Keeping your customers happy is only half of the battle in call centers today – making sure that your call center agents and supporting employees are happy, productive, and well-informed is another huge piece of the customer service battle. Agent turnover (also known as agent attrition) has a dramatic effect on how call centers can ultimately perform and have been a problem for decades.
Let’s say that one of your best up-and-coming agents – we’ll call her Sally – has decided to quit her role as a call center agent after about a year. The next steps of the process include some familiar actions: processing paperwork through HR, closing out payroll, and beginning the process of finding a new hire to replace her. What comes next is a series of interviews, more paperwork, and then an in-depth training period in which to get the new agent up to speed. When all is said and done, your call center has lost thousands in time, human resources, and repetitive training efforts; and, if the new hire doesn’t end up working out, you’re back at the beginning.
Tips for Lowering Agent Attrition
A recent article from Contact Center Pipeline goes into more detail on how call centers can effectively lower attrition rates: using proper recruiting techniques, investing in training programs, evaluating key metrics, and more. Here’s what the article had to say about one of the biggest factors in agent turnover – training programs:
This is one area that no company should ever try to scrimp on. Inadequate training can leave agents lacking confidence and feeling frustrated on the floor because they are ill-prepared. All employees should have substantial communications and product training before they are even allowed to talk to one of the customers of the company.
And it does not end there; managers should recognize that some agents need more intensive training compared to others. Managers should coordinate with the training department about continued customized training and coaching for each individual agent.
By personalizing the training and development of agents, you are addressing their specific needs based on their current level of competence. This way, those who need the most attention get it without holding others back.
Your agents are not the only ones who need training; your supervisors and managers should be trained as well. In fact, a lot of agent attrition can be attributed to mismanagement.
Provide your supervisors and managers with skills on how to identify the level of help needed by their agents, how to provide constructive feedback, and proper coaching skills that can elevate not only the agent’s skills but confidence as well.
Competent managers and supervisors will reduce frustration from your workforce and should inevitably reduce resignations.
Setting Up Simple to Use Process Flows and Knowledge Bases
Making it easy for your agents to follow procedures and find information goes a long way towards reducing on-the-job frustration; this is one area where Zingtree shines. By guiding agents step-by-step through processes, and eliminating unnecessary content by showing just the information needed at every step, agents will be able to follow standard operating procedures successfully, every time. Zingtree decision trees make creating these sort of process flows a snap.
Developing Training Programs That Work
Industry-wide experience shows having a consistent training program that follows industry and internal best practices is one of the most powerful ways to lower agent turnover rates. 7 out of 10 people say that training and development opportunities influence in their decision to stay with a company – why wouldn’t you want to address that with proper, consistent training?
One of the simplest ways to introduce a better training program into a call center environment is the use of interactivity for greater engagement and retention. Rather than relying on pages long PDFs that detail company processes and in-depth guidebooks for handling everyday occurrences, interactive decision trees for training cut down on the bulk of need-to-know information and presents materials in a digestible format.
Guided decision trees are quickly becoming a go-to resource for implementing easy-to-follow procedures and simulations that make training more streamlined, effective, and enjoyable. Some of the best training features found in Zingtree decision trees include:
- Allowing employees to provide Agent Feedback on every training decision tree to involve employees in the overall process more.
- Being able to emulate different potential scenarios to lead trainees through new or complicated learning environments.
- Asking questions in an interview-style way, which helps to keep things moving quickly and keep employees more engaged.
You can read more of the Contact Center Pipeline article here, and take a closer look at how to create an interactive training program using Zingtree here. Any questions? Reach out to us anytime you need.