How can you reduce agent attrition in the contact center?

Posted: 01/21/2020 - 12:36 | EnquiryLab

It has always made good business sense to retain your skilled current employees, but it’s become increasingly critical with today’s low unemployment rates. Not only is contact center attrition costly in terms of recruiting and training new hires, but it can also contribute to costly errors made by new untrained agents. In exit interviews of contact center agents, it’s not uncommon to hear that agents are frustrated with limited autonomy, restrictive scheduling and negative work environments. 

While some things, like fixed schedules, are a necessary element of the contact center workplace, consider some of these changes that a contact center manager can make to improve working conditions for agents, therefore reducing employee attrition. 

  1. Flexible Work Environments: Whether it is modifying the workspace in your contact center or going even further and offering remote work options, a flexible work environment can pay huge dividends in employee satisfaction.  Sitting in one place for eight hours a day can be a challenge for even the best employees. Providing agents with the ability to have standing desks or non-traditional seating can improve both their mental and physical health.  When possible, giving agents the opportunity to work remotely part or full-time can be an appealing option, with the bonus of reduced operating expenses.
  2. Flexible break scheduling: By providing agents with greater insight of the current call queue and staffing, supervisors lend agents autonomy on when to take small breaks. This can greatly improve agents’ morale especially when they feel like they need a few minutes away to recover from a particularly challenging interaction with a customer. Inova dashboards provide agents with real-time information about call queues, so they are empowered to take breaks when it suits them and when it’s appropriate.
  3. Agent recognition: Agents will appreciate it if you let them know when they receive a customer or coworker compliment.  You can take it a step further and post employee recognition on your contact center wallboards.  When the entire contact center can view the accolades, it amplifies the message and the entire company can better understand and appreciate the front-line agents working with customers on a daily basis.
  4. Streamline Programs: Agents report feeling overwhelmed with the variety of different programs used for each customer engagement. Providing streamlined views, such as one browser window that shows current call and agents’ stats, allows agents to have fewer programs running at once.  This streamlined view both alleviates the crush of information and even offers agents real-time feedback on individual and call center performance. 

Creating an atmosphere, both physically and mentally, that is encouraging and supportive of your contact center agents will go a long way to reduce costs from attrition.

A version of this article was originally posted on the Geomant Academy.  

 

 

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