How-to Guide to Reducing Contact Center Attrition

0

Business looking to improve their contact center work environment and minimize workforce turnover can benefit from an analysis of their processes and the use of emerging technology. Yet technology can’t solve every problem–a remote work model using contact center virtualization won’t automatically make every agent happy. There are soft processses involved when reducing attrition and improving work environment.  Managing a contact center today is a delicate process; however, by focusing on a few key areas, performance can be improved and retention rates will go rise.

A contact center is a noisy, hectic work environment, and the pressure to perform, whether that is by selling products or resolving customer issues, makes it very stressful on contact center employees.  In order to avoid high employee turnover rates, sometimes the best defense is a good offense.  For starters, companies must tighten up the recruitment process to ensure that new hires have the right skills and competencies for the job.  Any company with a call center should develop a screening process to only hire employees that have the necessary communication skills to do the job.

Once an employee is hired, the onboarding process must clearly map out the expectations and career development paths for the position.  An employee who envisions him or herself in a dead end job is less likely to be an effective staff member and is much more likely to resign as soon as another opportunity presents itself.  Another factor that can cause undue stress to contact center agents is the complexity of the technology used in a modern contact centers.  With today’s interactive call center applications, information overload can cause more undue stress as agents toggle between dozens of open windows on their desktops.  Upgrading and integrating more intuitive and simplistic desktop applications can alleviate this problem and can go a long way towards maintaining high contact center morale. Automating monotonous tasks with tools like a predictive dialing solution can reduce boredom.

Call center management must be careful not to over- or under-staff positions at any given time.  An accurate estimate of the required manpower can ensure appropriate staffing levels that will eliminate bored or the alternative, overworked, employees.  Over-staffing leads to unnecessarily high staff costs while under-staffing can lead to unsatisfied customers left on hold waiting for an agent to help them.  Both of these situations can lead to much higher staff turnover and the increased costs that accrue when hiring and training new staff members.

Another key to retaining contact center employees is having the right training procedures in place.  Companies should ensure that all employees have mastered the training program before they are assigned to the call center floor and left to fend for themselves.  After training, many employees can benefit from coaching sessions delivered by supervisors or mentors operating in virtual mode.  Step-by-step instructions can be provided for critical business processes and will result in higher rates of first-call resolution in inbound call support centers, more sales in outbound call centers, and more satisfied and loyal customers for both departments.

An obvious way to retain employees in a contact center is to reward them appropriately.  Rewards are one of the most effective feedback mechanisms a company can use and are also great motivational tools.  When employees feel appreciated they are much more likely to do great work and to stay with the company for longer periods of time.

Also, all of the benefits of a call center are for naught if experienced and knowledgeable employees are not available to staff them.  Proper training and retention of the best employees raises the bar on performance and ensures that clients have a pleasant customer service experience, and that the company will avoid the costs of training new employees.

Leave a Reply