According to The Quality Assurance and Training Connection (QATC), the average contact center has an agent turnover rate of between 30 and 45 percent.
That’s a lot of agents coming and going. And worse, a lot of wasted time and money spent on training and onboarding.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. Let’s look at some ways to improve your employee onboarding program to help improve your contact center retention.
Your Onboarding Program Should Be People-Oriented
Many contact center employee training programs are task-oriented. They’re more about the technical side of answering calls than about connecting with people.
When designing an onboarding program, keep the focus on people. Give your new agents interactive, social experiences where they get to meet their co-workers and management. Have those people share their own experiences.
Create this kind of training environment from the first day so your new agents get exposed to an effective culture from the start.
Use Peer Mentoring During Training
Assigning new contact center agents a peer mentor gives them a consistent person to turn to with questions. It can be a bit intimidating to ask questions when you’re new and don’t know anyone but this helps overcome that problem quickly.
Peer mentors can be the first point of contact for any support questions as well, which can help reduce the load on your tier 2 and quality assurance agents.
Nesting training means your new agents start taking calls in a controlled, live environment. Instead of sitting them down at a desk on their own and setting them loose on the phone, this training method provides them with ongoing monitoring and coaching for every call.
As they get comfortable answering calls, you can gradually move them into a more independent environment. Some agents will reach that point faster than others, so be prepared to be flexible with groups of new agents.
With cloud-based contact center software, your agents aren’t tied to a particular desk or workstation so you can move people around as needed to set up the nesting environment.
Go Over Policies and Expectations Early
It’s important to be upfront with new contact center agents about their expectations and any policies they need to be aware of.
It might seem as if presenting this early could be intimidating but it’s important that they’re clear on what they can and cannot do and what your expectations are.
Be clear with the amount of time the onboarding program typically takes, mind you. Help them understand the expectations are a target to work towards, not where you expect them to be on day one.
Have Regular Check-Ins During First Few Weeks
There’s nothing more demoralizing than feeling overwhelmed and not knowing how you’re doing compared to your expectations and targets. Regular check-ins and feedback sessions with your new agents help avoid that problem.
For the first week or two, plan to have a review session at the end of each day. Get their feedback, answer questions, and provide coaching for any challenges they faced.
This will help them feel more engaged and their questions and challenges will get dealt with quickly.
These check-ins will happen less often as time goes by but you should continue doing them weekly or monthly for at least the first two to three months.
Effective Onboarding Will Help You Keep Your Agents Longer
Call centers are a challenging place to work, which is reflected in the higher-than-average turnover rates for agents. A good onboarding program will help keep your agents longer, however.
You won’t get a second chance to make a first impression with your new agents so make sure it’s a positive one.
Part of that first impression is the software you use to manage your call center. Volie combines all the features you need in a single application so you don’t need to hack different pieces together.
Get in touch with us today to schedule a discovery call to find out more about our platform and see how it can help streamline your contact center.