Should the technological evolution continue at its current pace, all contact centers, even those that pride themselves on being the best, will eventually run out of luck if they fail to keep attrition rates under control.
Barbara, Team Manager at an online service provider contact center comments:
“I am a team manager in a contact center that handles queries and complaints for an online service provider. Part of my job is to train the team to be pro-active, moving away from locked scripts to more flexible and responsive interactions. We have been doing great, cutting the complaints rate in half. However, I am unable to stabilize our service level. I keep losing my best elements, most of them end up leaving after a few months, mostly because we run very tight schedules, giving them no opportunity to make changes in their schedule. Oftentimes, the training process is so long and costly, making the finish line seem as far away as ever”
Like the statement above, many of those who are responsible for managing teams that interact directly with customers find their everyday job plagued with agent attrition issues.
While all HR departments are investing heavily in technologies that facilitate talent scouting (spotting the one among the many), very few have found the perfect formula for hiring and retaining the best performers.
It is essential to understand that the DNA of contact centers is massively mutating. Whether you like it or not, accept it or not, the ladder of success no longer leans entirely towards those who shape the company strategy, but more towards the human capital. Every single interaction, even those that last a fraction of a second, will become an experience… Now it is up to you to paint that experience in your own colors.
Employee turnover, in different organizations, has the same root cause…something is wrong with the way you are doing things! If you are comfortable being the manager of a revolving-door team, changing before you can even blink, then keep doing what you are doing. If you feel differently, however, then it is time to make a change.
Get it right this time
To curb attrition issues, you need to identify the aspects of attrition that are inevitably built into your business model, and can, in some cases, be beneficial to the structure of your teams. Nonetheless, a high turnover rate can be a game changer, causing significant loss. If we use the case study listed at the beginning of this blog, the issue seemed to be a frozen schedule schema that left no room for personal preferences.
With today’s vast pool of opportunities, high performers no longer respond positively to high pay if the work environment does not follow suit. It’s simple…to attract, you need to amplify the reward, and to retain you must empower employees!
All the above facts flow into one ocean: workforce management!
Happiness starts with a shift trader
The era of a thousand excel sheets, updated manually, every day of every month, year after year, is over. Whether it is a 20 agent contact center or 2000, this tool is about to make your staff very happy. Employees can now swap their shifts, and find a replacement the second after, without needing to be physically in the same place, and without disrupting the overall schedule. The agent can access the schedule calendar, change their shift, look for a possible replacement, and send an acceptance request, and the best part is that management keeps full control over the entire process, while giving employees the ability to move freely, all with one touch.
Take a vacation (planner)
There is no need to be a genie to grant holiday wishes for your staff, all whilst making sure your contact center is up and running. Vacation planner tools operate like a sliding block puzzle, moving pieces in all directions, to finally establish an end-configuration that fits all objectives.
Employees have the flexibility to send desired leave requests to their supervisor with a simple click. Either it’s a 2-week summer holiday or a personal day off, both employee and manager are given a hassle-free option, while records are being updated instantly, reducing the later amount of administrative work.
Make it fun with gamification
Use gamification to motivate your employees and encourage healthy competition across teams. Workforce management solutions have developed innovative ways to incorporate game-like features into every day routines. With agent badges, and the reward system it implies, you are confident to stimulate some creativity and bring back the fun in business.
Use your wealth of data to integrate with WFM tools
WFM packages, can now integrate seamlessly with HRMS systems. Whether it’s absence requests or schedules, a good WFM solution should have the enormous capability to import/export HR data from/to the HRMS systems. So an agent can file a leave request in the client and it will be automatically reflected in other systems, or vice versa.
Another reason to integrate is to simplify your data management and interdepartmental collaboration. Integration allows for up-to-the-minute reporting, fast information for tasks such as payroll, timekeeping, and holiday allowance, saving you valuable time that could be spent on more significant HR responsibilities.
Smooth sailing from now on!
Drill down into your employees’ feedback, you will be amazed by how much you can learn. Turnover does not necessarily show in profit and loss statements, but its cost is largely underestimated. The cost of hiring new talents is only the tip of the iceberg, you lose much more in the process. Top performers are not attracted by companies that change employees more than they change the coffee machine filter, you ought to build your employer brand first, before your employees can polish it.
WFM solutions have made it easier to interchangeably transfer the power of decisions between employers and employees.
Surf the waves of employee power!