Employees are the lifeblood of all businesses and in every sector of the business, ensuring their satisfaction means increasing the efficiency of their work; there are activities that encourage this constant flow, and they are called Employee Retention.
For BPOs operating in a highly competitive world, staff turnover is a real problem, costing companies up to 20% of an average employee’s annual salary for every person they replace. Bringing Employee Retention into Contact Centres therefore serves two purposes: to keep morale high in the room and to have the time to properly train staff so they can improve the quality of the entire telesales service.
What does Employee Retention means?
This includes skills, strategies, practices and techniques implemented by the company to provide employees with a pleasant environment to live in and working conditions that make it difficult for them to leave their jobs. In contact centres, employees are the “voice” of the company, and the quality of this voice is very much dependent on the quality of the environment in which they find themselves.
But what does it mean to have satisfied employees? Giving them a high salary? Not always, in fact if we look at the reasons that lead any person to stay in a job, we will be surprised to discover that salary is not at the top of the list. According to McKinsey research, there are four main factors that convince people to stay:
1- the security of the employment contract
2- the possibility of a career within the company
3- a sense of belonging to the brand and to colleagues
4- stress management.
BPOs are staffed by people who interface every day with other human beings, sometimes annoyed, sometimes aggressive. Stress in this case is projected into corporate life, especially when employees do not see their efforts recognised and feel constantly under scrutiny. How to solve this problem?
Improve Employee Retention and increase sales: 6 tips and an effective secret
Companies that can improve their business environment, and BPOs in particular, will see their service quality and impact increase. The areas to focus on for Employee Retention are:
1- Team cohesion
The moments when practitioners engage with supervisors are vital for strategic alignment and the emergence of problems. The conversation – on an equal footing – must take place on a regular basis and promote the involvement of all staff in the company’s objectives, so that the growth of the company becomes a shared goal.
Staff satisfaction is the main reason why these meetings are necessary and based on constructive confrontation (not on scrutiny of behaviour). The frequency of meetings must be high in order to have an impact on performance, with a simple message such as a few techniques that can be put into practice immediately after the meeting.
These tips must, of course, be realistic business objectives. “Bringing home a result” is not only good for the company’s pocket, but also for the morale of the workers, who get down when they are asked to complete the impossible.
2- Formare… i formatori
Having trained management and supervisors helps to improve the training of new resources. From the moment a person is hired to the moment they become independent, there is a handover from the supervisor who has to explain the details of the job step by step. This is not always easy and one of the problems studied by Employee Retention is precisely this: finding the right balance between too little training that does not allow the new employee to feel part of the team and too thorough an induction that ends up increasing the employee’s stress level.
3- Socialising by cutting ‘the unnecessary’
Competition in the BPO sector leads to companies being constantly under pressure and putting pressure on employees accordingly. Socialising is an important part of the working day. To unplug, to rest your nerves, but above all to create a shared community, without taking time away from achieving goals.
McKinsey also reports that salespeople who have the opportunity to take at least one break with their colleagues during a shift are much happier and better at achieving goals. How can this be done without taking time away from operations? By eliminating activities that are not strictly related to telesales such as the use of outdated software, excessively long meetings and hours of training that could be avoided.
4- The presence of supervisors
The not easy job of the supervisor is balancing between monitoring the performance of the department and being constantly present between the stations in the room without causing anxiety to the agents. In fact, the supervisor’s job should be to respond and make his or her presence felt when support is needed. Teaching and being a role model are two difficult tasks that need time to be honed, but they are among the most powerful weapons for successful Employee Retention and are one of the key steps in creating a sense of belonging.
5- A flexible working environment
Flexibility increases efficiency because the company that respects the importance of work-life balance will have employees who care about the company’s well-being. Flexibility means, for example, creating flexible working hours or giving people the opportunity to work from home as they see fit.
6- Career opportunities based on Customer Satisfaction
Career opportunities change the whole approach to day-to-day activities, even the most repetitive ones. The BPO industry moves fast and needs to be able to reward hard work, because that is the only way to incentivise it. The factors to be considered for career progression must be closely linked to the strategic objectives that the sales rep manages to meet and how many satisfied customers return to the brand because of that person.
7- A secret that works: the tools of the trade
There are many ways of valuing an employee: training them, rewarding them financially and personally, creating a stimulating and fun working environment, but one thing that is often overlooked is the tools of the trade. Making innovative tools available can increase an employee’s productivity by reducing resistance to outdated technology and tools and allow the employee to feel that he or she “matters” because they use that specific piece of valuable equipment.
In a BPO this concept can also be extended to the quality of the contacts that operators receive being able to call contacts with a high propensity to buy allows them to reach the sales target more quickly, the Contact Center will be able to unlock the bonuses agreed with the customer more quickly and the operator will feel part of a winning reality, being able to clearly perceive his role in this process.
The added value for BPOs
If Employee Retention is working, sales operators will be able to handle even the most complex calls, because they will have experience and confidence in the company they are representing. A Contact Centre is the point where the consumer interfaces “directly” with the brand, where the caller has expectations and needs to be satisfied. If the operator succeeds in bringing a higher purpose to his daily activities than the mere need to complete “work tasks”, then his words, his sales advice and the Brand he represents will acquire a unique value in the eyes of the consumer.
BigProfiles AI Platform
With BigProfiles AI Platform you can manage your teleselling campaigns in a predictive way, using Artificial Intelligence to predict the propensity to buy of the contacts you want to call. BigProfiles AI Platform is the first telemarketing platform that uses our Artificial Intelligence algorithms to analyse every single contact you have, allowing you to quickly identify those most likely to buy. AI Platform enables bank, insurance, utility and telco sales managers and contact centres to easily reach their sales targets.