One of the biggest roadblocks to a contact center’s success these days is the high level of agent attrition. Studies show the average agent attrition rate in contact centers is 30 to 45%(1), which can end up costing a company 25 to 30% of benefits and salary for each vacant position(1). Clearly, this problem needs to be addressed.
However, many contact centers believe they can allay the situation through fun “perks” such as dress-up days, contests, prizes, etc. And even if these efforts are appreciated by the agents, they are ultimately short-term solutions. Because what truly matters to contact center agents is the ability for them to do their job and to do it well. Fortunately, with speech analytics and some helpful tips, any contact center can keep its agents happily on board.
Use Speech Analytics for Better Hiring and Training
One of the first steps in establishing a successful contact center is making sure to hire the right people; the ones who will make every call count. So how to tell who are the right people? Simply using broad criteria in job descriptions such as “excellent customer service skills” or “an even temperament” has not always netted the best results in the past. But with today’s modern speech analytics tools, contact center supervisors can easily discover first-hand which of their agents consistently have the most prosperous phone conversations.
More specifically, they can see what these particular agents are saying that result in closed sales, successfully resolved issues and, ultimately, happy customers. They can take this knowledge and use it to create finely honed criteria for open positions – criteria which will attract people who are far more likely to be productive and effective agents. And the knowledge acquired from using speech analytics can also be used for ongoing training to ensure all agents are consistently on top of their game and using the best strategies possible. With the right agents in place, contact centers can help guarantee a better customer experience, which helps guarantee more confident – and happier – agents.
Get Feedback from Agents with Speech Analytics
Another way to ensure agent retention is to help agents feel like they are really part of the company team. And one of the best ways to do that is to listen to them. Agents are usually the first ones to know if a particular method or strategy when dealing with customers isn’t working, and it’s important for them to be able to share this knowledge. When supervisors and agents listen to recorded phone conversations together, they should be able to have a mutually beneficial discussion, rather than simply having the supervisor extract and dictate to the agent what they did wrong.
For instance, an agent can point out processes and policies that seem good on paper, but become overly complex when trying to explain them to customers, which can end up frustrating both parties. Supervisors can then work with agents to develop a method that is mutually beneficial for everyone. By being receptive to agent input, companies can be abreast of issues that may be hindering the customer experience, and agents can truly feel like they are having a positive impact on the business.
A study from Tempkin Group shows 60% of agents are “highly or moderately engaged, while 40% are slightly engaged to disengaged”(2). These percentages could use some improvement. By utilizing speech analytics to improve training and communications and develop effective strategies that get real results in a timely manner, contact centers can help ensure their agents feel empowered in their roles, increasing job satisfaction and decreasing turnover rates.