The Key to Hiring and Retaining the Best Call Center Agents
We spend a lot of time discussing agent burnout and high turnover rates in this space. It’s not because we want to dwell on the negative, but because these are major problems facing the contact center industry. After all, contact centers are essentially useless if there are no agents to man the phones and help meet customer needs.
There are several factors that contribute to high agent turnover rates. Managers are often left short-handed, looking for new agents to fill the spots of whichever veterans happened to leave that week. But what if managers spent more time considering who they’re going to hire, and then transformed the contact center to make it a place where people actually want to work. This sounds like a simple concept, but you’d be surprised how many managers don’t think they’re up to the challenge.
In order to hire the best agents out there, managers first need to change the contact center’s atmosphere. If it’s a dull place to work, even the most dedicated agents will become depressed and leave. After all, people like to enjoy their time at work. Turning the contact center into an attractive workplace through gamification and great scheduling practices will make the job easier to sell during interviews. If the manager sounds excited about what’s going on in the contact center, then applicants will be to.
Once managers get to the hiring stage, it’s important for them to remember that there’s no need to rush. Yes, they may need a crop of new hires sooner rather than later, but there’s no point in hiring someone and training them, only to have them leave shortly after because they’re not happy. Be clear about what the job is. Discuss the work environment and ask what kind of hours the applicant would be willing to work. It may even be beneficial to run through a mock call during one interview to see how the applicant would deal with various kinds of callers.
In this way, managers can ensure that they’re hiring the best of the best. And, once the new hires start working, they’ll be part of a welcoming workplace that promotes growth and communication, rather than a dull one that inspires nothing but burnout.
Edited by Maurice Nagle