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Top 10 Ways to Maximize Using a Store to Motivate your Contact Center Employees

Offering a store where employees can shop and buy items is a great way to add motivation and fun to your Contact Center. NGNInsights our award-winning gamification and performance platform comes with a built-in store where you can add any item and award your employees with coins to shop with. This store includes inventory control and even can track if an employee needs to return an item for a refund. If you haven’t already taken advantage of our offer for an AI data analysis from NGNInsights you can learn more about that here.

Having a store is just the beginning though. What if you have a limited (or zero) budget to put items in the store? What if you already do monthly raffle tickets and don’t want to make a major change to a system that is already working? How do you make the most out of a Contact Center employee store?

My top 10 tips I have complied working with hundreds of Contact Center companies over the last few years.

1 - Have a Fair System That Rewards Key Performance

Contact Center employees want reward systems that are fair and that recognizes excellent performance. When employees are rewarded because they are friends with management it can create distrust and demotivate the rest of the team. Variable systems that reward employees from contests or luck are a great way to add variety to using a Contact Center employee store. But if random contests are the only or even the main way employees earn store currency you are missing out on one of the most effective motivational tools you can use in your Contact Center.
The most effective way to maximize your Contact Center employees’ motivation with a store is to have a daily system that automatically calculates employee performance and awards that performance with an appropriate number of coins. This ensures a fair process that is not based on any favoritism. By giving out coins on a daily basis, employees can have a sense of ‘victory’ each day as they save up coins for a targeted item.
NGNInsights includes an automated points system that is based entirely and only on key performance indicators or KPIs. Employees are then awarded coins on a set exchange rate. An employee can receive 1 coin for every 100 points for example. Contact Centers customize their points system based on the KPIs they are tracking and then set a rate to award coins based on their store budget to provide items. It is important that a Contact Center keeps their budget in mind when awarding coins.

2 - Track Progress

The key to long term success with a Contact Center employee store is to find the perfect balance between short term motivation (earning coins everyday) and long-term motivation (saving up coins for a large item). If it takes too long for an employee to earn enough coins for an item they want and the task seems impossible, employees won’t be motivated by the store. Conversely if a store only has low-cost items that aren’t valued or wanted by employees you won’t have the results you want (improved performance and engagement) from running a Contact Center employee store.
Employees need to be able to track their progress towards earning enough coins to purchase the item they want. This way an employee can calculate how long it will take to earn the coins they need and how quickly they can earn those coins with improved performance. Supervisors and management will also want to track progress to determine the success of running their store. How often are employees purchasing something from the store? Which items in the store are the most popular?
NGNInsights provides everything you need to allow your employees and management to track progress. Employees have progress bars that show them how close they are to having enough coins to purchase each item that is in the store. This allows employees to easily see what they could buy with their coins or how long it will take. Supervisors can access reports showing a detailed history of how each employee has earned and spent coins as well as a detailed purchase and fulfillment report from the store.

3 - Low Budget but High Value Items

Over the years we have worked with Contact Centers with a wide range of budgets for “swag” or “employee rewards” to use to put items into their store. Some Centers have a budget as high as $100 or more per employee per month which others have a budget of zero. There are lots of options for a Contact Center with zero budget to still use a store. Here is a quick list of zero budget items we have seen:

• VIP Parking Pass (think 90’s cult movie Office Space)
• Extra Break
• Extended Lunch Time
• PTO Coupon
• Get of Jail Card to Remove any Schedule Adherence Violations

Many Contact Centers have a combination of zero budget items alongside budget items and find that the zero budget items are the most popular things in the store.

4 - Promote Company Culture

Company logo branded items can be very popular. My favorite hoodie is from a company I worked for 10 years ago that is unfortunately no longer in business. Hoodies, hats, polo or t-shirts and coffee mugs are everyday items that employees enjoy using while representing your Contact Center.

These items can also be a sense of pride as employees know they were earned over time and quality work performance.

5 - Use Raffle Tickets to Offer Higher Ticket Items

One Contact Center had a long history of monthly raffles. They would have 3 prizes each month, 1 large prize like an Xbox or a TV, and 2 smaller prizes usually gift cards for Amazon, local restaurants, or movie theaters. Employees would be given tickets from supervisors and could then choose which prize bucket they wanted to put their tickets into for the monthly drawing. This Contact Center regularly asked for feedback from their employees and found that the employees preferred having a random chance at a large prize each month over having a store with more but less valuable items. But another point of feedback was concern that the way management distributed tickets was not always fair or consistent.
When this Contact Center launched NGNInsights they were able to keep their preferred raffle system while also resolving the concern employees had around it being fair. They set up their points system and coin exchange rate and then employees purchased raffle tickets from the store. The raffle tickets were now earned 100% on merit and performance and the Center had detailed reports of how many tickets were earned, by which employees, and how many tickets were allocated to each prize each month.

6 - Make it Easy to Use

This was an item that came directly from a Contact Center employee when I asked for some feedback in writing this article. It makes a lot of sense. The last thing you want is to put time, money, and effort into a Contact Center employee store and find that your employees aren’t using it because it is too confusing to find or navigate.

Employees use NGNInsights everyday to track their performance and have easy access to browse the store and to see their coin balance. Employees can look at detailed ledger reports to see how and when they have earned their coins and what they have purchased.

7 - Offer a Variety of Items

One of the great features of the Contact Center industry is the wide range of people you get to meet and work with. Some Contact Centers are full of aggressive type A personalities making sales calls while others are full of empathetic individuals providing customer support. You want to make sure that your store has a variety of items that can appeal across genders, ages, and personality types. Electronic items are always a popular choice and gift cards are an easy to let your employees choose whatever they want. But including items such as specialty food boxes, tools, or tabletop games is a way to catch the attention of your employees.
Some Contact Centers use a third-party service that connects to larger store and delivery options such as Amazon. This is an option that provides your employees with a nearly endless selection of items and takes care of delivery and fulfillment. But it comes at an extra cost.

8 - Encourage Healthy Competition by Offering a Limited Number of Key Items

When Contact Centers think about competition the first thing that comes to mind is a contest like the employee with the most sales by the end of the shift or the employee with the lowest After Call Work for the week. Contests are a great way to get a short term burst of effort and camaraderie from healthy competition. By using your Contact Center employee store to create competition through limited time or limited quantity items you can have those same positive results extended over a longer period of time.

By offering a key or highly desired item in a limited quantity, you create a healthy competition between employees to not only earn enough coins but to earn those coins faster in order to purchase the item before anyone else can. One NGNInsights customer does phone, email and chat customer support and they offer a store item that allows the agents to only be in the chat and email queue for 2 weeks. But they only offer one of these special items each month and it is by far and away the most popular item among the employees. In speaking with the Contact Center, they say that even more than the 2 week break from being on the phone, being the employee who was able to earn the coins and purchase the item is a bit of a status symbol.

Any item can become the top thing by creating scarcity and only offering a limited quantity. It could be a company logo branded coffee mug, a VIP parking pass, or like the Contact Center in the opening paragraph a queue or work change. But by limiting the quantity, the item becomes more valuable to employees as they make extra effort to earn the coins to be the lucky ones to purchase it.

9 - Add Recognition on Top of Store Purchases

With the right platform for your Contact Center employee store, you can easily add the ability to automatically celebrate and recognize employees when they make a purchase from the store. This adds a level of reward for your employees on top of whatever item they purchase.
NGNInsights includes an internal chat system built specifically for Contact Centers that includes a ticker tape style broadcast messaging system. This allows Contact Centers to send a message across the top of the screen to any single employee, every member of a team, or to all employees. By sending the message across the top of the screen you ensure that employees see the message without audibly or visually interrupting any phone call or chat-based interaction they might be in the middle of when the message is sent. This system can also be used to recognize employees for great performance, including when they earn or win coins or when they make a store purchase.
A lot of these Top 10 items can work in combination with each other. The right store item can be low budget but high value (#3) and promote your Contact Center’s culture (#4) earned strictly through employee performance (#1) while being limited in quantity (#8) and the employee who is able to earn the coins and purchase the item first can be recognized on top of receiving the item (#9)! That’s a lot of benefit from running a Contact Center employee store.

10 - Fun Items Employees Want but Might not Purchase on Their Own

Now what equates to a fun item an employee would want but probably not purchase on their own can differentiate greatly. Electronics and game systems are an obvious choice Getting input from your employees is the best way to be sure you are successful in what you offer in your Contact Center employee store. Here are some ideas by category:

Self-care or indulgent items:

• Massage or spa-day coupon
• Higher end restaurant certificate
• House cleaning or maid service

Household items:

• Alexa or Google smart device
• Ring doorbell
• Smart lamps or lightbulbs
• High end towels


• Ad-Free music service – Amazon, Apple, Pandora, Spotify, Tune-In
• Wine of the month
• Butcher box

We hope that this article helps you in your research and decision on whether or not to run a Contact Center employee store or how to get the most out of what you are already doing. If you are interested in learning more about how NGNInsights can help you motivate your agents with scientific based gamification including running a high-quality store you can Contact Us today for a demo!



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