Call center outsourcing: Psychological tactics to retain agents

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

High attrition rates seem to be an embedded feature of the customer service industry, affecting even outsourcing call center companies in offshore destinations such as the Philippines.

Admittedly, the country is reeling from a high percentage of agents leaving their companies. This affects total performance as companies fail to retain key talents with experience required for providing excellent customer service and support to its clientele.

Companies have their own planned strategies to boost their retention rate, including regular performance incentives and fun activities in the workplace. These aside, one potentially unexplored, cost-effective method is looking into the basics of human behavior.

Psychological approach to keep agents

Naturally, real-life application of this discipline starts from the initial hiring of potential candidates. According to Customer Service Investigator, employees who stay longer at a call center company exhibit similar traits, namely: curiosity and ability to multitask.

To screen for the best candidates, the interviewer gives a realistic preview of the job and creates an actual job simulation. The interviewer also asks forced choice questions that reveal the traits of a candidate better than the regular yes-or-no question.

Once on the floor, the management may also issue initiatives to foster purpose among the agents. For instance, AppleTree Answers had 125% attrition rate when it decided to launch its Dream On program that grants one employee wish every month. This works differently from financial incentives as it promotes philanthropic purpose and one-of-a-kind experiences for employees.

Another way of creating purpose is to connect the agents with the recipients of their good work through face-to-face meetings or presentation of photos and stories that highlight customers' positive experience.

Finally, the management can also ask that agents contribute in brainstorming for improvements in processes or workflows. This makes agents feel they are part of the company, not merely small cogs in the wheel. 

Regardless of an outsourcing firm's style in managing its employees, it's important that it allots significant time and effort to ensure that agents are sufficiently motivated to stay. This not only saves the company from additional expenditure on hiring and training new staff, it also guarantees that it keeps well-trained, experienced call center agents for top-notch customer service.

Open Access BPO assists businesses from different parts of the world by giving 24/7 support to its customers. Its call center services are offered in voice and non-voice accounts. Read more about our outsourcing solutions by visiting our website. Additionally, you can connect our Google+ account to keep tab of the latest updates and other important news in the industry.