How to Retain Your Best Call Center Agents

Technology has inspired many changes to the call center, but one challenge remains unchanged, consistent and vital to the success of a business – finding and retaining outstanding agents. This article from ICMI was written in 2008 – a lifetime ago by tech standards. But the five tips it provides for agent retention are just as helpful today – perhaps even more so, as the people skills many of us used to take for granted continue to erode.  [more] 1. The First Impression Employees remember more from the hiring process than whether or not they get the job. This is the first chance to create a positive impression of the call center as a friendly and supportive working environment. Employees are far more likely to remain with a company where they are treated with courtesy and respect. 2. A Clear Vision Call center agents are happier – and more productive – when they receive clear and specific guidance on their responsibilities. This should not be limited to product knowledge or company policy on customer interaction – they should know the goals and values of the company, and the role they can play in helping to achieve them. 3. Custom Motivation Different things motivate different people. So why rely on one set of motivation techniques for an entire call center agency workforce? Training sessions, special projects and incentives can be customized to each agent’s priorities. 4. Listen Call center agents appreciate when their ideas are acknowledged and their suggestions are adopted – especially if they are also rewarded for their effort. They also appreciate when schedules are flexible enough to accommodate a change in shift if a conflict arises. Listen to their ideas and their needs. 5. Consistency A retention strategy is not something to be trotted out once or twice a year. It requires consistent application, and frequent reminders to both agents and managers that an employee’s value should be acknowledged and rewarded. If you would like to learn more about how call center technologies can help you manage and motivate agents, please check out our workforce management video page.