The UK’s call centre industry is notorious for its high staff turnover rates. According to research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), call centres are among the industry sectors with the highest levels of staff turnover. With the average cost for replacing staff estimated at £6,125, rising to £9,000 for senior managers, call centre managers should pre-empt any threat of an employee exodus by looking after their valued employees now!
In this blog, we share our top tips to attract and retain call centre employees who will boost the success of your organisation.
1. Motivate a culture of Ownership
A good manager not only trains and delegates to their staff, they also trust their employees to take ownership of their responsibilities. It’s important to remember that Customer Service Advisors possess a wealth of skills and knowledge that can truly help organisations who wish to steer their activities in a more customer-focused direction. Since they spend most of their time interacting with customers, they understand what the customers want and need. Allowing operatives to take ownership of campaigns and activities will not only help the company obtain key customer insights, but also give employees a sense of purpose whilst allowing them to feel valued.
2. Focus on metrics which drive positive employee and customer experience
Craving and holding on to straight productivity metrics is probably the easiest way to malign employee morale and retention. But many call centres fall into the trap of focusing too much on metrics like average handling time and average calls handled, rather than enhancing the experience of their employees and customers. Focusing too much on straight productivity metrics typically results in strict performance targets that compel employees to do whatever it takes to achieve them, destroying not only their enthusiasm for the job, but also customer satisfaction. For these reasons, you should aim to shift your focus towards metrics such as contact quality and customer satisfaction, which are both customer and employee centric. Focusing on these metrics would drive all the others to fall in the same line.
3. Support your employees with the technology they need to enhance their job performance
Technology is transforming the way in which we do business, and no industry is exempt from the tidal wave of change. However, many call centre employers are reluctant to invest in technological solutions due to financial reasons, much to the detriment of their workforce’s productivity and motivation. Time is money, and if your employees are forced to toggle an average of five screens to handle a single customer interaction, they will inevitably waste a significant amount of their time searching for relevant data across these systems. Training and coaching employees won’t count for much if the CRM, desktop tools, and workflows are disparate and uncoordinated. Your operatives need to have access to relevant customer data and other critical information and tools at their fingertips to ensure every interaction goes smoothly without any hindrance.
4. Provide clear avenues for career progression
Employees who see no future in their role or the company they work for would certainly not think twice before they leave. For this reason, employers should create a clear avenue for career progression that will enable employees to further develop their knowledge, skills and expertise. Demonstrating commitment and investing in employee development will result in greater engagement and retention.
5. Acknowledge good efforts and reward great performance
Many customer service advisors put in a lot of effort towards charming and satisfying customers, which typically goes unrewarded. The best call centres provide incentives and recognition to operatives who go the extra mile in delivering superior customer experience. This inspires employees to continue interacting with customers in a positive manner, and even improve their methods as time goes on. Regular rewards boost employee morale and make them feel valued and important in the organisation. Investing time in devising an incentive and recognition strategy can help reap enormous rewards for the call centre!
Equally important, remember that little gestures of appreciation - such as a simple thank you note or a word of 'well done' - will also reassure your staff that they are valued and essential to the success of your business!
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