Finding employees is only half the battle—to say the least—in the call center industry now. Not only do you have to find these top-notch go-getters, but you have to retain them...and in order to retain them, you must keep them happy! Because a happy employee = a happy customer. After all, no one wants to stay on the line with an agent who is uninformed, unhelpful, or simply uncaring.
High agent turnover (also known as employee attrition) is one of the biggest problems facing call centers today and has a dramatic effect on not only the bottom line but the quality of service call centers are able to offer. Just take a look at the metrics. According to the The Quality Assurance & Training Connection (QATC), an organization devoted to the education of professionals in call centers across the nation, the overall turnover average ranges between 30–45 percent (http://qatc.org/winter-2015-connection/exploring-call-center-turnover-numbers/), with some call centers having almost no turnover and others having turnover in the triple digits.
In general, employee turnover is at an all-time high in today’s workplace with workers aged 20-24 staying at an organization only 1.1 years and those aged 25-34 staying only 2.7 years (compared to over 3 years in the 1980s, according to labor statistics). Call center workers who fall into this 20-34 age group stay for an even shorter period of time at only about one year. This is not ideal as it costs about $10-$15k to replace a frontline employee due to the cost of training materials, overtime, supervisory time, and training time for which the employee is being paid but not yet available to take calls. It goes without saying: you need to take steps to not only reduce high attrition rates but, in turn, increase retention of your best call center agents. Here's what to do:
Step 1: Proper Training Programs
In many cases, people who are starting off down the call center career path are often entry-level and therefore do not have any prior training or skill sets—and even those with a background only know as much as about your call center's processes as you teach them. Without adequate training, agents can start off on the wrong foot making them more susceptible to the increased stress and workload of a call center job, especially if they feel like they never got the tools they needed to succeed in the first place.
A study (https://www.ibm.com/blogs/ibm-training/the-value-of-training/) revealed that new hires will start planning their exit strategy right away if they don’t receive initial training. For example, employees are 12 times more likely to consider leaving if they feel they cannot achieve their career goals, and this number increases dramatically to about 30 times for new employees. Furthermore, if a company doesn't take the proper amount of time and care to train new hires, only 21% of them will intend to stay; meanwhile, 62% of new hires will commit to a role and company as long as they are adequately trained.
All new employees should have substantial product training and communication in place before they ever talk to one of the customers. This is where Happitu comes in!
Happitu makes training of new hires quick, easy, and more streamlined than ever before! Rather than relying on TL;DR documents that detail company processes on everyday occurrences, Happitu's interactive Help Topics put employees right into the action. By presenting need-to-know information in a digestible format, it can not only be helpful for new employees but also for managers who need call center staffing fast. Overall, Happitu can reduce training costs by as much as 80%!
Step 2: Setting Up Simple-to-Use Workflows
A proper training program only takes you so far. When the training wheels come off, it is up to the employee to take over phone calls on their own which can be intimidating, especially when looking at the variety of ways that customer complaints can go awry. Confusing operations, especially in the first few weeks on the job, can send employees running for the hills. You need to set up simple-to-use backends that make it easy for your agent—no matter how new or seasoned they are— to follow procedures and find the information they need when they need it.
With customizable workflows from Happitu, you can guide your agents step-by-step through standard operating procedures successfully. Additionally, the dynamic help topics can give them as much or as little supplemental support as they need to learn and be successful. Altogether these features mean your call center employees will never feel completely lost or in the dark, ultimately reducing high turnover rates.
Step 3: Smart Agent Scripting
While scripts and protocols might be necessary in a contact center, an unmotivated agent is one who sees their role as merely reciting answers. This can lead to burnout or, worse, disengagement that affects the customer experience because they can see right through an employee reading something line-by-line. This is where Happitu's smart and responsive agent scripting can help spice things up. Your script can be whatever you want it to be! Since you are setting it up and customizing the workflow yourself, you can allow your agents to take as much or as little ownership of the process as they want. This will make them feel important and acknowledged. This empowerment will not only increase their employee engagement but also reduce their on-the-job frustration.
Ready to Empower Your Employees? Get Started With Happitu Now
To deliver the best experience possible, agents should be given the latest technology for excellent omnichannel customer service, receive the proper training required to master these tools, AND be empowered at every step via a positive work environment. The Happitu software can make all of this possible — it’s like a personal coach for every interaction!