“Connect the dots between individual roles and the goals of the organization. When people see that connection, they get a lot of energy out of work. They feel the importance, dignity, and meaning in their job.” – Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard, Fast Company
If you are managing a call center or working very closely with this particular segment of the service industry, you would understand the daily challenges your workforce encounters. The challenges simply don’t restrict themselves, being dynamic and involves making strategies and action plans on the spot. But, this ruckus can be minimised and all teams can actually work smoothly, delivering their utmost best, if the resources are fully utilised. This includes taking account of your human resources – call center agents.
In a typically run call center, more often than not, the biggest challenge is agent retention. But why is it so? Why do people leave, jump ship or move from one call center job to another? Why is the agent retention rate so low in almost all call centers?
If you ponder deeply upon this issue, you would find that the answer has always been right there in front of your eyes. The reason being either some issues or a lack in providing them a healthy call center environment. The working environment needs to be comforting for any person in any job. It is the place where your call center agent is typically spending 8 – 9 hours and is expected to deliver his absolute best. If the call center environment fails to seem promising, comfortable or cannot push your agents to outperform what is expected from them, your agent retention rates will obviously deteriorate and hamper productivity and profitability.
If you feel that your agents are not motivated enough or lack the zeal and enthusiasm needed to boost their productivity, maybe it is something to do with how the organisation is functioning for now. Your agents are human beings and human beings like to be appreciated. If you take sessions and regularly coach them, just to keep them updated about or on any loop-holes you have come across in their work, you should also make a sincere effort and appreciate them for a job well done. This will not only motivate them to work with more dedication but give them genuine hopes of having a better career. Hence, it will become a rare situation where your overall agent retention rate will drop or start to deteriorate again.
Work Hard. Play Harder.
This is a very clichéd statement, yet people forget its importance. Your call center agents deserve to be happy and satisfied, in order to keep your customers happy and satisfied. It is directly proportional to one another. And to keep agent retention ratios higher, you need to constantly woo them like you draw strategies to keep your customers hooked. The most promising among them can be, cultivating a relaxed culture and taking them out on team lunches or after office party. This will not only give them some time off work but also a chance to bond among themselves. These are actually the minor incentives which make your employees happy and keep them forever hooked to your organisation.
Flexibility to Be a Better Team Player
Their jobs are demanding. It is not easy to consistently take calls and talk to complaining customers throughout the day. If you start acknowledging this fact, you have already won their heart. Now, it is time to win their minds as well. If you want them to stick around for long or be more work-oriented, you need to amend the policies a little and make them more flexible. Instead of forcing them to work on a National Holiday, tell them about the concept of getting a compensatory off or double incentives. Flexibility needs to be a part of your all major decision-making. It can be allowing them to wear casuals on some days or planning their breaks as per convenience.
The more engaged and happy you keep your employees, the more happy customers your business will have.