As you kick off 2021, it’s important to invest in your technology – and your people! In this blog, we discuss how to do both.
On the heels of the seemingly never-ending challenge that was 2020, contact centers have three priorities in the new year:
- Engaging customers
- Retaining agents
- Optimizing technology tools
Driving a more positive customer experience is, of course, the leading charge for all contact centers. But how do you accomplish this?
It starts with priority number three: Optimizing your technology tools.
After all, a happy workforce is a happy customer. And the tools your agents use to connect with customers make or break the team member experience. So, your technology needs to make it easier for you to build, train, retain and schedule a high-functioning team.
But first, let’s break down the call center turnover problem.
The Call Center Turnover Problem
Call centers are among the most impacted industries when it comes to high turnover rates. In 2019, the average turnover rate for call centers in the U.S. was somewhere between 30 and 45 percent. For context, a normal turnover rate in other industries is around 10%. This is a significant difference, and it’s only getting worse as workers become less engaged in the current work-from-home environment.
Team members are experiencing higher stress levels than before the pandemic. Plus, some agents are even working more hours than ever as the lines between “work” and “home” blur. It’s critical to monitor employee engagement and the possibility for overwork and burnout.
But while many contact centers are working to keep team member satisfaction top of mind, even the happiest of happy hours can’t solve the headaches of ineffective technology.
How Technology Impacts Agent Turnover
Customer support teams leverage upwards of ten or more different tools to interact with customers. While most tools are valuable to frontline agents and customers, they sometimes can do more harm than good. In fact, 41% of support teams are slowed down either daily or weekly by siloed tools.
This is because these tools are being used to solve one-off pain points, instead of providing a seamless omnichannel experience.
Here’s how you can tell if your technology is increasing your agent turnover.
3 Signs Your (Lack Of) Technology is Part of the Problem
As you evaluate your workforce and retention rates, you are probably looking at metrics relating to work product. But what are your agents using to get the work done? Examining these tools could reveal some insights on why you have a higher rate of agent turnover.
#1. You Have Disparate Systems
A maze of disparate systems makes it difficult for agents to handle customer requests. Plus, this requires many screens to be used at any given time, which can become overwhelming if not impossible to juggle when on the phone with a customer.
#2. Agents Do Manual, Repeatable Tasks
Are your agents taking routine calls or getting bogged down with data entry, report preparation and other logs and documentation? These mundane, repeatable tasks are disengaging for team members and a fast track to higher turnover. Everybody needs a sense of purpose in the workplace. When these types of tasks are automated, you can free up your agents’ time to work on more meaningful issues.
#3. You Have Poor Visibility Into Agent Performance
If your technology doesn’t provide insight into agent performance, you can’t reward high-performing agents. You also won’t be able to be proactive about any problems before an agent, discouraged, decides to move on.
But you need more in-depth analytics than just number of calls taken. For example, your technology needs to provide visibility into ticket resolution time, first-call resolution and customer satisfaction rates. These types of KPIs will encourage agents to go the extra mile for customers, as opposed to volume-focused metrics and quotas that only encourage agents to get off the phone and onto the next call as quickly as possible.
These factors, among others, will weigh on agents over time and lead to higher rates of turnover.
If you struggle with any of these problems, it might be time to optimize your technology stack to provide a better agent experience—and, thus, a better customer experience.
So, what should you do?
How to Optimize Your Call Center Software
It may be time to go back to the basics. If your team is juggling too many tools and manual tasks, work becomes painful. You should include at least these four features:
- Essential call center tools: Telephony software, CRM and call recording & monitoring
- Internal & external collaboration & communication tools: Tools to help you connect with your customers and team members
- Cloud hosting: This is especially important in today’s remote work environment.
- Analytics & reporting: Track customer and employee engagement
The best way to optimize your software in 2021, though, is by integrating everything.
When your contact center technologies work together seamlessly, your agents are empowered to deliver the ultimate customer experience. Specifically, a fully integrated contact center technology stack results in:
- An omnichannel support experience for your customers.
- Better metrics and happier agents.
- Less costs and more ROI.
Simplify the systems, make the work more meaningful for agents, and reward them based on metrics of quality over quantity, and you’re on your way to reducing your call center turnover.
No matter what your contact center technology stack looks like, CDC Software makes it work together better—so your agents can focus on delighting your customers. Find out more by contacting our team.