Our Contact Centers need many things to be successful but at the top of the list is the need to have a great team of productive and Customer focused Agents. The challenge comes when we have a candidate who looks so great on paper, tested well with the tools we are using, seemed to have all the answers to our questions and then six months later, we find ourselves looking for a replacement for them due to their quitting or helping them find the exit. While I don’t believe we can be 100% certain of all candidates, we can definitely learn how to improve our odds.
If we could turn back time, we might do things differently or at least be more prepared for what might happen.
One way to visit the past is to track data and our observations along these TouchPoints - from Recruiting to Training to On the Job Performance. We can think of this as an Employee Journey Map. It doesn’t come quickly as you are gathering data over months but it will pay off in the long run as you analyze your findings.
WHAT SHOULD WE TRACK?
We need to track every point we can along their journey to become a successful (or unsuccessful) Agent. With data compiled over time, we can look back in a year or more to study what worked in our recruiting and training and what was a miss. To do this, we need to create an Excel or other tracking form that has the candidate’s initial information documented during recruiting, what happened during training, and what they are doing now as an Agent. This data will give you a good overview.
Here are a few examples of what you might track:
- Sources of response: Don’t be anecdotal about where your best Agents come from, have facts.
- Education/ type of degree if college grad
- Years of contact center/customer service experience
- Candidate testing: (Hint: Did the top scoring candidates become our top Agents? If not, why not?)
- Interview rating: Ask each person on your team who does interviews to rate the candidates based on whether they think they will be Top Agent (1), Average but Good Agent (2), Have some concerns but would consider hiring since customer service attitude is good (3).
- Attendance and Tardiness: Were there some issues during training?
- Class Participation – Interested, Eager, Bored, Not getting the information? Let your trainer comment on what they are observing and document it.
- Knowledge, testing, picking up on things quickly or needs extra time with trainer?
- Trainer comments and observations: Ask each trainer to rate each trainee as to what they think will happen once they are working in the Center: Top Agent (1), Average but Good Agent (2), Will have some struggles with the job(3)
- Take a look at what your trainers are saying about each employee. How do their observations and data compare with the recruiting information?
On The Job
Using the same tracking form, continue to record how the new hires are doing during the first 90 days in terms of skills, attitude, team work, work habits and other things you measure for productivity and quality. Go beyond the first 90 days as you feel would benefit your assessment.
Where does all of this lead us?
Did the Agent’s ratings as one, two or three prove accurate when compared to on the job performance or were they off?
Did college grads do better than those with no college but good customer service background?
Are there are positive or negative trends we’re seeing as we compare before and after?
We are able to “turn back time” in terms of comparing what we saw initially and what is happening now that they are an Agent. Having a clear-cut process for tracking and mapping the candidate to Agent journey will help us determine where the gaps are, provide feedback to those helping with recruiting and training, and better evaluate the tools and processes we use to support our efforts to hire and retain the best possible Agents.
Filed under: Business Process Improvement, Call Center, Call Center Manager, Contact Center, Customer Service, Employee Development, Employee Retention, Employee Turnover, Recruiting, Training, Turnover Tagged: | Business Process, Call Center, Call centre, Contact Center, Education and Training, Employee Retention, Human resources, Management