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Solve Agent Attrition with Automated Call Scoring

March 16, 2018 by Morgan Pulitzer - Last Updated: May 25, 2018

Studies show that employment in the contact center industry has risen over the past several years by 21.8%, reaching upwards of 2.3 million people [1]. But while the number of employees in contact center has grown, so has the amount of turnover. Employee attrition is 15.1% on average in most other industries. Contact center turnover is between 30 and 45% [2]. And a huge mistake contact center managers tend to make is thinking their agents are simply replaceable.

Not only does hiring and training a new agent cost a contact center around $8000 [3], but it also hurts revenue by having fewer experienced agents taking calls (and the experienced agents who remain are often helping new agents instead of customers). Clearly, agent attrition is a problem that should not be ignored.

But before contact centers can solve this issue, they must first figure out what is causing such a high level of turnover. One reason often given is an insufficient training program. In order to get new agents on the phones and taking calls quickly, too many contact centers rush through the initial training and then push the agents out of the nest. As a result, many agents find themselves struggling to fly, especially when finding themselves dealing with the gamut of customers’ emotions.

Agents need to be both professional and empathetic, but without proper training, constantly dealing with and trying to placate upset customers can take a toll on an agent’s psyche. As a result, agents end up feeling burned out, frustrated, and despondent, which affects not only their performance, but the customers, as well. Eventually, these agents will decide they’ve had enough and seek employment elsewhere.

So how can contact centers reconcile the need for comprehensive training with having agents answering calls as soon as possible? By implementing a call monitoring solution like speech analytics and scorecards for training that is both efficient and effective.

Make Training an Ongoing Commitment with Speech Analytics

Rather than have training be a one-and-done event when an agent is first hired, contact centers should make it a continuous process for all agents. Not only recording and analyzing all calls allow for a more accurate measurement of the Voice of the Customer and internal metrics, but it will also help agents advance their communication skills. Speech analytics teaches agents how to successfully solve problems and resolve conflicts.

With strong, real-life examples from actual conversations, managers can identify and correct any agent’s problem areas in a way that is both straightforward and easy for agents to comprehend. Also, businesses are often in a state of constant change when it comes to things like new products and promotions. Speech analytics ensures that agents have complete knowledge of all updates, and will be able to convey them successfully to the customers. All of this helps raise the agent’s abilities and confidence.

Use Scorecards to Boost Agent Morale

It is important to remember that all agents can benefit from speech analytics. Contact centers need to be able to have a comprehensive view of each agent’s performance, from the new hires and those who may be struggling, to the veterans and top performers. Agents always want to improve themselves, and don’t want to feel like they’re stagnating.

By utilizing speech analytics and agent scorecards, managers can see exactly where each agent’s strengths and weaknesses lie, and respond accordingly. In addition to amending problematic behavior, managers can use scorecards to recognize exceptionally good performances. This helps managers bring attention to agents when they make improvements, rather than just mistakes. As a result, agents feel truly appreciated and have the opportunity to advance.

Good training comes down to strong communication skills between contact center managers and their agents. Empowering and motivating agents can have tremendous effects. Agents feel more engaged, which greatly impacts productivity, customer interactions, retention, QA, and the bottom line. A speech analytics solution can strengthen the agent’s overall communication skills, improving training and ultimately reducing agent attrition.

Sources:

  1. www.hermanmiller.com
  2. www.qatc.org
  3. smallbusiness.chron.com

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