It’s no surprise that many businesses today remain short-staffed in their contact center. One of the overarching reasons is high turnover.
Contact centers have notoriously had the highest attrition rate of all the departments within an organization, but now more than ever, agents aren’t available to replace those leaving. The number of open requisitions is at an all-time high. Talent shortages and retention are the top challenges facing these departments. The agents who remain are stressed and are considering leaving within three years of their start date.
It is difficult to find and keep agents, who play a critical role as the face of your company and your brand. The competition for good employees is intensified by companies allowing for hybrid work and modernizing their tools and tech to attract those individuals. To stem this tide in a contact center, companies must consider the agent environment. This demands a fresh and new look to meet the reality of customer expectations and company standards.
The job market isn’t helping either:
- At the end of July 2021, there were 10.9M jobs left open.
- At the end of July 2022, there were 10.7M jobs left open.
In the balance of this, what suffers? Customer satisfaction.
This issue isn’t going away any time soon. It is really tough to find and keep contact center agents. In fact, many of you have experienced:
- Recruiting issues (open requisitions unfilled). You might currently have a requisition for 40 people.
- People accepting the job and not showing up. You might have “hired 10,” but only seven show up.
- People showing up but then leaving during or after training. Maybe three stay—but for how long?
- Many other things.
According to recent surveys, a vast majority of consumers reported experiencing poor customer service within the last six months. These same customers also say it is harder to reach a person now than it was two years ago, with long wait times cited as one of the biggest problems.
So, the question is three-part: How can you get good quality people who want to stay and work for you? How can you modernize with digital channels to be competitive? And lastly, how can you allow consumers to reach a human when they need to?
It may be easier than you think:
- Provide tools to agents to make the job easier. Most agents are remote, at least part of the time. It’s difficult to find a “buddy” to help.
- Consider digital channels as part of your overall customer experience strategy. Improve wait times by allowing consumers to help themselves with flexible, personalized tools.
- Bring the first two items together with tools that allow the customers to help themselves and inform the agent of all prior interactions.