Which call center doesn’t strive for quality? Step one to call center quality and stellar customer service starts with quality call center staff. A well built onboarding program is one of many the tools to go about achieving uniform quality and great customer service.
While the turnover rate in call centers is high, with just over one in four employees leaving their call center positions each year, a successful onboarding program can increase employee retention rates by up to 25%. Not too shabby.
Before we even begin the onboarding process, it’s important to hire well. Call center managers must determine the criteria of the employee they are looking for and tailor the hiring process accordingly in order to attract and hire the right staff.
Choosing the right employee can save the organization a hefty amount of money annually as the cost of training and hiring each new employee can be two or three times as much as the employee’s salary.
Having a great onboarding program helps to reduce these costs and increase retention rates by integrating new employees with the company culture, showing new employees the ropes of how to succeed in their position, and helping new hires get off to a productive and happy start in their new work environment.
Create a knowledge database
A lot of information is delivered during the onboarding process, and it’s easy for new employees to be overwhelmed and not remember the technicalities afterwards. By creating a knowledge database of forum, such as a wiki, employees can easily access key information at any point in time.
Find a way to keep the database up to date that’s easy and works best for everyone. Allowing employees to add to the database themselves also ensures that valuable information that might otherwise be overlooked will be included. With everything in one place, new and old employees alike have one go-to spot to look up anything they need to know.
Make training interactive
Software training can be boring. Typical software training involves new hires passively watching while a trainer demonstrates how to use the software. However, most people learn better through hands-on experience.
Consider creating a series of interactive training modules. With interactive modules, employees actually use the software themselves, following instructions to explore different features and accomplish set tasks. This allows employees to learn by doing, rather than watching.
As a bonus, employees can also move at their own pace through modules, so they don’t have to waste time with things they already know and can spend more time learning what they need to know.
Gamify the process
Gamification, the process of turning ordinary tasks into a game. A growing number of organizations are adopting gamification as a means of motivating their staff.
Bringing out our inner child, it’s natural to want to progress to the next level or get the next badge or reward. In the workplace, gamification rewards employees for completing certain tasks or reaching performance goals.
During the onboarding process, creating a “beginner’s level” for new hires can help them get acclimated. This will also get employees engaged and motivated to complete training. Rewarding employees for completing certain training modules, or offering quizzes on training materials with rewards for high scores, can encourage new employees to learn skills quickly.
Provide social support
Even if a new hire learns how to do their job quickly, that’s no guarantee that they’ll stick with the company. If employees feel isolated, they’re more likely to dislike their job and eventually quit. Social interaction and a positive call center culture can contribute greatly to job satisfaction.
Offering social events for new employees to get to know one another can help. Creating opportunities for employees to socialize outside of work-related functions can also create a more pleasant work environment for all employees.
Provide peer mentors
Call center employees often work in isolation, and this can leave new hires feeling lost and unsure about where to turn for help. Assigning an experienced employee to mentor new hires can help tremendously. A peer mentor gives new employees someone to go to with simple questions, and a mentor system can help new employees get acquainted with less formal aspects of the job, integrating them fully into the company culture.
Additionally, giving new employees a mentor gives them deeper company insights that they otherwise might not have known about. Simple things such as who to ask or what to do when problems arise can easily be shared through a little socializing.
Extend the onboarding period
While it’s important to get new hires working as soon as possible, offering continued support after the typical onboarding period allows new employees to start working while still getting help when they need it.
Consider putting new employees in less demanding areas that allow them to learn the ropes without overwhelming them. Placing new employees in one area of the office, where they can be monitored and supported, can help, too.
This is also where having a mentor or support network can help, as it allows new employees to quickly get one-on-one support when needed.
Follow up with new hires
Conduct surveys of employees after several weeks or months to get feedback on your onboarding program. See what areas employees continue to struggle with, and provide additional training for these employees.
Surveying new hires can also shed light on improvements that need to be made to the onboarding period and offer employees a chance to give feedback and know that their opinion is valued.
Have any tips to share in order to have a great call center onboarding period? Share it with us in the comment box down below!