Customer Service agentEnsuring your contact center employees are fully engaged in their day-to-day jobs sounds like a very logical thing. When your employees enjoy their work, everyone is better off—your customers and your employees. But this also holds true for your business as a whole.

Reading the new 2016 Dimension Data Global Contact Centre Benchmark report, I was surprised to see the number of temporary workers in the industry has increased. This could be explained by an uptake in many economies and that the time to market for adding capacity is typically shorter when using agencies to recruit additional staff. But these same benefits may also come at a cost.

Organizations spend a vast amount of money onboarding contact center staff. The training process can easily take up to 10 weeks or more before a new hire is fully ready and proficient at his or her job. Given that annual attrition is well over 20%, you will find that for every five agents you train, one will be gone within a year.

In the same report, Dimension Data found that while agent absenteeism down, it is still about 10% and remains double that of any other role.

From 2016 Dimension Data Global Contact Centre Benchmark report. Copyright 2016 Dimension Data.

Source: 2016 Dimension Data Global Contact Center Benchmarking Report The Benchmarking Report is based on research responses from 1,320 participants in 81 countries across Asia Pacific, Australia, the Americas, Middle East & Africa, and Europe.

Empowering your employees with the right tools, training, information and support to deliver great customer experience helps reduce absenteeism and improves retention. It also means that you will be able to utilize your contact center workforce capacity better and reduce the spend on onboarding and training new employees.

What are some of the best ways to address employee engagement?

  • Let employees influence their schedule. Supporting work-life balance and having some flexibility will greatly increase overall employee happiness.
  • Provide variety of work. Especially in today’s omnichannel world, empowering your staff to perform different types of tasks across a variety of channels takes the mundane nature out of the job, keeping your employees more alert and engaged.
  • Reduce employee effort. Ensuring your workforce has all the right tools and the information to perform their job, and can focus on helping customers instead of trying to manage systems is good business practice.
  • Tell them how they are doing. Giving your people insight into their agent performance and coaching them on how to improve will create a positive, performance-driven culture.
  • Give them perspective. With clearly defined job roles and career planning, your staff understands that being loyal to your organization has a longer term benefit.

To address these areas above, the well-known people, process and technology framework is critically important. There is a clear connection between these three components and the balance is incredibly important.

When you are ready to assess your technology capabilities, look at a number of different areas such as:

  • Providing one omnichannel desktop with access to the right information
  • Measuring employee performance across channels
  • Automating and integrating your planning and quality processes
  • Automating training administration

To learn more about this topic, I invite you to watch our on-demand webinar, Engaging your Employees to Drive Breakthrough Omnichannel Customer Experiences. You will learn not only about the impact of implementing workforce optimization capabilities from our contact center infrastructure vendor, but also how to empower your agents with tools that redefine their work experience.

Stefan Captijn

Stefan Captijn

Stefan is Senior Director Strategic Marketing at Genesys. Stefan joined Genesys in April 2000, lives in the Amsterdam area with his wife and two children. In his free time, Stefan enjoys building loudspeakers, cycling and running.