Your call center team is your front line when it comes to lead generation, technical support and customer experience. A successful operation not only needs a strong team of engaged professionals that can work independently, but one in which individuals are strategically connected to the values and key initiatives of the company. Without unity and connection, pieces of the puzzle fall out of place and the entire picture suffers. A burnt-out employee can cost your company its reputation, good leads and — if they decide to move on to greener pastures — money.
Today, we’re looking at what it takes to keep top call center talent around — whether they are working in an office or from the comfort of their own home.
Addressing the rapid changes in the call center industry
The pandemic drastically altered the “in-office” landscape and call centers may have felt this expedited evolution more than anyone else. Jobs that were normally conducted in an open bullpen switched to the guest room (or kitchen table) seemingly overnight. However, as vaccines rolled out and it became safer to open offices again, many employees realized they were more productive at home. They started to demand either a fully remote position or hybrid option.
33% of workers say that they would quit their job if it did not offer a remote working option, according to Owl Labs’ 2021 State of Remote Work study, and 71% of workers demand a hybrid or remote option.
This puts call centers in a delicate conundrum: Do they keep overhead costs low and employees happy by offering remote work? Or do they opt for “togetherness” with in-office positions? Many international companies have opted for the former, resulting in a large influx of permanently remote call center jobs.
Money on the line: Understanding the true costs of losing a team member
Having an employee quit is frustrating. Having a top-tier team member quit is heartbreaking.
According to TrustRadius, call centers have the highest annual turnover rate of any industry, hovering in the range of 30%-45%. This statistic keeps business owners, directors of communication and administrators across the country up at night as they are fearful that their star performer may hop the fence. If this fear is fulfilled, it is costly to find a replacement ($4,000 on average)… not to mention the time it takes to train this individual and fully integrate them with the existing system.
This new candidate must learn the ropes, including knowledge of your company culture, the communication systems, the FAQs about everything you offer, the chain of command, etc. All this takes time and, as the cliche goes, time is money. The whole process is panic-inducing; it makes call center employee retention paramount to your success and sanity!
HR technology: What you can do to keep your people around
Outside of evaluating compensation packages, the work-from-home option is the greatest tool in your retention toolbox. However, if you are already offering this perk or are unable to offer it, then you will likely want to go the employee experience route. This can be pursued with a robust employee engagement software program including a simple-to-use performance management tool.
The value of a good conversation
Communication is an invaluable commodity in the workplace and the right performance management tool can create a variety of paths to continuous, meaningful dialogue between team leaders and call center employees. Without these touchpoints, top talent may feel unheard and disconnected; this may result in them looking for another employer who can listen and give them purpose.
Celebrate victories and offer support when needed
People like shout-outs! An effective platform will offer a space for you to publicly reward great performance. People also like to know how they are performing, such as whether they are behind, on track or ahead. This is why 360-degree feedback and guided 1:1s are critical components of an effective virtual tool.
Quantitative insights for individuals and higher-ups
How far along is a team member in their training? Are they keeping up with quotas, closing out calls faster and converting more leads? A platform should offer a bird’s-eye view, which is great for both administrators to gauge improvement and for the team member to take some individual pride in their professional growth.
BPM Link: Our answer to the rise in call center employee turnover
We offer our own intuitive and immersive strategic, employee-driven performance management platform called BPM Link. Born out of an industry-wide need for ongoing and equitable accountability, BPM Link is tailored to align the goals and strategic direction of the company with the unique goals of each individual on your team, It does this through supporting clear expectations, facilitating those strategic conversations and allowing every voice to be heard.
When retention matters most, BPM Link keeps your team happily linked together.