Digital Tools to Combat Employee Attrition
New Tools for an Age-Old Problem
Employee attrition has one of the hardest-hitting impacts on a contact center. It affects the budget at its root and CSAT at its core. Replacing staff is expensive, and new CSRs don’t deliver the same quality and efficiency as their more tenured peers. Attrition has always been a problem, but since the pandemic shutdowns in 2020, contact center attrition under the “new normal” has been exponentially worse. It’s more important than ever to give our staff the right tools so they can get up to speed quickly and stay on the right track.
Deciding which tools to use, and when to use them, can be a daunting task. It requires a strong degree of empathy, and even more follow-through. Sometimes simple solutions are the most effective, and workflow automation can deliver a strong ROI. We’ve all heard about ChatGPT and generative AI; there are countless ideas about the ways we can augment the customer journey using AI, although it’s more likely to assist our agents than replace them in the immediate future.
Know What Your Agents Need
Your on-site teams will have different challenges than your at-home teams. Knowing what tools they want and need will help ensure their buy-in on your key strategic initiatives. One technique we’ve found useful is a Keep-Start-Stop session. It’s a roundtable where you ask each participant to name something they think you should keep doing because it works well, something you should start doing because it would make the job better, and something you should stop doing, also because it will make the job better. Look for the trends in the feedback, and let them be your guide in your digital transformation projects.
Do What You Say, Say What You Mean
Keep your word. Be careful not to make promises in your Keep-Start-Stop session if you can’t live up to them. Getting buy-in up front is great, but the weight of disappointment can drag employee morale to low places you may not easily recover from. And when you do listen and act, make sure you have the reporting needed to look back easily. You won’t always be right, so use your data to course correct and measure your success.
Speed to Proficiency
Feature-rich toolsets are not hard to find. They can be very hard to use, though. Workflow automation can go a long way to guide users through a complex path. With a steady and reliable intelligent virtual assistant (IVA) to navigate data fields and tasks, the user can focus on the customers and bring the human touch to the interaction where it’s needed most.
Try Something New
You don’t have to rely on old technology to address current issues. The world has changed dramatically in the past few years, and it impacts the way we service our customers and our employees. Reverting to old practices is great if they will still be effective, but reverting just because that’s what you did before stifles innovation, and it will stunt your growth.
Attrition will always have its place in the contact center. Even in the best case scenarios where it’s internal promotions and a well-trained contact center agent follows a career path upwards, we need to recruit and train new agents. In competitive labor markets, it’s critical to provide tools that help, not hinder.