How Arcade is transforming old school call-center energy to Long & Foster’s distanced insurance reps and property managers — with a measured impact.
“Culture is important to our company – and not because we say it’s important – it’s in our DNA. It’s how we keep our team engaged so that they feel like they are part of something. Keeping the team consistently rallied is difficult. Arcade helps our leadership team show them how to grow with the team and still support our culture without them feeling that we are challenging their ability to sell and succeed.”
Long & Foster Property Services is the rapidly growing insurance and property management arm of Long & Foster Companies, a Berkshire Hathaway, Home Services of America company. What started as a team of 40 has grown to 200+ high-performing sales and service teams spreading across the country.
Similar to most companies during the COVID-19 crisis, Long & Foster has started working remotely since mid-March 2020. Though they’re physically apart during this time, leadership at Long & Foster remains committed to cultivating a cohesive company culture and vision. The whole team strives to deliver a balanced service offering of high-tech and high-touch services with great customer service to over 70,000 customers.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the Long & Foster team was already technology enabled to work 100% remotely. Although the team was prepared to react quickly, they faced the unique challenges of communication, motivation and accountability while sheltering in place across their 7-state service area. The business didn’t slow down – quite the contrary – so the new challenges were compounded by the team’s growing workload. Traditional engagement strategies became less of an option as bandwidth narrowed and focus on the “urgent” began to crowd out the “important”.
One of Karen’s key roles is to foster her team’s creative ideas toward the future, not only for each rep but for the company as a whole. This can be a fine balance, nudging salespeople in the right direction without seeming to doubt their ability to sell. Lacking the opportunity to build the collective language and energy that a traditional “bullpen” call center naturally cultivates, she took a unique approach.
Arcade’s constant reward model quickly found its stride among Long & Foster’s spread-out workforce, motivating and boosting performance. “Arcade levels the playing field with our entire team because proximity to each other and proximity to the leadership team have become somewhat irrelevant very quickly as we have been forced to figure out how to stay connected and drive the business. Age and experience have become more neutral factors because of how our team engages, challenges and supports each other socially on the Arcade app. Though many older workers were the furthest thing from “gamers,” the imagery surrounding video games has been rooted in our culture for decades, and the concepts of collecting coins and leveling up were quick and easy to understand.” Karen’s team was eager to jump on board because the culture supported it.
Arcade isn’t just about making work fun with collectable rewards for individuals. It’s also about creating engagement among the team, sparking collaboration, communication and friendly rivalry. “Arcade has been a game-changer (pun intended) because It has proven to be a powerful tool to get our team talking and connecting in a way that our entire team recognizes – they really see it as their own, internal team social media channel.” Working remote for such a long period now while also being shut down economically has focused the team but it has also taken a toll on everyone. “We didn’t have a remote working policy prior to the COVID-19 crisis except for extreme weather disruption. We realized rather quickly that the novelty of working remotely wore off with our team faster than we anticipated, but we maintained that “bullpen” collaborative spirit, excitement and intensity around our customers. Everyone in our organization uses Arcade to encourage, challenge and coach each other and share knowledge that positively impacts our customers every day. Anyone on the team who is having a rough day, or a rough week quickly gets picked up by the team and gets “coached up” to a more positive direction. That’s the payoff for our company – our culture can thrive inside of Arcade.”
People will automatically pick up their smartphones many times an hour to text a friend or check social media. Why not harness that impulse? With Arcade, the phone becomes a game success meter. Repetitive tasks, like the phone calls that generate most of Long & Foster’s business, become opportunities for a rep to hit goals, all tracked in real time. So not only does he work toward real rewards for performance, he gets the instant gratification of pocketing those virtual coins with every call. Karen’s team has responded with enthusiasm. “They’re just small steps to success, doing what they should’ve been doing anyway, but its reinforced with a reward instead of some of the negative alternatives that are often used with salespeople.”
When Safeco, one of Long & Foster’s insurance product suppliers, launched new training content, Karen saw this as an opportunity to motivate participation by gamifying the content within Arcade. “Safeco numbers weren’t moving before this started,” she says. Within 60 days of gamification, they saw a 20% increase in Safeco sales. Now other suppliers are talking about running incentives through Arcade as well.
“Our president, Patrick Bain wasn’t sure if Arcade would be a fit with our business or our team but was willing to try it with 1/2 of our team by testing it. After just a few experiences and watching how the dynamics of the team were changing he quickly realized how the Arcade platform changes behaviors, impacts the results and supports our culture. It was an easy decision to use Arcade across our entire enterprise to begin driving the sales behaviors we want to emphasize and the customer experience service activities that matter most to our customers.”
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