Are you struggling to keep your call center staffed due to high turnover rates? Working in a contact center can be stressful and tedious, leading to issues with agent attrition across all industries. A 2021 survey of agents and their managers across 12 verticals found an average turnover rate of 42 percent, according to NICE.
On top of that, the survey found that 31 percent of customer service agents and managers were searching for new jobs, and 36 percent said their employers invested little or no effort in retaining workers. Those focused on remedying high call center turnover rates tend to prioritize team-building, while factors like higher wages and flexible scheduling have a more significant impact, according to the report.
In addition to better pay and more flexible shifts, artificial intelligence can make contact center agents’ jobs less stressful and more engaging in numerous ways. If your company currently has a high call center turnover rate, here’s why you should invest in improving agent attrition and how artificial intelligence can help specifically.
The cost of call center turnover
Only 38 percent of contact center agents describe themselves as extremely satisfied with their jobs, according to a McKinsey & Company report. Pervasive dissatisfaction with call center work leads to turnover, which can, in turn, drive up operating expenses. McKinsey estimates that each new hire costs the contact center $10,000 to $20,000 after accounting for recruiting, training, and dampened productivity as the new agent gets up to speed.
On top of that, the report notes that call center employee churn also leads to worse customer service. An experienced agent familiar with your business and customers can field inquiries and deliver personalized service with greater ease than a brand-new hire. At a time when customer experience is a crucial differentiator for all kinds of businesses, high call center turnover can subsequently become a huge stumbling block for your organization.
Ensuring an agent is engaged at work and satisfied with their job, on the other hand, makes them 8.5 times more likely to stick with your company than leave in the space of a year and 3.3 times more likely to feel “extremely empowered” to fix your clients’ issues, according to McKinsey. Investing in artificial intelligence can make working in your contact center less tedious and more satisfying.
4 ways artificial intelligence can improve contact center agent job satisfaction
Artificial intelligence has enormous potential to streamline contact center operations and make agents’ jobs more interesting and engaging. Here are some notable AI use cases to explore based on our advisors’ observations and a recent webinar hosted by NICE on leveraging AI in the contact center beyond chatbots.
1. Conversational AI.
Conversational artificial intelligence solutions such as intelligent chatbots and interactive voice response systems can handle common customer requests and needs like scheduling appointments, lightening your agents’ workload and allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.
2. Tools for sticking to the script and real-time guidance.
AI can also streamline agent training by tracking conversations in real-time and providing prompts concerning the right messaging for various situations. This capability improves customer service and makes life easier for agents by not requiring them to memorize as much.
3. Behavioral analysis.
Artificial intelligence can help contact center agents improve their soft skills by objectively assessing their behavior during client interactions. This analysis can highlight best practices and areas for improvement, directing call center supervisors’ coaching efforts. Given that NICE found 58 percent of contact center agents report benefiting very little from coaching and 49 percent say that a clear career path can make a significant difference on whether they stay or leave their jobs, AI tools that promote learning and enhance feedback can significantly improve the agent experience and increase retention.
4. Automated note-taking.
When agents manually take notes on customer interactions, it doesn’t develop customer service skills and can take up a good chunk of their workdays. Utilizing AI to take notes automatically saves agents time and allows them to focus more on the clients they’re helping and tackle more requests since they don’t have to jot down the details during or after every encounter. Additionally, the notes AI takes will be more accurate, objective, and detailed.
Our trusted advisors can connect you with leading cloud contact center software suppliers in our partner network that offer artificial intelligence solutions with the capabilities listed above. We have years of experience helping businesses across all industries find contact center solutions that meet their unique needs. Our advisors can create comparison matrices to show how your options stack up against each other. We can also arrange demos, assist with negotiations, and provide project management services during deployment.
Take the first step toward happier call center agents today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation with one of our advisors.