COVID-19: Call center agents at home?
Mar 12 2021

Reducing call center turnover: improve your agent experience

Every business deals with turnover: workers leave, and their positions have to be staffed again. Call centers are no exception, and in fact have shown a significantly higher turnover rate: 30-45%, compared to an average of 22% for other industries. The money and resources this process requires can overextend a business, and negatively impact customer satisfaction along the way. The more employees are lost, the harder it becomes to replace them, and to keep the current staff from fueling even more turnover. Once started, this vicious cycle is difficult to break.

There is a way out - but it requires taking a look at things from a call center agent’s perspective. The job itself is quite fast-paced and stressful as it involves being on the frontlines of communication; interacting with all kinds of customers, some more emotional than others; and working with high call volumes and long shifts. Call centers that want to build long-term relationships with their agents need to make their workspace as comfortable and modern as possible - with the help of call center software.

Simplify agents’ daily routine through automation

During inbound and outbound calls, agents interact not just with the client but with their account data - the customer’s name, account number, ticket history, and other information relevant to the request. All data is usually reflected and stored in the customer relationship management system, or CRM system. With CRM integration enabled, the agent’s pre- and after-call work time is spent more wisely, as they can now really focus on the client instead of the process of fetching and updating records.

For manual and click-to-call dialing, a built-in number validation service, or HLR Lookup, will allow your agents to check the dialed number’s status to determine whether the subscriber is currently in or out of coverage. It prevents the agent from spending time on subsequent redials for numbers that can’t be reached.

Another technological advancement that can make the agent’s day more meaningful is Answering Machine Detection. This algorithm comes with a dialer to determine whether a human or a machine picked up each outbound call. Only live calls are put through; others are ended automatically. Modern call center software achieves above 95% detection accuracy with the help of AI. Do not make your agents spend hours listening to IVR systems and answering machines - leave that precious time for the customers.

All three tools would be a great aid to your agents, freeing them of the mundane and tiring part of the work, and letting them focus on what they do best - assisting clients. This could also be a significant advantage for the HR department of your call center over the less technologically suited ones.

Make the agents’ workspace comfortable and safe

Agents spend most of their time logged into the call center system and interacting with its interface one way or another. If the softphone and the application itself are not logical, well-structured, and intuitive, the user is more likely to make mistakes or get irritated when trying to find something. Call centers that require installation further complicate the onboarding process and require regular manual updates, unlike software that comes as a ready-to-use web product and is updated automatically. Browser access and easy navigation in the agent’s workspace can make all the difference and allow for a seamless transition to remote work if necessary.

During calls, that same interface should have built-in features for supervisor assistance. When the agent can request help from a more experienced colleague with a single click of a button, or transfer the call to them with notes for context, they will be more confident in handling calls, and less likely to feel stressed. Easy access to call history and volume adjustment settings are also crucial components of the softphone functionality: the former allows the agent to easily make follow-up or redial calls, and the latter lets them match the customer and the environment in terms of sound volume.

Industry statistics show that call center agents are often approached by individuals wanting to gain access to private client data through phishing attacks and other kinds of social engineering. To keep your agents safe, introduce smart security features such as phone number masking or role-based administration with restricted access to certain data to make sure there is nothing the attacker can gain from targeting an agent.

Give the right feedback and help agents grow

Performance assessment is a complex process that should involve both quantitative and qualitative analyses of how the agent works. Yet keeping it too personal, and relying solely on the manager’s opinion, may feel unfair to certain agents. To make sure things are always kept in perspective, and to give every employee unbiased feedback, leverage real-time dashboards and historical reports with performance metrics measured for every agent or team.

Utilizing all workflow organization resources your software has to offer will not only have a positive effect on customer experience but may influence agent productivity as well. Introducing skill-based routing to inbound call queues allows assigning agents with skills like language knowledge, product expertise, etc. to the most relevant calls. VIP routing is a similar tool for priority clients to skip the long hold. As a result, requests will be processed faster, reducing the average waiting time in queues. At the same time, agents chosen for the job will feel their specific talents are being recognized and appreciated, which can go a long way in improving your employee retention.

To help you keep your turnover rate down, Voiso has all the necessary tools lined up - from technology including AI-based AMD, HLR Lookup, real-time dashboards, and advanced historical reporting features, to CRM integration and security features support. Start making small changes today to see impressive results in your agent performance and reduce turnover - with the right call center software.

Explore what Voiso can do for your call center.