Pokemon Go And Your Contact Center

By Colin Taylor

It has just been a few weeks since Pokemon Go has unleashed mobs of zombies walking in search of new Pokemon to capture, and other players to battle. The game quickly eclipsed Twitters total number of users and at more than 21 million players it shows no signs that the growth is abating anytime soon. Cemetaries, museums and private homes have posted notices asking player not to play at their location. Players have walked into buildings, signs and driven into police cars. Playing any game while driving is probably not a good idea. Calls to 911 requesting access to fire stations in LA are ‘impeding emergency service’.
But what does Pokemon Go mean for the operators of call centers and contact centers? The invasion of your call center by Pokemon is likely to reignite the debate about smart phones in the contact center.
Make no mistake Pokemon is a distraction for staff and management alike, it is not just a game played by teens and millennials. So all staff in the center are at risk for being affected by the need to capture Poke’s that are hovering on the next desk, in the parking lot or in the lunch room. In a contact center operation this equates very quickly to a new category of labor shrinkage, right up there with lunch, breaks, and washroom trips. It also can impact and agents’ performance if they were hunting Pokemon until 4 am, they may be a little tired at the start of their 7 am shift.
But it is not all gloom and doom. Pokemon Go also represents an opportunity. Just as some businesses have benefited from proximity to PokéStop and Poke Gyms, others have been spending money to become a hub of Pokemon players. A pizza restaurant in New York city spent $110 in ‘lures’ and increased their order volume by 75%. One enterprising outsourcer employed a lure at their center to attract people to their job fair, bringing more people and candidates to their facility.
How centers will balance the risks and challenges of Pokemon Go on their staffing and workforce management is still an open question. But there is opportunity here as well, the use of lures may help centers to recruit staff and the possibility of leveraging Pokemon Go as an element of gamification shows great promise.
Only time will answer these questions for call center operators, but rest assured Pokemon and augmented reality is here to stay, so we need to get used to the idea and think creatively about how we can turn this technology to our advantage.

Let me your take on Pokemon Go and the implications for your call center or contact center.

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