Call center agent retention has become a perpetual struggle. As soon as you stop feeding in, you would witness a drastic upheaval. Maybe, you have made a mind that this is the nature of the call center.
Sad to say, some managers start feeling a little disgusting with themselves because of the inability to make a bigger impact. So, supervisors stop struggling to leave it as it is.
However, in our viewpoint, the extent of retention is determined by the very first step of recruitment. You have to be careful about the psychographics of the candidate. Yes, this is very important. You should keep in mind that every candidate comes in the call center with a dreadful concept of the call center. They think call center means just grueling hours, angry customers, and non-stop calls.
A properly defined strategy can only decrease the call center agent turnover rate. As it is need of the hour, below are some useful strategies to retain agents in the call center.
The reputation of A Call Center Matters More Than We Assume
Gone are the days when an employer had been all in all. In the old days, an employer was used to spend a few pennies to erase his bad reputation in the market. It was true then, of course.
However, now the online connectivity has changed the scenario altogether. For example, 59% of employees visit social media and read the reviews of the people about a particular organization even before sending their resumes. Moreover, online peers, opinions, and experts can recommend either to join or not.
So, a bad reputation, no matter how blown-out, can damage all the good-will in the market. Consequently, recruiting or retaining an employee would be too difficult to be trusted by employees again. Also, it would cause extra expenses for new hiring.
Employee Development and Grooming Opportunities
The second most important factor that we shouldn’t ignore is the personal development and professional training of employees.
Most millennials are working as call center agents. Millennials are youngsters that were born between 1981-1996. According to the Gallup Survey, 59% of the millennials report that opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a job.
Millennials are more enthusiastic to grow and develop as they are in relatively early stages of their careers. So, they want a grooming and challenging milieu.
Therefore, we recommend that as a part of their attraction strategy, a call center should accentuate their learning and development programs. For example, an organization can offer them tuition fee reimbursement, on-the-job training, certifications, and opportunities to participate in professional conferences, etc.
Last yet not least, the company should publicize how managers support employees in meeting their goals of personal development. Moreover, during the interview, the company should tell the candidate how the organization can help them in professional elevation.
Effectively Communicate with Your Agents Often and Honest
Managers should create an environment of open dialogue. There must be two-way communication. So, listening stances, discussing issues, talking on solutions, giving honest feedback, and valuing opinions would equip employees to feel valued, satisfied, and motivated.
Some valuable ways of effective communication are as follow:
- Maintain a balance in speaking and listening.
- Make them a part of the decision-making process.
- Acknowledge their achievements at the public level.
- Let your employees put their viewpoints as well.
- Listen interactively and put your arguments honestly.
- Communicate professional and personal growth opportunities.
- Arrange weekly communication development brain-storming practices.
- Share your strategic, structural, or operational decisions with employees as soon as possible.
Device A Plan to Reward Your Outstanding Agents
Your agents do a hectic job – that much is certain. Listening all day calls, dealing with difficult customers, and resolving issues in real-time are hard nuts to crack. So, supervisors should appreciate them. Otherwise, your agents would start looking for a better-paying company.
You can set small goals and KPIs to measure the performance of your employees. Then, offer some perks and privileges for better-performing agents. You can offer them gifts, bounces, commissions, or hosting a lunch in their honor.
Moreover, you can provide them certificates of achievement or excellence as well. These perks will make encourage them to be loyal and work honestly for the organization.
Never Ever Over Burden Your Agents
No perks and privileges can compensate for the well-being of employees. Bad health will not let the agent enjoy his privileges. So, don’t overburden them.
On the other hand, agents will lose focus, and productivity will witness a declining trend in progress. If you will make your employees burn-out, they will start looking elsewhere. Thus, you will not lose a trained agent, but also you will have to bear expenses of new hiring.
So, encourage your employees to prioritize their healthy workload and maintain a work-life balance. Moreover, make sure that your managers aren’t making team overworked. This will compromise the productivity of the agents. Also, researches show that working less (for a short span) will help to maintain focus.
Create A Clean and Calm Working Environment
The packed, dirty, and cluttered office environment will make the agents distracted. Mostly, agents will not be able to maintain focus if they sense any dirtiness or messiness near them.
As agents have to spend several hours in the office, it is important to provide them a healthy and clean working environment.
However, you have to consult with a health and safety engineer who will tell you about the potential hazards in case of changing the milieu.
Moreover, you have to carry a risk assessment to identify a potential threat and its solutions. In a nutshell, you need to change the overall ambiance of the office at regular intervals. This will maintain the interest of your agents and let them feel refreshed environment.
We have discussed some salient tactics to retain the employees in an organization. These are some valuable and practicable steps that you can pick-up for instant recovery. However, for further strategic development, you should devise techniques based on your in-house experiences.
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