Recruiting and onboarding new staff in line with social distancing is uncharted territory, but using cloud contact centre solutions can get you off to a good start. Thomas Rødseth of Puzzel and John Bhairoo of Black & White Recruitment share a five-point plan for success.
According to comparison site Finder, 60% of the UK’s adult population is currently working from home (WFH) during the Coronavirus lockdown.[i] It is a trend that is likely to continue as a result of the ongoing health crisis. At the same time, many companies are beginning to look for fresh talent to push their businesses forward and start planning for the future. As a result, employers will find themselves in the fairly unique position of onboarding new staff members remotely rather than in person or at the office. For contact centres still inundated with customer calls, how do they transform novice agents into fully fledged members of a high-performing team as quickly as possible?
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Managers have a critical role to play in creating an end-to-end onboarding process that is welcoming and productive. Nothing is more demoralising than a ‘sink or swim’ attitude. Therefore, make sure new starters are engaged from the time they accept the job offer by fostering an inclusive environment where new agents flourish and quickly adapt to your contact centre’s culture.
Send new employees a welcome email a week or two before they begin with details of what to expect when they arrive, or login, along with mugs, T-shirts and other promotional accessories plus links to videos or a company handbook by way of introduction. In addition, use video to introduce other members of the team. Colleagues could produce pre-recorded introductions sharing something interesting about themselves and what they do, including how they are set-up to work from home (WFH) and fun things such as how their pets are part of the team. Consider buddying new recruits with a mentor who is on hand to answer quick day-to-day questions and illustrate contact centre culture.
In the new world of WFH, access to good IT tools and support is vital. Check whether the new starter has adequate Wi-Fi. If they are using their own laptop or mobile phone, help them understand your IT policies especially when it comes to security. Leave yourself plenty of time when placing IT orders so new recruits can be fully integrated and get off to a flying start.
Make the most of collaborative technology to create an enjoyable and informative onboarding experience. Set up video calls with key people in the business and organise a virtual lunch to welcome them to the team. Face-to-face screen time decreases feelings of isolation and builds trust, but don’t overload new agents and remember to ask for feedback so that you can improve the onboarding process for other new joiners.
5 Ways technology can make a difference
When Puzzel surveyed over 100 contact centre professionals, ‘IT issues and/or clunky technology’ were major barriers to agent happiness (at 71%) so give new agents the right tools to do their job[ii] from the off-set.
Puzzel’s partner, John Bhairoo from Black & White Recruitment believes it’s hard to replace the energy of being surrounded by colleagues in a contact centre, however, it is possible to recreate a positive atmosphere and culture by using the right onboarding techniques and communication tools.
About Thomas Rødseth:
Thomas has worked in the telco sector in Europe for over 20 years, including companies such as O2 and Telenor. He has a background in managing large contact centres, employing more than 1,000 agents, giving him first-hand experience of trying to achieve operational efficiencies whilst delivering a great customer experience.
Puzzel (formerly Intelecom) builds on 20 years’ heritage. It was one of the first pioneers to develop a cloud-based contact centre. Puzzel also encompasses leading mobile messaging and mobile payments to deliver a flexible and customisable customer interaction platform to meet the needs of today’s omni-channel and mobile environments. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Puzzel employs over 130 people who are all passionate about delivering innovative customer interaction solutions for contact centres and mobile environments.
Published: Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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