Balto’s Real-Time Guidance Supports You While Your Help Wanted Sign Collects Dust

Are you aware that the average contact center experiences between 30 to 45% annual turnover, well above the 10% optimal rate? Or that new hires can cost businesses up to two times the yearly salary in recruitment, hiring, and training? Even with the most conservative estimates, a 100-person operation could incur expenses of up to seven figures directly attributed to attrition.

If those staggering numbers give you pause, you’re not alone. Balto is in the business of supporting contact centers with its innovative Real-Time Guidance platform. So, we interviewed 2,000 agents to learn what’s behind the high percentage of employee turnover.

The feedback and statistics gathered for our comprehensive 2022 Attrition Report are invaluable. We’ve relied on them to develop the following 10 steps you can take now to effectively combat contact center attrition and keep your agents motivated, happy, and productive for years to come. 

1. Ask the Right Questions

Focusing on the best hires can go a long way toward employee retention. 

Since you first opened your doors, have you used the same interview questions? Combatting contact center attrition starts with the right people, so it might be time to tweak your hiring process.

Our study found that a candidate rushing to secure a job is less discriminating and the least likely to stick around for the long haul. Without a passion for the industry or compelling reasons for selecting your company above others, a paycheck is their only motivating factor. So, they could be keeping their options open and will jump ship at the first opportunity. 

Identifying the Best Candidates

Who’s likely to celebrate their fifth anniversary at your company? 

Ideal candidates:

  • Desire to work in the industry
  • Anticipate professional growth
  • Appreciate the office structure, whether in-person, at home, or hybrid

2. Six is the Magic Number

Did you know that the initial six months are the most challenging for contact center retention, and an average of 40% of a company’s entire turnover happens in the first 30 days?

It makes sense, as starting a new position can be stressful. There’s not only a learning curve with the job itself but everything that’s surrounding it. It’s like the first day of school. You don’t know anyone, and everything seems foreign. Even simple things like break room etiquette, restroom availability, and asking for help can seem overwhelming.

A first-rate onboarding program will alleviate that stress during that crucial first month. Some tips include assigning another agent as a work buddy and conducting an office tour with all of the little things (like coffee!) that might take a back seat. Also, don’t underestimate the value of proper training. The last thing you want is for your new agent to feel overwhelmed and frustrated.

3. A Few Design Tweaks Can Make All the Difference

Would you prefer to work the phones all day in a gray, cubicle-filled environment or a place that feels cozy and inviting?

Employees are more apt to stay in a place where they feel comfortable. That’s why so many tech companies shifted from traditional workstations in cubicles to colorful open-concept workspaces that feel like a home away from home.

A few ideas:

  • Replace standard desks with adjustable height models, providing standing or seated options
  • Set up multiple break areas
  • Provide complimentary drinks and snacks
  • Add a ping pong table or other in-office stress-relieving activity

4. Offer Continuous Training and Development

A good percentage of turnover costs apply to training. New team members can take several months to be savvy and successful contact center agents. And even the most seasoned professionals can always use some tips and tricks to better their approach. But training can be time-consuming and expensive.

There’s an easy solution, though, as training and development are where Balto shines with its Real-Time Guidance platform powered by artificial intelligence using your custom playbooks.

The Most Effective Training Tool

Balto’s Real-Time Guidance is like a permanent partner for everyone on your team, always present on the work screen. Instead of winging it, Balto guides agents to say the right thing on every call. It provides checklists and suggestions that can turn a no into a yes, or bring a stressful conversation to a successful conclusion.

Real-Time Guidance is proven to exponentially reduce the initial training time, an instant money-saver for you. Take it from Accelerated Receivables Solutions. Balto shaved their new agent ramp time from four weeks down to two. What’s more, Balto’s Real-Time Coaching solution allows their managers to spend less mining calls for coaching opportunities and more time building new training and quality assurance programs.

It’s also a game-changer for your new agent who’s feeling the pressure to shine. They don’t have to memorize scripts or feel flustered when thrown a curveball, as Real-Time Guidance virtually holds their hand.

5. Encourage Employee Engagement and Advocacy

Employees who feel valued are more likely to remain on the team. Encouraging ideas and participation from everyone in your organization goes a long way toward longevity.

There are many ways to accomplish this, starting with an open-door policy for ideas and suggestions. If your workforce is made up of a variety of generations, you must understand the different tactics to motivate Millennial and Gen-Z call center agents. Fostering a team atmosphere with regular collaboration on scripts and best practices is good for business, and employee-run advocacy groups can provide a sense of unity and empowerment. 

6. Celebrate Individual and Team Achievements

Everyone could use a pat on the back from time to time, and even little gestures contribute to overall job satisfaction. Balto’s Real-Time Guidance system considers this with virtual confetti that shoots on the screen when an agent accomplishes a successful call flow. Implementing gamification also makes hitting goals so much sweeter!

For celebrating achievements at the macro level, team leaderboards provide excellence transparency for leaders and agents into who’s performing best. Plus, a little friendly competition never hurts.

7. Leveling Up – Unique Advancement Programs

According to a 2021 Pew Research Poll, 63% of those surveyed cited insufficient promotion opportunities as the reason they quit their jobs. 

But what do you do if you have limited managerial positions? 

One idea is to embrace out-of-the-box restructuring. Add new roles instead of sticking to a linear road to professional development. For example, the team member who’s been the most helpful in welcoming new agents could be the employee liaison. Maybe someone who’s your troubleshooting expert could officially take on that responsibility. 

Including a slight pay bump with a new role is even better. But simply being recognized for your talents in a new capacity is often enough to effectively combat contact center attrition.

8. Promote a Positive Work-Life Balance

Many of the changes in our work styles and lifestyles forced upon us during the COVID pandemic have remained. One of the most significant is the ability to work from home. While some simply prefer remote officing, others have benefited with lower childcare and commute costs.

We included remote versus in-person office questions in our attrition report interviews, revealing a hybrid approach as the ideal solution. It strikes a balance between flexibility and team camaraderie that directly and positively impacts retention.

9. The Exit Interview is Revealing

Despite best efforts, it’s evitable that someone will give notice at some point. So, a simple goodbye isn’t enough when it’s time to part ways. 

It’s essential to incorporate exit interviews into your HR plans. If you can get to the bottom of why agents are leaving, you can shift gears to prevent it from happening in the future.

10. Use Balto’s Real-Time Guidance to Combat Contact Center Attrition

Implementing Balto’s Real-Time Guidance is a great starting point to help reduce contact center attrition. The platform empowers agents with conversation excellence and gives them the confidence they need to succeed, while also creating new avenues for ongoing coaching, engagement, and reward.

Book a demo now if you’re ready to see Balto in action and learn more about how Real-Time Guidance can combat attrition in your contact center.