Workforce attrition can wreak havoc on any business, and this is especially true for call centers where it continues to rise. Keeping agents happy amidst the call center chaos can prove to be challenging for supervisors. Busy schedules mixed with the unpredictable nature of the environment leaves little time to develop, support and ensure agents feel as if they are crucial assets to the organization.
The good news, however, is that changes in technology make it easier to reduce call center stresses and focus more on agent engagement and empowerment. Solutions like advanced intraday automation eliminate time-consuming, manual processes and streamline daily tasks, easing and better structuring the workday for both supervisors and agents. This allows more opportunities to support and develop agents and ultimately keep your frontline workforce happy.
Here are five ways you can leverage advanced intraday automation to address agent attrition:
1.Recognize and reward employees: To retain top talent, recognizing and rewarding agents for their performance is a must. But if it were easy, you’d be doing it, right? Unfortunately, tracking progress and leveraging incentives gets left behind during the ever-changing workday. Still, it must be a priority as it can make a huge difference when it comes to employee morale. Showing your agents that they are appreciated and valued goes a long way in the workplace.
Using a solution like intraday automation, you can track agent progress and trigger specific action items, enabling supervisors and management to stay on top of recognition programs. For example, if an employee has outstanding performance, you can deliver an automated alert to his/her desktop offering an extended lunch break or the opportunity to leave early. You can also deliver notifications to all agents acknowledging top performers. This could help to promote some friendly workplace competition and motivate others to step up to the plate.
2. Provide continuous training and development: It’s important that you provide agents with ongoing opportunities for training and development. Again, this is not news, and trying to incorporate this in the complex work environment makes it all the more challenging. What if there is a sudden spike in call volume just as you’ve pulled the agents off the floor for training? Do you reschedule the training session? Cancel it? Or, continue with the training, but get hit with poor CX reports? Sounds like a no-win situation for everyone involved.
With advanced intraday automation, you can deliver automated training directly to agent desktops during available time. This can be generalized training on things like new products and services, or agent-specific training based on individualized needs. Creating business rules based on your defined criteria is easy and ensures training never falls to the wayside. And just like that – your previous no-win situation becomes a win-win situation for both your employees and your business, as agents are better developed and able to better serve your customers.
3. Find time for one-to-one coaching: Recognizing, rewarding, and training your agents is difficult, but one-to-one coaching comes easy, right? Of course not. You are facing the same challenges that prevent the other things from taking place. And, just like the other two examples, this is another important factor in keeping your agents motivated and feeling purposeful. Coaching gives your agents the opportunity to ask questions and hear from you directly about how to improve. Coaching is critical and having time to listen and provide feedback gives your agents the support they need and deserve.
Solutions like intraday automation make development a priority by automatically matching supervisor time with agent time. And when it’s time for a coaching session, agents will receive an automatic alert to their computers. For example, you could set an alert to trigger a coaching session if an agent is struggling with long handle times. This ensures supervisors are aware of issues and provides uninterrupted time to share tips and ideas to help improve agent performance.
4. Allow scheduling flexibility: Providing your agents with more flexibility in the workplace can reduce stress and improve productivity. This is especially true in the call center where schedules are so rigid on top of the everyday chaos. Making it easy for your agents to control their own schedules helps to improve empowerment and engagement and keeps everyone happy.
With a simple mobile app, agents have the ability to initiate schedules changes such as schedule swapping or requesting time off. Requests are sent directly to supervisors who can choose to either accept or decline at the push of a button. This makes creating scheduling and staffing adjustments easier than ever for both agents and supervisors.
5. Provide work variety: Working on the same monotonous tasks day after day can really drain morale. Allowing your agents to handle a variety of different calls and/or channels is beneficial to both your employees and contact center, but it’s challenging to accomplish this with current technology and a siloed workforce. Having to manually move agents across various channels/call types is time consuming, and as mentioned earlier, time isn’t always in abundance in the call center. But in order to keep agents interested and engaged, it’s important to provide work variety and give them the opportunity to learn additional skills.
Intraday automation allows you to move agents across channels and handle various call types as demand fluctuates. As soon as agents are trained on these new channels and calls, their profiles are automatically updated, which allows them to put their new skills to the test. Supervisors no longer have to manually move or re-skill agents and it allows your frontline workforce to break free from the monotonous workday.