In twenty- plus years of working in tech and specifically the call center, certain trends seem to repeat themselves over and over. As a technologist, I have to admit that sometimes the reason for change gets lost in the desire to change. In fighting attrition, solutions that have been tried range from CRM, 360-degree reviews (with platforms to provide it), mid-day exercises, AI (note wrap up, etc.), Neural helmets connected to NLP-like programming – to name a few. All of these require a technology infrastructure to provide discernable benefits. The key questions: are results measurable and sustainable?
Strictly speaking, none of these approaches are (“bad.”) The more connections one makes with an employee, the better. But if your approach to attrition does not address the root causes of attrition in YOUR contact center, it will simply be a waste of time and money. What’s essential is a diagnostic approach to attrition utilizing your CRM tools. Several crucial areas to assess:
- Pay Parity – If a call center across the street is paying 25% more than you (or at least broadcasts that perception), no single tool will help with that. A successful work environment doesn’t entail salary alone, but you can offer a path to parity (better hours, flexible work, benefits), prospective and current employees can consider other work-advantage offerings. There is also a time- sensitivity to the Pay Parity paradigm. How quickly you react and communicate helps to mitigate the lower-pay perception. A good rule of thumb is plus or minus 5% of competitive market pricing.
- Hiring – At some point you need to backfill attrition or simply staff your existing call center. The process of hiring has become more and more competitive. A former Gartner industry analyst noted that competition for the best employees will be one of the top differentiators for success in today’s global market. Skill affinity, work history, even combining things as simple as Myers Briggs testing, SWOT and KISS analysis can help. The goal is to define a sustainable dynamic hiring template to quickly assess talent. Note – Developing hiring teams with people who have good instincts and a level of discernment should inform the hiring process.
- “Voice of the Agent” – Exit interviews, suggestion boxes, wellness interviews do little once an employee determines they are going to leave. If they’ve left already, anything they relate will most likely be self-confirmation. It is important to isolate a group of “at risk employees” and analyze that group versus a control. What this does is ferret out some of the core reasons contributing to dissatisfaction before “the point of attrition”. By combining this information with other analyses, you can discern a clearer picture of what is really going on in your call center
Hopefully some of these suggestions will help you as you deal with “technology tyranny.” Remember to focus on root causes and not on the technology alone to find new employees and keep existing ones.
I would enjoy connecting with you to discuss, here is my calendar link: Eric’s Calendar