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What Makes Call Center Agents Stay? Interactive Intelligence Provides Some Tips

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July 06, 2012

What Makes Call Center Agents Stay? Interactive Intelligence Provides Some Tips

By Mini Swamy, TMCnet Contributor

There is no doubt that staff retention is the key to contact center growth. This was what contact center automation provider Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) focused on in its industry report, suggesting Bahrain's contact center industry could further improve only if it could get its employees to “stay put.”

The report, which examined the relationship between employees' turnover intentions and other workplace factors that could affect their “staying or leaving,” recommended actions that BPO employers needed to take to improve their talent retention.

Call center agents account for almost 65-75 percent of monthly expenditure and training, and recruitment initiatives are costly but necessary if companies are keen to promote job satisfaction.

If trained agents frequently quit, the cost of re-training others becomes rather prohibitive. But poorly trained agents won't fit the bill either for the result is adverse customer service.

Hence, according to Shaheen Haque, the territory manager, Middle East and Turkey at Interactive Intelligence, retention of employees is important for call centers as a high staff turnover rate is an unnecessary expense that they don't need to incur. Poorly trained agents unable to deal with irate customers, in particular, can become frustrated with their work.

In order to keep agents happy, the report recommends that contact centers create a congenial and conducive working environment for their staff that best suits their needs. A satisfied agent results in a satisfied customer.

Contact centers are beginning to sit up and take advantage of technology available so they can optimize the working environment. With VoIP and low cost broadband becoming more popular, agents can work in an environment best suited for their needs.

According to the report by automating processes, management of workloads become more streamlined and efficient and supervisors can monitor agents in real time, regardless of location. The result: an increased level of flexibility for agents and immense job satisfaction.

Catering to the all-around needs of agents in terms of career opportunities, the working environment, pay and benefits and more will therefore contribute to the retention of key talent, which in turn will produce satisfied customers.

TMCnet reported that the Contact Center Association of the Philippines plans to roll out new fitness and health programs to help lower attrition rate and subsequently boost productivity of call center workers.

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Edited by Braden Becker

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