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Industry Research : Increased Retention Within Reach for Modern Contact Centers
Contact centers across the world have gone through a massive change. In an industry where the churn of employees is between 30%-50% and the cost of hiring is as high as 30%(i) of the agent's yearly income in training and down time, increasing retention and agent satisfaction is vital. A new survey by Jabra and analyst firm Frost & Sullivan, reveals the path to retention for contact centers today, showing that the industry has evolved significantly as professional places of business versus merely a pit-stop for temporary workers on the way to bigger and better things. With state of the art technology solutions and systems, these centers have also become a workplace where committed individuals can find a satisfying career.
The study revealed that 60% percent of contact center managers in the US – compared with 62% worldwide - mention career opportunities as a major factor in ensuring agent satisfaction. Similarly, the lack of career opportunities was also cited as being the top reason for an agent to hang up their headset and leave their employer. This fact shows that the contact center sector as a whole is now on par with most other industries where career opportunities and public recognition also plays a significant role in achieving employee satisfaction and retention.
"Contact centers have made great strides in eliminating the perception that they are noisy, crowded and stressful places to work -- and for that they should be applauded," says Brendan Read, Industry Analyst, Frost & Sullivan. "However, as we can see from the results of this survey, to address their continued high turnover rate they need to focus on providing additional career options and guidance to their employees on how to better achieve goals and targets."
According to the survey, 66% of contact center managers said that providing equipment that improves agents' work lives is a key factor in overall agent satisfaction, following only public recognition and bonuses for extraordinary performance (64%). Good quality software and headset solutions have proven to increase productivity by more than 15 percent, decreasing the time spent with each call and increasing the quality of conversation.
"I'm glad to see that a significant percentage of contact centers are making an effort to recognize employees for a job well done," says Jette Bajlum, Branch Manager, KELLY Services, Contact Center Division. "It's been well documented that employees place a high value on recognition they receive from their managers, peers and coworkers. Public recognition schemes are often an effective way for contact centers to build strong, long-lasting employee satisfaction".
"Equipment and technologies that improve the employee work experience are a relatively low-cost way for today's organizations to both increase employee satisfaction and distinguish themselves from other potential employers," said Kelly Myers, senior director of marketing, Jabra North America. "At Jabra, we are seeing a growing gap between organizations that embrace technology to make their employees' work lives easier and organizations that don't. Those that don't are at considerable risk of being left behind as potential employees seek out employers that provide a work environment that is more to their liking."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, May 2, 2012