Anyone who has been kept on hold by a call centre will understand the frustration felt by customers seeking a solution to their problem; while having to listen to an automated voice repeatedly telling them that their call is important.
But spare a thought for the agent who eventually has to bear the brunt of a customer’s wrath, while also having to meet tough targets driven by the business.
Not surprisingly, high call centre employee turnover rates are legendary. There is even anecdotal evidence of one large call centre which reported an annual turnover of 100%; which if true, means that every single employee quit in the course of a single calendar year.
Losing qualified employees has a massive impact on quality of service, and the sad truth is that the situation across the sector is getting worse. According to the 2015/2016 edition of Contact Babel’s operational benchmarking report, average employee turnover rates are now a worrying 22%.
Tackling the turnover dilemma
The reasons behind high turnover can be complex, but there’s little doubt that ignoring the well-being of employees leads directly to disengagement and consequently increased employee turnover.
A recent article in the Guardian recognised the problems that call centre employees face on a daily basis, and quite simply called for employers to start treating its staff with more compassion.
The good news is that better management can make a difference. At the 2015 Personnel Today awards, the much-coveted HR Director of the Year prize, went to Anita Walton-Tilly of Vaultex. Among her many achievements was reducing staff turnover from 30% in 2007 to a current rate of just 7.51%.
5 practices that can make a difference in your call centre.
Below is a list of 5 key practices that if properly introduced, will help to motivate and retain those all-important employees who operate on the frontline of your business.
Recognise and praise achievements
Agents that receive regular recognition are far more likely to increase their productivity. Just a few words of directed praise as a call centre agent coaching tactic to acknowledge an employee’s excellent work, go a long way.
It’s important to remember that not all agents are the same. Any reward scheme or call centre agent coaching incentive shouldn’t be a catch-all, but should be tailored to recognise and reflect the individuality of your agents.
Identify clear goals and objectives
Managers who set specific goals as part of call centre agent coaching are more likely to get the best out of their teams than those who don’t. Agents not only need something concrete to strive toward, they also need to know what success looks like, and what steps are required to achieve it.
Open up the conversation
Start by turning meetings into discussions and asking for feedback. In this way, not only will you involve employees in the decision-making process, it will help reinforce your key messages and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Invest in growth and development
By investing in training and providing appropriate resources, it will empower agents to grow and develop as contact centre professionals and encourage them to stay with your organisation.
At EvaluAgent we believe that answer is simple: the happier agents are; the better they will perform; the less likely they are to leave.