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Agent Disengagement Solved - Mitel - Blog

Agent Disengagement Solved

With billions in revenue lost through disengaged agents and the inevitable (and costly) round of re-hires, onboarding and training, agent disengagement is a growing challenge. Can it be solved?

Here’s our take on it….

How many agents left your contact center in the last 12 months? The year before that?

According to a study by HR research and advisory firm McLean & Company, disengaged employees cost organizations an average of $3,400 USD a year for every $10,000 USD in annual salary.

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Worse. A report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development determines that at the industry recognised figure of a 26% turnover per annum, your contact center is completely changing staff every four years. To you it means that in some cases, every agent you have working for you today will have moved on in four years from today.

Scary stuff for Contact Center managers and executives. Troubling for HR, for team morale and potentially devastating for your customer’s experience.

Hopefully this is not the case and your agents will be with you for years, because if they are you are far more likely to have loyal, happy customers.

There’s something else about your agents leaving that you should know...When they clear their desk, they never go empty handed.I don’t mean a pocketful of pencils and five dollars worth of ‘post it’ pads.If that was all they took, happy days.

No. What they take is a whole new level of ‘expensive’.

They take the cost of recruiting, onboarding, training, managing and developing them. They take experience and inside knowledge about your company. The second they leave, all that is gone, wasted.

Of course to you, it means that when you fill that gap you start again, right from the beginning. It’s a costly business, losing a member of your team, and demoralising for those left behind. And the missing ‘post it’ notes… well that just tops it.

Also, when your agent made the decision to leave he or she will have started to pull back on the way they responded to customers. It’s natural really; there is no long term commitment and therefore, no short term reason to give it their best. They lose interest because one foot is out the door.

And this is the person who is representing your business, day in, day out, until they leave their desk for the last time.

Oh, they made waves, too. When the agent told his colleagues of his dissatisfaction at the job, they focus on theirs. They made a mental note to find out where the new job was, the money on offer, the hours, the set up. And maybe they start their own journey out the door. Sound familiar?

So what, if anything, can you do about it?...

Well, assuming that your rates of pay are standard, your general working practice is much the same as your competitors, then there are four key areas of an agent's day we should take a look at.

SJS Solutions, the developers of ‘Optymyse’ software for Contact Centers, have been working to solve the true cost of the disengagement puzzle with managers and executives at contact centers worldwide to identify the key causes of disengagement. In a new downloadable report that I authored, we discuss the challenges and difficulties we face in this industry, and have come up with four key ‘touch points’ for disengagement:

1. A Negative Use of Metrics. You know how important metrics are to you and your agents, but imagine turning up at work and seeing your line manager standing by your desk…

“Good day, I just dropped by to tell you how lacking you were at your job earlier and now it’s up there on the board, everyone knows it. Have a great day byeeee...”

That’s what metrics such as ‘Longest Wait’ do. Putting this kind of info out to your team demoralises agents. Exactly this is happening in hundreds of contact centers and it’s damaging.

2: Customer feedback. After call survey. Social feedback. When your agent does a good job, are you sharing it team wide? Keeping it between your agent and (maybe) his line manager is a waste. Share it. Share the love.

Spread the positive news from customers feedback, surveys, posts on Facebook and Twitter right across your team. When everyone gets to hear about a great job done, they all share a bit of the sunshine.

3: Build a Community Within Your Contact Center. Where do all (more or less) of your agents spend a lot of time online? Facebook. Twitter too.

Here’s the thing; both are communities. That means communities are important to your team, so as discussed in the downloadable disengagement report, it makes sense to build a social community within your business too.

Welcome messages, happy birthdays, positive feedback, photos of the new baby or the wedding, notice of Friday evening drinks…all these things help to create a community within the business. You are creating positive emotions that stick.

4. Your Brand as a Team Builder. Customer-facing businesses, fast food shops, the emergency services and football teams wear uniforms that develop team cohesiveness.

Not having uniform branding in place won’t be an obvious negative, so we’re not suggesting you start ordering in the t-shirts and baseball caps. But when brand messaging is so easy to do and so valuable to have, it’s worth considering how you can make it happen in your contact center. In the downloadable report, I discuss how Optymyse makes branding easier by placing your imagery and messaging right where the agents can see them throughout their shift.

There are other factors of course, and every contact center is different. But as a starting point, figuring out how to work through these four issues will see a marked difference in morale and help you start to solve the disengagement puzzle.

Shoretel Reseller?
Optymyse developers and ShoreTelOne Gold Sponsors’ SJS Solutions are working with Contact Centers Worldwide to solve the disengagement puzzle. If you are attending the ShoreTelOne conference in Orlando and want to help your customers improve agent engagement, register here for a tool kit to get you started.  

SJS Solutions is a sponsor of the 2016 ShoreTelOne Global Partner Conference, a gathering of ShoreTel’s channel partners and distributors as well as industry analysts and consultants from around the globe. The event will take place the week of Dec. 5 at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Fla. Learn more about the conference here.

Stephen Pace is a true industry expert with over 20 years of experience in customer service and contact center technology. Before starting SJS in 2001, Stephen was responsible for contact center technology design and customer care quality for Europe’s largest express courier company, and he also ran smaller contact centers. Stephen is also a Tony Robbins UPW graduate, 2nd Dan Black Belt in Karate and father of two.


Publish Date: November 29, 2016 5:00 AM

2020 Buyers Guide Inbound Call Handling Services


Calls are received by the right person or department. The right corresponding information is shown to the agent which makes that appointments are handled quicker and more secure.


Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.
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Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.
PH: +1 512-872-7565

Connect Assist

Contact Centre Services
We’re a specialist Contact Centre business and market leaders helping socially focused organisations deliver quality support to their clients and service users. We do this by providing 24/7 helplines, software solutions and consultancy services.

Since launching in 2006, we’ve operated at the sharp end of customer service, supporting some of society’s most vulnerable people. We’ve pioneered in our space to become a specialist in helplines, whilst using the most advanced communication and database technologies available.

Our social mission has remained a constant throughout, providing many meaningful career prospects and growth opportunities to people within our local communities and fur...
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PH: 07973640527

Jointly International Inc.

Front Office Solutions
Front office is your Company’s first line of customer interaction and serves as the mirror of your business. Focus on your core business and let our competent staff handle your various front office needs such as:

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MattsenKumar LLC

Contact Center Outsourcing
By catering valuable, usable and enjoyable customer service, businesses can increase their CSAT Score and Customer Retention Rate. We help organizations to provide quality customer service through varied channels like email, phone and live chat. Ensuring quality after-sales support is our USP and we rely on proven approaches to ensure quality customer service.

OpsTel Services

The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

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VADS Inbound Contact Center
VADS Inbound Contact Center Services provide live operators who answer incoming calls as you would yourself. A team of professional script writers is available to help you script a greeting and experience programmers will set up a time and money saving program. Our unique approach to call center services is client-focused, and takes each project’s unique needs into account to our client’s satisfaction. We offer solution as part of our service to keep you in touch with your client and drive sales.

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Tru29 Outsource Solutions Inc.

Front Office Solutions
Any part of your business operations that requires constant end-customer facing task is an essential part of your business.

This task requires a good customer experience results for every customer interaction. Our extensive experience in handling Front Office related tasks can help you focus on your core business while being cost-efficient at the same time.

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