Monday, 15 February 2016

Reduce attrition in call centres- convert Robots into Romeos

The huge attrition rate of employees at call centres causes worries to booming BPO industry in India. The odd working conditions such as abnormal working hours, changing identities, monotonous work, compel to learn foreign accents has created a negative impacts on life of employees. Chetan’s novel one night @ call centre depicts the insecurity and anxiety of a call centre employee.

Here are the ways to retain call centres work force  
Work conditions: I was shocked to see when the team leader of particular call centre has set agent’s headphone volume to maximum. Although his intention is not to miss any leads due to sound clarity, he failed to see health impact of the employees.  Do not forget to take care of your employee’s physical & mental health while designing your call centre processes.  
 Equip your employee:  Now a day intolerance of Gen C customers are growing at exponential rate since they have power to make or break any company. http://blog.ozonetel.com/2015/12/Increasing-Intolerance-GenC-Customers.html
The intolerance level will pressurize your agents to give solutions and information immediately for any queries.  Use smart hosted call centre solutions which enable your agents to transfer his calls or make conference calls with your higher officials. It will help your employee to manage any worse situation and intolerant customer. Also integrate your call centre solutions with your ticketing services & CRMs, so that your employee will be equipped with relevant customer information at finger tips when customer is in call. Here is a story of how integrated support& sales will address and solve your customer queries
Also communicate your customer through omni -channel such as live chat, sms, missed calls and social media beyond voice which will increase the productivity of the agent

Provide offline opportunities:  Call centre agents are no longer expected to sit with computers & softphones on their heads to attend the customer calls. With advent of cloud telephony  solutions, agents can attend the customer’s calls on his mobile phone with virtual numbers on the go.  Here is example of how a BPO has offered its employee to work from home http://www.ciol.com/this-bpo-will-let-you-work-from-home

Give big picture: One of the primary reasons for call centre employee to quit the job is absence of long term career growth and constrained business process.  I was surprised to come to know, the agents selling accidental insurance are not aware of medical insurance offered by the company. Before train your agents for particular business process, teach your employee all your business lines. It will give big picture of your business to call centre agents and throw light on his career path.

Automate the boring tasks – With E commerce centre growing at faster pace, most of customer queries involves order processing, delivery timelines & return requests. The information such as estimated delivery time, status of orders etc can be automated using text to speech and voice recognition engine. Many smart engines was developed to recognize dialect in Indian languages
http://www.medianama.com/2012/01/223-kookoo-adds-support-for-hindi-telugu-in-text-to-speech/

Encourage the performers: Different incentive plans such as gym memberships, gift vouchers, and flexible options to choose type of incentives will attract the Y generation call centre employee.  A call centre agent is one among the few stakeholders who touch base with the end customers directly and act as your brand representatives. Proper training and encouraging the top performers in call centre will directly count to your customer satisfaction and brand building. 


Monitor in smart ways:   The metrics such as average talk time/call, hold time taken by employee to retrieve information for your customers, resolution in first call, average pick up time provide direct measures of agent productivity & efficiency. Clearly communicate the the metrics used to calibre employee’s efficiency for his/her incentives & performance pay.  Inconsistency in evaluations and ambiguity in the role of employee will force employee to leave his/her job. 

Use easy tools: Tools such as preview, progressive diallers and dials customers first then agent, ease the process of outbound calls and save the agent’s time effectively. Particularly progressive dialler is ideal solution for small and medium sized call centre that faces large number of leads. Ill equipped and out dated computers will result in agent inefficiency which in turn will increase the stress of call centre agents.

On whole, it is duty of call centre industry in India to ensure that the call centre employee should not be viewed as “Robots wearing headsets and doing multitasks in systems”. 

Written By 
Divya Singaravelu
Ozonetel System Private Limited

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