Call Center Management Feature Article
October 17, 2013
Five Surefire Ways to Retain Top Agents
By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor
The heart of the call center really is the agent. The best policies can be in place and still the customer experience will amount to nothing positive if the right agents aren’t in place.
It is crucial, then, to capture and retain the best possible staff. Here are five ways to retain top agents in the contact center.
- Set the tone early. The first impression is a two way street. Not only are candidates looking to impress, but it also is a crucial time for impressing upon future agents the culture and support offered by the contact center. Employees remember more than just that they got the job; the interviewing process is when they form many of their impressions of the company. So retaining top talent starts with treating candidates with respect and courtesy during the interviewing process. Make them feel wanted!
- Present a vision. People want to be a part of something that matters, they want to make a difference and be proud of their work. Contact center agents are happier and more productive when they know the values of the company and have a clear sense of goals and responsibilities. Make sure to communicate what it expected of agents, and give them room to feel proud of their work.
- Motive individually. People are not all the same, so the same motivational techniques will not work equally with everyone. This of course is more challenging than a one-size-fits-all approach, but it also yields better results. Customize training sessions, special projects and incentives to the priorities of each agent to truly inspire and motive employees.
- Actually listen to employees. Agents appreciate when they are viewed as people, not just units of human resource. By listening to and acknowledging agent ideas and suggestions, employees feel more valued and like they make a difference. They feel like they belong, like they are part of the team. So listen to agent ideas and try to accommodate shifts in schedule when scheduling conflicts arise. It leads to employees who will stick around a lot longer!
- Be consistent in appreciating employees. There is a lot of fakeness in the world, and this is not less true in the office. So if the contact center only appreciates employees once a year, or during scheduled retention programs, it is easy for agents to question the truthfulness of the praise and support. Instead, make sure that employees are valued year-round. Consistency matters.
Retaining top talent is tough. But if these techniques are put into place, the contact center will be able to spend a lot less time finding new agents to replace those who have left.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi