Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent
by Susan Hash
Is your current recruiting and hiring strategy the same one that's been in place
for the past five or 10 years? If so, you've just uncovered a key reason for high
turnover in your contact center. Here are three tips that will help you compete
for — and hold onto — highly skilled service staff.
Define Your Mission Statement
What type of employee do you need to carry out the organization's strategies and
goals? Although many contact centers are still hiring based on phone skills, consider
the additional competencies that your staff will need as your center moves into
the Web 2.0 world, such as negotiation skills, the ability to communicate via email
and text messages, and even social media savvy.
Screen Out Unsuitable Characteristics
Poor screening techniques contribute to high turnover. Most centers use a "screen-in"
methodology in which job applicants are stack-ranked to match most of the characteristics
of an ideal customer service rep (e.g., empathetic, friendly, organized, efficient,
etc.). However, matching those characteristics doesn't account for how satisfied
a person would be with a job in which they have to use all of those qualities at
the same time. A more effective technique is to screen out the characteristics that
would be a bad fit for the job.
Focus More Attention On New-hire Retention
Most centers measure agent attrition monthly or annually, yet a substantial amount
of turnover takes place in the first 90 days on the job. Set 90- and 180-day retention
goals for your supervisors and managers to drive accountability for new-hire retention.
Help Supervisors Build Quality Relationships with Their Reports
An employee's decision to stay or leave often comes down to their relationship with
their direct supervisor. Take a hard look at your supervisor-to-agent ratio. Does
it allow supervisors to connect personally with every individual on their team?
A good ratio that allows supervisors to effectively engage their team is 10 to 12
agents per supervisor - higher ratios result in declining performance, lower customer
satisfaction and agent turnover.
Inside View - VSP Vision Care
by Susan Hash
Developing an engaged workforce requires a committed leadership team that values
and trusts their most valuable asset — their people. Agent empowerment plays
a key role in VSP's culture. Contact center staff are provided with the training,
support and decision-making authority to give customers what they need. In addition
to a comprehensive call center training program, the center offers agents training
on job effectiveness and career planning, as well as business-specific training
that's pertinent to changes in the business environment and how it impacts their
jobs. Employees are also kept informed about the company's strategic goals and
how their job fits into it. "We want our employees to be able to absorb changes
and deliver the information to their customers, but our CSRs really need to understand
the 'why' behind what we're doing, whether we're changing a product,
service or policy," says VSP's Vice President of Customer Care Laura Costa.
Read the full story here.
Publisher, Contact Center Pipeline