Call Center Training GameKeeping customer service and sales representatives motivated, inspired and excited about their job can be a tough task. So what can call center trainers, coaches, and managers do to keep employees energized and loyal? The following is an excerpt from McGraw-Hill’s The Big Book of Customer Service Games, written by Impact Learning Systems executives Peggy Carlaw and Vasudha Deming. Call center training can be fun, while still obtaining positive results from call center representatives.

Call Center Training Game: “Are You Alive?”

  • Objective: Call center representatives practice using transitions to avoid long, awkward periods of silence when talking to customers on the phone. This game is ideal for anyone who has frequent or long pauses during transactions with customers.
  • Time needed: 10–15 minutes
  • What the coach needs: A small, light ball, pillow or stuffed animal. A copy of the following printed on company stationery:
    • Transitions:“One moment please.”There’s nothing wrong with this phrase, but it sure doesn’t communicate much to the customer – only that he or she needs to wait. We know you can do better than that.What are some alternative statements you can use to communicate with customers when you’re handling their requests?Examples: Mrs. Jones, it will take a minute or two to find that information in my files.

      Write down your examples here:





  • What to do now: Divide participants into pairs and give each pair a copy of the handout. Tell them the purpose of this activity is to practice using transitions to avoid “dead air” when talking to customers either on the phone or in person. Allow them five minutes to complete the handout.
  • After five minutes, have all participants stand in a circle a few feet from one another. Tell them to toss the ball around; whoever catches the ball has to use a transition statement and then toss the ball to someone else.

Post-Game Discussion:

Q: Why is it important for call center representatives to communicate with customers rather than allow long periods of silence?

A: Customers don’t always know what you’re doing. By communicating with them as you process their requests, you reassure them that you haven’t forgotten about them, and you keep them informed about the process. Customers love to be “in the loop.”

Q: When do call center customer representatives need to use transitions in customer service interactions?

A: Answers vary.

Q: If a call center employee is talking to a customer on the phone, when should they be placed on hold, and when should transitions be used while keeping the customer on the line?

A: Standard practice is to put a customer on hold if you’re going to take more than one minute to find the information or process the request. Remember to always ask the customer’s permission before using the hold button!

Stay Tuned: More Games to Come!!

For more games, check back to this site from time to time and type “games” in our site search engine. Active call center trainers and managers maintain a much more responsive team–one that is more willing to participate in achieving goals and following procedures to ensure a successful work day. Including games in your ongoing training activities provides a fun way for your team to practice skills that are critical to their success.