Being a contact center agent can be a thankless job. You frequently have to interact with callers who are frustrated due to a problem they are having, and they can sometimes be downright hostile. That said, it’s probably no surprise that contact centers see a high level of churn when it comes to agents. But, as you may know, there are many assessment tools and services out there today to help contact centers get a more complete picture of the agent experience and get a better handle on what causes agent attrition. There are also tools to help more effectively vet contact center employees for best results on the retention front.
FurstPerson is one such company that delivers such solutions.
Founded in 1997 as a staffing company serving contact centers in the greater Chicago area, FurstPerson today offers agent assessment services using a consultative model, explains Brent Holland, vice president of customer solutions at the company. He spoke with TMCnet this week at Call Center Week in Las Vegas.
When Holland got into the assessment industry two decades ago, the space was very research based, he said. Then, in the late 1990s, assessment took off and investors got interested. As a result, he says, thousands of companies moved into the assessment industry, and many of those businesses took a different, and less data-intensive approach. Holland is part of an effort at FurstPerson to leverage research to build models that can help organizations better understand what’s causing agent attribution. That, he adds, could include any variety of factors, from a pay gap to a skills gap.
FurstPerson’s effort on this involves continuing to invest in its consulting practice, which today has seven PhDs on staff, and to address assessment for a variety of vertical industries and coming at it from a variety of angles, he explains.
The company also continues to expand its solutions. In the next few days the company is expected to unveil news related to some of its analytics capabilities. Holland says FurstPerson is creating dashboards its customers can use to see what’s happening, and providing them a way to broker a conversation.
He adds that by the middle of 2016 FurstPerson also will address personality, cognitive ability, and simulations (a solution that provides a simulated contact center environment in which agent applicants can by tested on their ability to perform in a simulated, virtual situation).