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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Winners announced in ATA/CCNG Best Contact Center Incentive Contest

Columbus, Ohio: Local chapters of ATA & CCNG conducted a joint meeting to determine the best contact center incentive programs. Winners were announced in each of the six categories: Quality – Ameridial; Cross-sell - AraCon Systems; Selling on a Customer Service Call – Highlights for Children; Inbound Sales – Accor North America; Collections – Crestwood Management; Outbound Telemarketing – InfoCision.

Some of the most notable contests include:

  • Accor North America’s on-going “Power Hour” program occurs randomly (but mainly during peak inbound call times). It provides immediate recognition to agents with award tickets for each hotel reservation. The tickets are given with great fanfare by members of management and allow agents a spin on their “wheel of chance” where every spin wins a prize. The program has increased sales, reduced absenteeism and improved schedule adherence.
  • InfoCision’s ̶Crack the Code” month long, end of year contest awards tickets for working extra hours. The number of tickets is doubled for each successive week of extra work (the multiplier). Tickets allow communicators (agents) to “buy” a prize box (hung throughout the contact center) with unknown contents. The content of your prize box is revealed weekly in a company wide video conference call attended only by those who were able to buy boxes. Those not meeting quality standards are not permitted to work extra hours (or earn tickets). Prizes consisted of PTO, gift certificates, iPods, casual day & other electronics plus five significantly large and valuable grand prizes. The contest allowed InfoCision to meet (and exceed) customer hours requirements
  • Ameridial’s Sale-a-thon Contest ran for five weeks with identical prizes for all offices. Awards for sales and call quality were given hourly and daily using “funny money” that was later used to bid on prizes at auction. Funny money recipients could combine funds into teams to pool their funds for auctions. Conversion rates and revenue-per-hour were rewarded along with quality scores. A noticeable secondary affect was improved attendance.
  • Highlights for Children’s “Go for No” contest rewards agents for remembering to ask even the difficult questions where the customer is likely to say “no” (in addition to rewarding for positive activities). Individual “No’s” are placed on a bingo card that when filled, can be redeemed for prizes. By asking the tough questions, Go for No has generated a lot more YES’s, turned customer service into a significant revenue generator and increased the comfort level when hearing the word “no.”
  • Incept Corporation’s “LifeSaver” incentive program is an on-going cumulative award program for agents who generate blood donation appointments that are kept. Points are used to promote the agent to a higher “LifeSaver” rank or title. The title is used on name tags and office signage. LifeSaver rank differentiates Incept’s agents from jobs in other local contact centers and makes the reward much more personal. Different values of points are awarded for different types of donors (new recruitment, lapsed, long-lapsed, etc.)

The meeting provided an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and share best practices. A few common traits: reward the daily homework, reward activities as soon as completed, use random intermittent reinforcement (chance) to generate excitement, cash (choice of reward) is often the most desired award. The basic activities are the easiest to measure and reward, call quality must be maintained and is often a “qualifier.”

Winners from left to right: Terri Peterman – Ameridial, Jake Fegan - AraCon Systems, Jeff Cundiff – Highlights for Children; Aquilla Portis – Accor North America; Chris Kimes – Crestwood Management; Matt Feltrup– InfoCision.

The contest was organized and facilitated by Jim Beuoy of Ameridial, Vernon Smith of CCNG (Parallax Technologies), John Stanovcak the Ohio Valley ATA chapter president (WorldShoring). The meeting was very helpful to those who attended. ATA & CCNG are the ideal associations to coordinate meetings of this type. The judges were Bob Cooke of Cicero; Laurie Alm and Stacey Jones of Motivated Incentives; Sam Maniar, Ph.D. of PRADCO and Robert Cowen of Snowfly. The judges have a combined total of more than 80 years in the contact center industry. The sponsors were DigiVoice, NobleBiz and Sound Communications. Copies of the presentations should be available for download from the CCNG and ATA web sites in the future. From the Contact Center Incentives group at LinkedIn.

About Contact Center Incentives: The group was founded by Robert Cowen, an experienced contact center subject matter expert in the field of agent incentives and motivation. For more information, contact Robert Cowen at 248-324-1161 or email