how important is attrition in a contact center?

how important is attrition in a contact center?

sept.7th

CXPartnerSource

Commonly referred to as a ‘churn rate,’ a company’s attrition rate is the rate at which people leave. If you break it down, it is the number of people who have left the company, divided by the average number of employees over a period of time. Usually, it is expressed as a percentage (%). 

In today’s competing business environment, the influence of attrition on a business can be detrimental to both the bottom line and morale. The question is, what exactly does this look like in a contact center? Well, first, agent turnover can have a negative impact on your company’s performance. That is why it’s important to know the status of your attrition rate. The first impact can be felt in hiring and training costs. 

How can you transfer the knowledge of an agent that has worked there for several years? It’s impossible. Unless there is an extremely meticulous handover process, institutional knowledge will leave the call center. 

Most importantly, losing the “team structure” can have long-term effects on the contact center. This usually looks like burn-out and low morale – causing strong impacts on overall business productivity. Not to mention, high turnover results in disarray, causing challenges in the recruitment process

While reducing turnover can be difficult, preventing attrition can require more transparency. 

 

Here are some steps employers can take:

  • Encourage flexibility: By offering flexible hours, the ability to telecommute, or allowing employees to work part-time, you can give employees the ability to balance work and home life.
  • Work management: You can’t do it all and neither can your team. Take the load off. Connecting with a third party isn’t a bad thing. It’s good. Outsourcing call center functions often allow companies to provide 24/7 customer support at a price point that won’t break the bank. Agents can work more efficiently, and managers can schedule staff more effectively, helping reduce costs-per-call. 

 

This is where we come in. Companies that choose the right outsourcing partner will undoubtedly feel the impact. Partnering with a knowledgeable outsourced team with strong company culture and core values affects the employee experience and reduces turnover rates- that’s why it’s important to outsource the right way. Employee satisfaction and loyalty lead to better relationships with clients and customers.

Happy employees = excellent retention. 

For instance, this is how outsourcing with an advisory firm like CXPS can leverage outsourcing services and impact a company’s growth:

 

  • You’d skip the growth expenses and losses and the entire learning process that the outsourced service provider had to undergo to build and strengthen their team.

  • Outsourcing means reaching new mastery, skills, and expertise; the outsourcing company has well-trained and established professionals on board who will make up for the lack of experience or knowledge in the in-house team.

  • Outsourcing companies take charge of the internal investments and keep their staff up to date; they follow the market needs and remain informed; outsourcing companies train and educate their employees continuously.

  • Picking an outsourcing partner that evolves and matures over time helps companies scale efficiently.

  • Choosing the right BPO partner is critical. We prevent risk by doing the research for you and connecting you with the best possible match for your requirements. 

    Contact us today for more information 

clients aren’t from mars and customer care providers don’t have to be from venus  – managing great expectations

clients aren’t from mars and customer care providers don’t have to be from venus – managing great expectations

Good relationships don’t just happen.

They don’t happen in life and they certainly don’t happen in business either. In the corporate world, they take work. They take a lot of work. We’re not talking about transactional relationships where commodities are bought and sold. These associations are one-time or occasional transactions that don’t require a deep understanding of your client’s long-term needs.

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customer service: why outsourcing is the answer

customer service: why outsourcing is the answer

24

AUGUST 2021

CXPartnerSource

How do you define “customer experience”? It’s the personal, one-on-one interaction between a consumer making a purchase, requesting information about a product or service, or requesting additional support for an item or service already purchased, and the representative of the company who manufactured or sold the product. Sounds simple, right? Let’s take a closer look at what happens when that transaction is jeopardized – or worse – completely fails. 

 

Did you know that 7 out of 10 customers say they would pay more to engage with a company that provides an excellent customer experience? There is tremendous value in the experience aspect of transactional exchanges, and the numbers speak for themselves. Taking into account that 86% of customers will cease doing business with a company if they’ve had a poor experience – your customer’s experience sets the bar for the reputation of your company. It doesn’t matter how great your products and services are if you fail to provide your customers with an exceptional experience – every step of the way. 

 

Perseverance is not just a virtue – it’s a key component of someone who prides themselves in offering a great customer experience. Agents are often helping buyers with questions, frustrations, or problems that must be solved. Being attentive, knowledgeable, and sensitive to this potentially fragile dynamic goes a long way in driving customer satisfaction…but, what if your representatives aren’t offering the best customer experience possible? It goes without saying that members of your “dream team” must be skilled problem solvers. They can seamlessly adapt their exchange to the issue at hand – leaving the customer feeling truly taken care of. 

 

Outsourcing advisory firms like CX Partner Source bring experience and guidance to the important process of assembling distinguished support teams. When estimating the value that the customer’s experience brings to your business, you really can’t afford to ignore outsourcing as a viable solution for all these “customer experiences”… It’s as simple as that. 

 

Contact us to learn more. 

 

clients aren’t from mars and customer care providers don’t have to be from venus  – managing great expectations

clients aren’t from mars and customer care providers don’t have to be from venus – managing great expectations

Good relationships don’t just happen.

They don’t happen in life and they certainly don’t happen in business either. In the corporate world, they take work. They take a lot of work. We’re not talking about transactional relationships where commodities are bought and sold. These associations are one-time or occasional transactions that don’t require a deep understanding of your client’s long-term needs.

read more

clients aren’t from mars and customer care providers don’t have to be from venus – managing great expectations

clients aren’t from mars and customer care

providers don’t have to be from venus

18

JUNE 2021

CXPartnerSource

By Scott Newman, CEO, Transparent BPO

     Tom Silzell, Managing Partner, CX PartnerSource

Good relationships don’t just happen.  

They don’t happen in life and they certainly don’t happen in business either. In the corporate world, they take work. They take a lot of work. We’re not talking about transactional relationships where commodities are bought and sold. These associations are one-time or occasional transactions that don’t require a deep understanding of your client’s long-term needs. 

We’re focusing on the profoundly intimate relationship between your company and your customer care provider, where the provider works and hires the right people so it knows your core business almost as thoroughly as you do. 

As with any relationship, there are two sides – and we want to examine the tangible components and then, of course, a discussion of the intangibles.

First the tangible factors. These are easier to measure because hard figures can be assigned to each and tracked over time. But too frequently, not enough attention is paid to the low-hanging fruit of measurable performance metrics that form the foundation of any good customer care relationships. But which ones should you focus on?

 

Cost

This goes without saying but too often this is viewed in the short term. Price is always relative to what the client wants to achieve. A provider may have an attractive hourly rate that provides immediate savings in the near term, but the costs may escalate in the medium and long term because of multiple factors. The provider offered an a la carte service where additional services (training or holiday coverage) weren’t included.

A cheaper provider may have a long talk and hold times or lower CSAT scores that weren’t accounted for when you were going through due diligence. Or perhaps a cheaper provider has a higher agent attrition rate, so you’re constantly having new agents talk to your customers week after week, month after month. In the end, your brand suffers and the costs add up.

 

Requirements 

Is this customer care provider a good service fit? If you need customer service agents, does the company have a history of providing sound customer service? Do they have agents that have the technical training to help your customers on Level 1 or 2 tech calls? Do they know how to upsell to give your customers more options from your catalog of products so you move more inventory?

Sometimes in the haste to retain a customer care provider, clients occasionally overlook the capabilities the company can provide and instead just want seats filled to ensure calls are answered. To ensure the provider can meet your specific requirements, do the heavy lifting: check their client references and not only with companies and contacts they provide. Find out who used to use them and why they left? Check their technology stack – are they compliant and can they reasonably protect your data and your customers’ information? 

Clearly, a key requirement is language skills. Does the provider have a pool of agents who can support your customers in the language they prefer? North American customers are overwhelmingly English-speaking but there are also needs for Spanish and French-Canadian services.   

Accent neutralization programs can be effective in helping your agents smooth out their accents, particularly when supporting English-speaking customers. But these programs can be expensive and take time to get agents hired and on the phones. It’s helpful to have native, English-speaking agents who can get up to speed quickly but who are also comfortable going ‘off-script’ to help customers. These agents offer a certain amount of empathy to customers who are in a stressful situation and may be having trouble with your service or product.   

Don’t pass up a chance to conduct a site visit. Visiting the facility where your calls are being answered can give you a clear line of sight of the people who are acting on your behalf. You can learn a lot about the provider, the competence of the leadership on the ground, and the quality of the agents who are talking to your customers every day. Make the time to conduct a site visit, the experience is invaluable.

 

Training 

This broad category can also include recruiting and implementation but essentially focuses on the care and feeding of the agents acting on your behalf. 

It begins with the proper recruiting. Does the customer care provider have a good pool of candidates to hire from in the first place? How are they advertising and sourcing candidates? Also, it might be helpful to check how your provider screens candidates and the percentage of candidates actually get hired? Are they selective on who eventually becomes an agent, and do they conduct background checks? Finally, are they hiring employees who just want a job or are they recruiting personnel who want a career in customer care and work their way into leadership positions? 

Once hired, what kind of training is offered? Does your provider work with you to customize a training program that fits your company? The time and criteria is important but you also want to meet the trainers who are prepping agents to support your account.

Once all the recruiting and training is complete, then it’s time to go ‘live.’ You should have a clear picture of the implementation step. This is not the time for surprises and you want to ensure your provider has all the bases covered? You can ensure success here by reviewing other launches they’ve managed with similar programs in scope and in size or a similar industry or account size with the same number of agents. The implementation step is the end of the beginning, but also marks the beginning of hopefully a long relationship with your provider.  

These are the measurable items but there are still components that are harder to measure but they also contribute to the bottom line. 

 

The Intangible Elements

 

Collaboration

This is a difficult component to measure. It is relatively easy to find a customer care provider that will follow instructions and deliver routine service day after day. But it is harder to find a provider who looks under the hood of your business to find a better way to serve your customers. These providers bring ideas to you that improve customer loyalty or they sit down with you to solve customer-related challenges and provide real alternatives. 

 

Process Improvement

You should find a customer care provider who is always tinkering with the process. Continuous process improvement never ends and comes with an appreciation that there is always a better way to do something. It’s not easy to pull apart a process but if you put yourself in the customer’s position, you can always find a better way to fulfill the brand promise and customer experience. 

 

The right fit

Finding a partner with the right cultural fit is hard. Their corporate DNA is critical because their task is to represent your brand in a consistent manner that mirrors your values. This isn’t easy but once you’re comfortable that they will never leave an opportunity on the table, then you know you have a good fit. 

These expectations are not easy to achieve and it takes work – on both sides of the table. But it’s reasonable to expect each criterion from your customer care provider because they each play a role in your customers’ experience which equals loyalty and that can be measured on your bottom line. 

To listen to The Podcast episode, click here

 

clients aren’t from mars and customer care providers don’t have to be from venus  – managing great expectations

clients aren’t from mars and customer care providers don’t have to be from venus – managing great expectations

Good relationships don’t just happen.

They don’t happen in life and they certainly don’t happen in business either. In the corporate world, they take work. They take a lot of work. We’re not talking about transactional relationships where commodities are bought and sold. These associations are one-time or occasional transactions that don’t require a deep understanding of your client’s long-term needs.

read more

what makes a contact center outsourcing partnership work?

what makes a contact center outsourcing partnership work?

16

JUNE 2021

CXPartnerSource

As we’ve stated before, managing a healthy contact center outsourcing partnership takes work. The largest component to success is ensuring you have selected the right partner. Unfortunately, “size matters” when it comes to building a successful BPO partnership. Many of our clients initially chose larger BPO firms when they decided to outsource. Although not in all cases, many have since asked us to evaluate other options due to their current partners’ lack of focus and performance failure.

In our view, the characteristics required for a successful outsourcing relationship include shared goals and expectations, strong communication and motivation to improve, and genuine concern for the client’s experience no matter how large the program. Large BPO’s are built for scale and large programs (500+ FTE). Smaller BPO’s have built their models to offer scale, efficiency, genuine concern, and cost-benefit.

If you are not happy with your current partner, we can help you find a partner who “gets it”.

 

 

clients aren’t from mars and customer care providers don’t have to be from venus  – managing great expectations

clients aren’t from mars and customer care providers don’t have to be from venus – managing great expectations

Good relationships don’t just happen.

They don’t happen in life and they certainly don’t happen in business either. In the corporate world, they take work. They take a lot of work. We’re not talking about transactional relationships where commodities are bought and sold. These associations are one-time or occasional transactions that don’t require a deep understanding of your client’s long-term needs.

read more

when should I consider changing my contact center outsource partner?

when should I consider changing my contact center outsource partner?

8

JUNE 2021

CXPartnerSource

Maintaining a healthy relationship with your chosen BPO partner is crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship with your customer. With that said, sometimes it makes sense to change partners or add a partner to help motivate your existing partner to step up their performance.

Most of our clients engage CXPS to help them find the right partner to fit their needs. The three most common motives for doing so include lack of performance from their existing BPO partner when compared to the client expectations, poor communication related to performance failure and plans for improvement, and lack of genuine concern for the client relationship (small fish in a big pond).

In almost all cases, we found that the client was “oversold” on the BPO Partners’ capabilities, commitment, and overall investment to be made into the relationship by the selected BPO Partner.

Our conclusion: it never hurts to understand your options.

We have built our business around sharing information and working with clients to find the right contact center outsourcing partner who can exceed expectations – reach out if you are currently facing any of these challenges with your BPO partner. We can help.

 

clients aren’t from mars and customer care providers don’t have to be from venus  – managing great expectations

clients aren’t from mars and customer care providers don’t have to be from venus – managing great expectations

Good relationships don’t just happen.

They don’t happen in life and they certainly don’t happen in business either. In the corporate world, they take work. They take a lot of work. We’re not talking about transactional relationships where commodities are bought and sold. These associations are one-time or occasional transactions that don’t require a deep understanding of your client’s long-term needs.

read more