The fall of the Contact Centre has been predicted since the 1990s with the first internet boom, but as digitalisation has accelerated, digital channels have given the Contact Centres around the world a new lease of life. Contact Centres today are faced with a more pressing challenge – the high rate of staff turnover – aka churn rate.
Agent turnover rates range between 30 – 45% per year, costing Contact Centres on average an estimation of £7000 per employee to replace. Considering you have a 30% turnover rate on an average agent staff team of 200, you’re spending £217,000 per year at a minimum to replace lost agents.
Why is agent churn rate so high? Agents often don’t stay long at Contact Centres due to the stressful environment, low job satisfaction or insufficient software provided for them to effectively execute their job and earn a commission.
Reducing churn rate costs
So how do Contact Centres avoid losing over £217,000 each year and decrease the churn rate?
To avoid losing agents and incurring costs, Contact Centres need to focus on interactions that are satisfying for both customers and agents.
With more and more customers expecting Contact Centres to offer digital communication, such as Live Chat or Facebook Messenger, Contact Centre businesses need to equip their agents with the right CX technology platforms to deliver the digital experience.
As well as providing agents with the appropriate platforms, they also need to feel equipped on how to use these systems. An overcomplicated agent interface, or having to work across multiple unintegrated systems, will only exacerbate agents’ frustrations.
To work effectively, agents need to feel like the Contact Centre they work within is designed to make them succeed in their role. With minimal communication barriers and technology solutions that allow them to provide effective customer engagement, agents will be able to boost their performance without distraction and will be less likely to think about leaving.
To help Contact Centres achieve a more productive environment for agents and reduce their turnover costs, we have created 5 simple tips for reducing agent turnover.
5 Ways to reduce contact centre churn rate
1. Provide unified communication tools to agents
Long gone are the days of traditional call centres which utilised a simple dialler system. Incorporating tools to empower agents, will allow agents to develop into expert communicators capable of delivering insight rather than information whilst adding substantive value to the customer experience across both traditional and digital channels.
Technology is aiding organisations in all sectors to deliver more value through their agents. Agents are expected to know more about the customer and possess more knowledge on the query or industry, but they need a knowledge management tool that can assist them to quickly find the relevant content they need whilst maintaining an engaging conversation with the customer.
Installing an easy-to-use Omnichannel solution that can integrate all your customer engagement communication into one platform, will streamline agents workflow, and improve customer satisfaction.
In addition, aiding agents with skilled based routing software allows the customer to reach the agent with the correct skills to answer their inquiry, and allows the agent to feel confident in their approach to quickly and effectively reroute the call.
Omnichannel platforms can provide a range of platforms integrated into one, allowing for seamless integrations between your CRM system and customer engagements. The shift of how we operate Contact Centres needs to be the new focal point.
The type of technology needed to enable effective customer service is imperative to achieving both successful employee and customer satisfaction, and this article will show you how to get there.
2. Provide automated training to agents in real-time
Many Contact Centre managers will continue to throw agents into the deep end without equipping them with sufficient training. This poor management style ultimately results in poor self-confidence for agents, leading them to underperform and fail to hit targets for their business.
According to a report from McKinsey, 52% of agents feel they do not hold sufficient information about a customer to help with their query or frustrations. Agents want to feel empowered to serve customers with exceptional customer service, which involves having the correct information at your disposal instantly.
When agents are ill-equipped, agents can’t provide an excellent customer experience which overall results in losing customers and losing agents. When agents are exposed to an increase in pressure when receiving negative customer feedback, coupled with the feeling of dissatisfaction within their job performance, agents start to look elsewhere for better employment opportunities.
Connex One developed a feature that facilitates training in real-time as well as provides historical data about customers, called Whisper Coaching. It is a tool that is used to improve agents’ performance as they work, without the need for lengthy training sessions that take them away from dealing with real customers.
Not only does the feature assist agents with improving self-confidence, but helps managers to monitor and listen to live customer calls for training or management purposes.
Using Sentiment Analysis, the tool can be incorporated to flag any calls for concern, allowing the manager to jump onto a call in real-time and assist agents directly with advice or the option to take over the call directly.
Quality Management AI is a customer engagement software feature that assists agents under pressure, guiding them through the interaction process.
The tool allows agents to coach themselves, utilising on-screen prompts to suggest how to alter their approach when engaging with customers to reach the desired outcomes and further improve their skill set.
As an example, during a sales operation call, if a new agent does not possess the adequate sales skillset, the AI technology will assess the ongoing conversation and interject at the relevant point of conversation with the best script aimed at closing the deal. This helps agents to feel more comfortable navigating difficult customer interactions, and aids in training agents in real-time.
3. Provide the information they need with integrations
Whilst for many organisations, the central focus of CX processes is achieving customer satisfaction and increased revenue, many fail to recognise the importance of their employee’s job satisfaction.
Agents are responsible for delivering customer satisfaction, and if they are not satisfied with their role, it’s almost impossible to expect them to deliver impeccable customer service.
Having a cloud-based customer engagement platform with CRM integrations enabled, empowers agents to have as much information as possible on the incoming or outbound call, feeling prepared and equipped to handle the call. Preview of Salesforce integrations within Connex One
The cloud-based solution will collate all relevant information on the customer via integrated systems (e.g. CRM systems such as Salesforce or Hubspot), as well as the various platforms of communication they have utilised, informing the agent of all past communication with the customer before taking over the call.
This level of integration allows agents to offer a more personalised and informed experience to every customer. Nobody wants to feel blindsided, and when an agent receives negative customer feedback due to not having the relevant information necessary to help, it directly affects the agent’s performance and personal wellbeing.
4. Provide engaging challenges with Gamification
Gamification is an additional effective tool that empowers agents to feel more motivated to achieve targets. Sales and Customer Service teams facilitate high volumes of interactions that demand constant high performance.
By creating fun, engaging challenges that incentivise positive behaviours, our clients see an instant increase in productivity and staff retention. Remaining positive and engaged in your workplace is an important factor in maintaining positive mental health.
On average, customers have experienced 35% savings when switching to the Connex One platform, and an employee productivity increase rate of 33%. One of our financial services clients was able to boost their productivity by 233% after adopting Gamification, recovering over £1 billion in financial claims in just 3 months.
Advanced game mechanics create multi-level environments for your team to earn points, advance levels and collect badges in exchange for customisable commissionable incentives. The Gamification leaderboard display tool allows for increased visibility of how team members are performing and increases collaboration amongst teams.
5. Improving mental wellbeing of agents
The cost of poor mental health in the workplace can be the result of a failed customer engagement campaign.
According to a study conducted by MHFA England, 1 in 6 employees suffers stress-related symptoms resulting in 1 out of 5 taking days of absence from the workplace but citing different reasoning. Studies have also predicted that employees who are less productive at work due to poor mental health cost organisations anywhere between £33 billion and £42 billion annually.
One way to improve employee wellbeing is to ensure a good work-life balance is instilled in the company culture. By utilising software solutions such as Shift Organiser, which falls part of the Workforce Optimisation portfolio at Connex One, staff can view and manage their shift patterns to best suit their lifestyle.
There are various mental health benefits to utilising the shift organiser; managing expectations, workload and anticipated anxiety that comes with requesting leave. The self-service holiday request feature has automated approval flows, which drastically reduce the administrative time within the workplace, as well as removing the anticipation of if leave will be approved or not.
“Shift organiser also allows employees to be scheduled to work when suits them best. This can take into account personal work preferences and incorporate factors such as extracurricular activities, childcare, and social preferences just to name a few. This allows employees to manage their time more effectively and allow for mental wellbeing”, says Brian Bvundura, Business Development Specialist at Connex One.
Churn is inevitable within any organisation but it’s important to track and improve your churn rates over time. As your business model matures, and your company continues to develop, your churn rate should improve over time.
To learn more about how Connex One is helping our clients to reduce their churn rate, increase productivity and improve their customer journeys, visit: connexone.ng, get in touch with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or request a free demo of our platform here.