Call centers are notorious for high levels of absenteeism and turnover. Lack of job stability, irregular and changing schedules and high levels of burnout are all significant factors that affect employee attendance and long-term job tenure.
Call center agents (employees) are the heart of the call center. They work directly with customers through telephone interactions. The success of the call center operations are dependent on how the advanced technology is linked with a client-centered attitude among management and agents.
Call center staffing growth is estimated at about 40-50 percent (Kleeman and Matuschek, 2002.) Call centers mostly use standardized procedures and processes based on standardized information technology software. Voice Response Units (VRUs), Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems and speech recognition systems are common.
Call center work is perceived as knowledge-intensive and requires skilled employees. They are a competitive advantage for insurance agencies because they ensure better service to, and maintain direct contact with, clients and customers, resulting in greater workplace efficiency and a reduction of costs.
Typically, call centers have a relatively high number of short-term workers with flexible employment arrangements. Non-traditional employment agreements (temporary, part-time, flexible) are needed due to the unpredictable nature of call volume. The work tends to be highly repetitious and is often analyzed by electronic performance monitoring systems.
Taking measures to address the uncertainty of work schedules and giving employees the opportunity to become involved in the work development have been shown to be effective measures for reducing worker absenteeism and turnover. Examples of these measures include:
- Encouraging employees to be involved in the training and coaching of new employees.
- Encouraging employees to participate in special projects.
- Implementation of employee recognition programs
- Acknowledgement of success
By creating an environment where the employee is “highly involved” and that fosters a focus on customer satisfaction, your agency will increase retention rates, reduce absenteeism and nurture an environment where customer service is refined and perfected.