In my last blog post, I examined the high employee attrition rates in the Contact Centre industry, the average being 40% of workers leaving within 6 months of starting their job. Retaining call centre staff is crucial to save on the cost of recruitment, training new employees and the costs of building relationships with customers from scratch. Apart from the obvious impact that salary has on attrition rates, there are other factors that can influence why an employee stays or leaves.
In most cases, by the time the exit interview happens it’s already too late to convince an agent to stay. The process should start sooner, even at the recruitment stage, to ensure potential future employees remain engaged with your company. Providing a positive experience throughout the recruitment process by keeping in touch with candidates regarding updates in their application, managing their expectations and being honest with them, can really go a long way to ensure you start off on the right foot.
As the first impression is the most important one, make sure that new starters have everything they need in their first few days so that they know what to expect. Ensure to have access passes ready, provide a warm welcome to the company, introduce the new employee to the team, team leaders and managers. All these little things help to reduce the ‘new job’ anxiety that is often experienced when working for an unfamiliar company.
Train for success
Training is another way to keep contact centre employees involved. It’s not just for the first few weeks – your staff should be updating and learning skills regularly to improve the way they do their job. Spend time fostering a team attitude to make employees feel they belong. This can involve team briefings, 1 to 1s, listening to your team’s suggestions, promoting two-way communication and giving positive feedback as well as negative. Support your agents with their decisions regarding customer issues so they know you will back them up and that they can always count on their team leader.
Sometimes it’s the small things that count
Another small investment that can really engage employees is in their workspace and equipment. Ensure a tidy work-floor, have staff sitting together as a team, provide good quality equipment and phone systems and a well-equipped canteen to improve the working environment. Some top contact centres have invested in TVs or even a PlayStation room for employees to enjoy during their breaks!
Other contact centres with low attrition offer incentives e.g. free tea and coffee, ice-creams, sweets or other reward system for their best performing staff. Mixing fun with achieving goals helps foster a competitive attitude and team spirit. The rewards don’t always have to be financial either! Time off the phones or being given the afternoon off would be extremely well appreciated by many agents.
Doing activities, however small, can also provide staff with a reason to stay. Why not hold a team briefings outside in summer, or run events like a charity bake-off to break the monotony of work. We’ve seen dress down days being implemented and team nights out. Ask your team what activities they would be interested in; I’m sure there will be no shortage of suggestions! Of course this all depends on what you can afford but even on a low budget you have opportunities to engage and empower your team.
Hire the best people
One of our top tips for reducing employee attrition is to ensure that you’re hiring the right people. BrightStar can help you find and recruit the best contact centre staff. For more information, please contact Danuta Charubin in Belfast 028 97 447 000 or our colleagues in Dublin on 01 662 1000 or Cork on 021 422 1000.