There’s a lot of talk about engaging customers these days, but engaging employees also tends to be a key component of business success. And contact centers that engage their agents can both more effectively meet their other internal goals, and create stronger agents that better serve customers.
That’s the message of a recent article by Barbara Buchanan on the website Nearshore Americas.
The piece looks at the positive outcomes that three companies -- which have taken steps to listen to their agents and enable them to move up the ladder and otherwise get recognition for great work -- have seen as result.
For example, a company called OnBrand24 was able to lower agent churn and tardiness by use of financial rewards, time off, and free trips for good performance.
Another company, Telvista, which has 7,000 contact center agents across the globe, recently launched an effort called Telvista Edge in an effort to stem agent attrition by creating employment development career paths for its workers. The program awards agents who have performed at a high level for nine months, or 18 months with expert-level and master status, respectively. Master status means higher salary, shift benefits, and a dedicated work area.
As a result, Telvista saw benefits both internally and related to customer-facing meters. Its per-agent error levels dropped from a previous two percent average for agents to 1.1 percent for master-level workers; masters got top marks on their quality scorecards; absenteeism for masters was 2.6 percent as opposed to 4.4 percent for associate-level agents; and agent attrition dropped to six percent annually. Meanwhile, the company found itself rising in the ranks in its clients’ customer care benchmarking surveys.
Finally, Xact Telesolutions, which has 350 agents in 20 states, does quarterly employee surveys and offers bonuses to agents who acquire skills that the company has emphasized as desirable. The effort seems to be paying off.
Business development director Kathy Gray told Nearshore Americas
: “We’re very much into empowering agents with information and training; when you do this and give a quality experience, you have long standing customers.”