Turnover has always been an integral part of call centre life, with an estimated rate of around 26% depending on the sector of activity compared to an average of 15% for the entire UK workforce. However, nearly two thirds (65.6%) of contact centre managers have noted an increase in the number of agents leaving in recent years.
The pandemic has amplified many of the problems known to contact centres, which is only magnifying the issues surrounding employee engagement. The best agents are naturally turning to companies that offer them a better work life balance.
RingCentral surveyed contact centre managers to identify the 3 biggest challenges they face when it comes to agent experience. Here are some tips on how to address each of these issues and improve your employee churn.
3 ways to create an exceptional agent experience
Reduce agent workload
For 55.9% of contact centre managers, increased agent workload is the number one reason for increased attrition. In an already overburdened sector where quantity takes precedence over quality, the pandemic has led to ever more complex and numerous requests.
Recruiting more staff isn’t necessarily the answer to preventing agents from being overwhelmed by this amount of work. Instead, take a close look at your contact centre operations, ideally through real-time analytics. This will allow you to identify your areas of improvement and then take action through training, reflecting on what the business can offer for better work life balance or reorganisation of resources.
Offer efficient and easy-to-use tools and software
More than half of managers say the second leading cause of turnover is agents finding software tricky to use. Agents often waste a lot of time juggling various tools, and struggle to find the information they need.
For technology to truly support your agents, provide them with a unified work environment. This means connecting your contact centre solution with the rest of your business ecosystem. By building a knowledge base that provides easy access to all types of useful information, you improve the productivity and well-being of your agents.
Provide better managerial support
While lack of management support can affect any business, more than a third of contact centre managers believe that this issue is the cause of their agents’ lack of retention. The forced shift to remote working in 2020 and then the advent of hybrid work has been a trial for many teams and managers, requiring a real adjustment in the way they communicate and collaborate.
To show your agents that you support them, start by putting in place close, supportive management. Listen to them and take into account their feedback, regardless of where they are based. Give them skills training and coaching; some contact centre solutions offer automated feedback services. Above all, offer them a flexible work environment, ensuring a good work/life balance.
A strategic investment without massive investment
We can’t avoid talking about agent pay: it’s such an important driver of contact centre employee satisfaction. Compare yourself to the rest of the market to offer a satisfactory compensation.
This won’t necessarily impact your overall budget if you optimise your agents’ technology ecosystem at the same time. Choosing a unified cloud-based contact centre solution, like RingCentral Contact Centre, often results in lower costs and improved productivity. Not to mention the savings linked to lower turnover and the increase in revenue linked to customer satisfaction.
To better understand agent expectations and how to meet them, check out our 2022 Report on the major trends in the agent experience.
Originally published Sep 26, 2022