Despite the growing significance placed on analytics skills and a multichannel orientation for contact center leadership, as well as high demand for management and senior-level executives due to reshoring, findings from TeleManagement Search’s 2016 annual salary report revealed that base salaries for these functions have remained relatively flat, says Connie Caroli, president of the national executive recruitment firm specializing in call center, customer service and telesales.
However, she notes that there has been an increase in overall pay due to gains in variable compensation. “From the searches we have been asked to conduct and the thousands of discussions we have with contact center executives each year, we’ve noticed that bonus potential tied directly to center performance has been escalating,” she says. “Performance measures can vary widely by company and can include sales, upsell and/or cross-sell, lead conversion, customer retention numbers, customer satisfaction scores, and employee satisfaction, engagement and retention scores among others. So the increase in total comp is going to call center executives who effectively manage to meet KPI goals.”
Caroli has been seeing bonus potentials of 15% to 20%, on average, for managers, and 25% to 30% at the director and VP level. “Once upon a time directors were capped at a 20% bonus potential. It’s more in the 30% to 35% range at a lot of organizations these days,” she says. “But those bonuses are tied directly to contact center performance, whether it’s sales, lead conversion, customer retention or satisfaction scores. More often, it is tied to employee satisfaction and engagement scores—especially since unemployment has been plummeting and there is a real competition for agents.”
Supervisors Rewarded for Agent Engagement and Retention
Organizations have recognized the critical role that frontline supervisors play in employee retention. More centers are now emphasizing this important link by tying supervisor performance to their team’s engagement and retention.
In fact, while supervisor base pay has remained relatively flat, similar to upper-level management salaries, there has been an increase in companies rewarding supervisors with bonuses tied to agent productivity, engagement and retention.
“Supervisors are the key to agent productivity, satisfaction and engagement,” Caroli says. “This first level of management is critical to contact center success, especially controlling agent turnover. As the unemployment rate continues to decrease and the minimum wage continues to increase, increasing agent engagement and decreasing agent turnover are the first building blocks to success and profitability.”
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