As the job market continues to improve, holding onto skilled service staff will be a top challenge for contact centers. Competitive wages are no longer enough to coax talented agents to stay, so forward-thinking companies have been looking for other ways to make their organization more attractive to today’s workforce. The following are three proven practices that contact centers have employed for improving agent retention:
Career development opportunities. Offering experienced service staff the chance to move into other areas of the company is a win-win strategy. The agent has an opportunity to grow new skills, and they bring to new roles an empathy for and focus on customers. Companies have found the contact center to be an excellent labor pool for driving customer-centric values across functions and departments.
Flexible work shifts. Rigid policies regarding schedules and time off are a top contributor to contact center turnover. Today’s workforce—and millennials, in particular—values flexible schedules above higher pay. And as the job market heats up, skilled agents are not going to work a schedule that they don’t like if there is another employer who offers more flexibility. Find a way to incorporate more accommodating options, such as 10×4, flex time, split shifts and part-time shifts.
Work-at-home models. The home-based agent model provides a variety of benefits to both companies and employees. For contact centers, work-at-home programs help to cut operating costs, provide business continuity and redundancy, increase employee productivity and satisfaction, and greatly expand the labor pool allowing centers access to higher skilled candidates. For employees, work-at-home agents generally experience lower job-related stress, higher productivity and a better work-life balance.