Building the Contact Center of The Future

  • workforce insights
  • May 09, 2013

A one-size-fits-all approach to training is no longer adequate in today’s call center environment where interactions with customers are more complex. Turnover is high in most call centers; the average turnover rate in U.S. call centers is 43 percent and even worse for large centers with more than 1,000 agents where the rate spikes to 70 percent annually.  A general lack of sufficient training contributes to poor performance levels and ultimately dissatisfied agents who quickly leave the company – a costly consequence for companies.

Here are some steps to building a successful contact center through training:

Step #1: Hire for the attitude, train for the skills

Before training can even begin, the agent must be the right fit for the job. Thriving in a call centerdemands a special type of person – someone who is a natural problem solver, has excellent interpersonal skills, a positive attitude, patience, values teamwork and can remain calm under pressure.

Step #2: Be honest and clear about the nature of the job

It is crucial for hiring managers to be clear and open about the nature and expectations of the job. In fact, exposing potential candidates to the contact center before hire can help assure they fully understand the environment.

Step #3: Consider elongating the training and onboarding process.

One of the best ways to foster higher engagement among agents is to ensure they feel prepared, comfortable and part of the team. This often requires a lengthier training and on-boarding process, particularly for new hires. Consider implementing new initiatives such as transition training that offers workers a shift from traditional classroom training to the official phone floor.