You are tired of the high attrition rates. You don’t know from where to get those stable employees. Your KRAs are getting affected and you can’t seem to find such people who wouldn’t get burnt out easily. In short, you are a call center recruiter.
One of the industries that face highest burn-out rates and attrition levels is call center industry. One of the major reasons behind this is mismatch in type of candidates required and resource pool shortlisted, interviewed and hired. I am going to share some of my insights into the traits that should be looked for while hiring associates.
A contact center agent should be flexible in his/her mode of operation. You have to remember that unlike other jobs, executive level employees do not work in a project-oriented approach. Executives at the front line mostly work on a task-to-task basis in every 3-5 minutes. For them, it is about handling a different query, a different customer, a different problem and a different mood in every call. Hence the ability to adapt and mirror the customer’s emotions is highly important.
Equally important is the flexibility in handling multiple communication channels. A customer care associate often has to deal with multiple communication channels. An executive is often expected to interact with clients on multiple channels-phone, email, web based chat etc. So, it becomes indispensable that they smoothly move from one mode to another as and when required.
Stress Management Ability
BPO jobs can lead to severe burn-out. One has to keep talking for almost 8-9 working hours. If someone who hasn’t done it in the past tells me that they are comfortable doing it then they don’t know what they’re talking about.
Constant pressure of finding solutions for the caller, to reduce AHTs and the stress of pretending to stay calm, composed and culturally as well as contextually centered in every call can be, at times, very taxing. Imagine the emotional upheaval of a person who deals with varied moods throughout the day. Hence, it is very important that the potential candidate can manage stress well.
At the end of the day, a customer care executive should be able to resolve end-user’s query. Sometimes this might mean just answering their questions related to products, services, billing etc. But other times, there may be queries pertaining to refunds, billing, dispute, claims and the rest of it. These might be potential situations of conflict.
In situations like these, you might require people who can resolve such conflicts easily. This means having such personnel in your team who can find solutions within company policy constraints. People who can think rationally and empathetically are the target here.
Experience helps. Overrated as it might be, the more experienced an employee is, the better are his/her chances of remaining stable during crisis. This also means that the candidate you are looking at is someone who has already faced the brunt of it. They’ve been there and done that and the probability of them fitting into your work culture will always be higher.