in order to fuel the growth of their knowledge base. Within three months, the knowledge base had grown exponentially, analysts were no longer continually reinventing the wheel, and there was sufficient content to present resolutions for low-level incidents to the end user community.

At this stage, having built a solid foundation within the service desk, the IT department created a game model for end users, rewarding them for using the knowledge that had been built up.

Metrics showed that 15% of incidents were now being solved by end users themselves, and the incentives offered had driven a change in behavior: the knowledge base was now the first port of call for many end users when they encountered minor IT issues. When end users were fully engaged and familiar with the mechanisms and rewards, the game model was extended to promote peer support.

By deploying a collaboration platform, integrated with game mechanics, end users were able to share and re-use their own knowledge, whilst gaining points for their effort and badges for sharing specialist knowledge. The growth rate of the knowledge base increased once again, covering not only support issues, but also application best practices.

With fewer low-level issues to deal with, service desk analysts now enjoy a more varied role, get regular feedback and rewards, stay longer in the organization and take operational pressure off 2nd and 3rd line resources – leaving more time for development projects. Recruitment costs have dropped, performance metrics improved, and IT customer satisfaction ratings have seen a steady increase.




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