ZIZO Executive Interview
Megan Kelly, COO, ZIZO
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Sheri Greenhaus, Managing Partner, CrmXchange, conducted a
Q&A with Megan Kelly, COO, ZIZO Technology to discuss their revolutionary
workplace gamification platform that takes the stress out of managing and
motivating your teams.
Can you tell us how ZIZO got started?
Our founder and CEO, Jimmy Chebat is a serial entrepreneur.
He has experience in many industries including collections, the tech industry
and even owned a call center. From his role in the collections industry, he
shifted more towards operations. It was
there that he discovered the issue of accountability and employee
engagement within the workforce and realized these issues were part of the
industry culture. The call center environment was subjective; favorite agents
were getting better information and types of work – which made it seem like
they were performing better.
Deciding to something about this workforce issue, he built a
data analytics tool that broke down how agents were performing. Work was then assigned based on data. He combined
the initial software with gamification, integration, and automation to create ZIZO.
ZIZO, essentially a startup, has been available since 2020,
is that correct?
2020 saw a shift in the workforce - the workforce was
younger and there was higher turnover. Customer service work can be emotionally
exhausting. Agents required a clearer
understanding of the organization they were representing and they needed to be
more engaged with both the company and the customers.
ZIZO enhances the agent experience in an engaging way. Agents can clearly see their role in the
company, how they are performing and they are rewarded in real time.
What is the number of customers that you have now?
We've been selling for a year and have 5 companies currently
on the platform.
Do the agents in those companies feel that they are being
treated more objectively?
Yes. Every activity is logged and the agent is rewarded accordingly.
There is no need to ask managers how they are doing, no guessing if agents are
hitting their mark. This produces a
greater trust in their organization.
Are you able to customize on the agent level in order to
influence the outcome the company is looking for?
ZIZO is highly customizable. It can be customized for select
KPIs such as attendance, talk time, accuracy, etc. We have a proprietary
algorithm that maps that out different goals and objectives every day for each
organization. Games will change
depending on the agent. An agent with 2
years of experience will have a different ‘game’ or objective than a new
hire. The manager, through our contest
feature, can set specific content such as: 1 versus 1, team competitions, individual
versus goal, or a specific contest with an additional incentive.
Can the games can be customized for a specific set of
motivations? For example, some agents are motivated by money, some by time off. Is this easy to do in scale? Can a supervisor create goals for agents?
Agents earn currencies within our app, which they use in the
reward store for whatever they'd like. We split rewards into 3 categories.
- Digital experience which improves their experience in the
app. They can improve their avatar, they can buy new celebrations that pop up
on the board when they have a big achievement, and they can create their own
unique kind of identity around that.
- Purchase of tangible goods.
- Company perks like personal time off or a better parking
Agents can reward themselves in the way that is meaningful
It sounds very flexible.
Yes, teams are motivated in different ways. This technology is flexible in order to
motivate teams in ways that mean the most to them.
Are you able to track agent retention from the companies
that are using the system?
General statistics tell us that engagement is directly
correlated to retention. Employees who
are engaged at work are about 70% more likely to stay at their current
role. And they’re 30% more likely to not
take sick days when they don't need them.
We've had a beta group on the platform for 2 years. This company was not only able to improve
their retention, they were able to grow their team.
Is there any difference across demographics?
We thought there would be more adoption with younger
cohorts, but there was adoption across the board.
We have a customer success manager who works with every
individual client. The younger
demographic really cares about digital assets. The older demographic tends to
care more if they are performing to their boss's expectations. They appreciate
how easily they can see how they are doing on the dashboard. It’s providing
that engagement either way.
Do you have a feel for what types of games work best?
Our most popular game feature is the collaborative goal. For example, if the group hits their goal
they can leave early.
Are games used more in sales or in service centers?
Each company has their own goals – for sales it may be the
number of products sold, for service, it could be tickets closed. Everything is customizable and you can weight
it by points. If it’s not a number driven metric, you can take that metric and
convert it to points within the app.
What trends are you seeing?
We hear about the great resignation and quiet quitting. It’s
a buzz headline, and since the pandemic began there is a lot of interest in
performance tools, especially ones that leverage gamification. Younger
employees want work-life integration. They want visibility into what they're
doing and an understanding that it's part of something meaningful. Gamification gives them visibility, clear set
goals, and bridges the gap between life and work. It’s something they enjoy doing in their free
time and now they get to do it at work.
Where does a company start when they engage with ZIZO?
Everything that I've described about the platform comes with
our base model. The only other item would be our integration process. Every engagement starts with discovery. What
KPIs are important to them? What metrics that matter in each department? We walk
all companies through a process to determine their KPIs. We then reverse engineer that down to the
agent level. We take that information
and locate where the data is on their systems and then build connections to
What level of person creates the games?
It depends on the size of the organization and what titles
they use, but it's typically whoever is managing the call center floor. We work with them the first month where they
can learn best practices and monitor what works best for their specific teams.
Anything above a management level can be ‘set and forget’. We normally recommend one manager sets aside
maybe 1 to 2 hours at the beginning of each month to set their contest for the
month. From there, they automatically go out at the times they were set. We are
working on the ability for agents to challenge each other with the approval of
If an organization is very large and they want continuity
across departments, can that be arranged?
Yes, it can be. We
often break things up into departments. If one person is managing multiple
departments, they can view each department separately and set those contests
for each department.
It sounds like this tool can be used in other departments
outside of the contact center as well.
Yes. It can be
customized, depending on what the roles are.
What are the goals for the company?
We envision ZIZO to be the gold standard in performance
management. Our approach is different – we put the agent first. The happier your clients are is a result of
the better experience that they're having with happier agents. That experience
comes from the agent's satisfaction. When your clients are happy and your
agents are happy, your numbers are better. And that trickles up.
We would like to be the driving force as the agent advocate
and meeting them where they are, by making this type of role more fun, more
engaging, and more meaningful. This creates better customer experiences which
result in better returns for the business.