Staff retention 'key to contact centre growth'
Manama, July 5, 2012
Bahrain's booming contact centre industry can improve its service levels if the staff retention problem is corrected, said an industry report.
Customer service agents in call centres represent the most significant expense of the industry, accounting for between 65 and 75 per cent of monthly expenditure, said the report by contact centre automation provider Interactive Intelligence.
Training and recruitment initiatives are costly, especially among companies keen to promote job satisfaction among their employees.
A high turnover rate also adds to unnecessary expenses for contact centres and unhappy agents are less likely to go the extra mile to meet customer demands, the report added.
Agents who are poorly trained to deal with irate customers tend to become frustrated with their work.
Voice over Internet Protocol as well as the reduced cost of broadband has allowed contact centres to move into a remote space, enabling agents to work in an environment best suited to their needs.
Widely available real-time monitoring systems have made this increasingly possible, allowing contact centre supervisors to comprehensively oversee proceedings irrespective of the agent’s location.
This type of software has greatly reduced the need for agents to be based on premises, and means that, with little more than an ADSL line, they are able set up an office at home, said the report.
By employing the remote or home-based agent model, contact centres can save on real-estate and utility costs, whilst at the same time ensuring that agents enjoy an increased level of flexibility and job satisfaction.
Another cost-cutting method adopted by the industry is a move towards automated processes which helps manage and defer workload as contact centre agents can prove to be an expensive burden for companies.
Shaheen Haque, the territory manager, Middle East and Turkey at Interactive Intelligence, said not only does a high staff turnover rate represent an unnecessary expense for contact centres, but it can also have an adverse effect on customer service, with unhappy agents significantly less likely to go the extra mile to meet customer demands.
As a result, contact centres are gradually beginning to take advantage of the technology available to them in order to implement measures designed to optimise the working environment for their staff contingent.
Bahraini companies too can save significant costs and ensure customer satisfaction if needs of the contact centre staff are taken into account, the report concluded.-TradeArabia News Service