While the cost of hiring and onboarding new agents is high, it is not just the onboarding process that is costly. The reason you are bringing a new agent on board in the first place is most likely due to a vacancy created by an agent’s departure.
When you lose an agent the effects are felt throughout your call center. Your remaining agents have a heavier workload, managers are tasked with training a new employee, and customer satisfaction suffers.
What is the Cost of Hiring and Onboarding New Agents?
The average cost per hire includes advertising for the position, screening, training, and lost revenue due to the vacancy.
But the cost is a combination of things. Payroll, morale, time, and effectiveness of your call center all pay a price when you have to hire and onboard new agents.
The precise dollar amount employee turnover costs your company is hard to pin down. But, research done by CAD suggests that the average costs to replace an agent are:
- 16 percent of annual salary for high-turnover jobs, such as agents, earning under $30,000 a year.
- 20 percent of annual salary for midrange positions, such as managers, earning $30,000 to $50,000 a year.
The cost of hiring new agents also includes the money you have to spend on recruiting, the hiring processes, background checks, and training costs.
Onboarding new agents is a task that should be taken seriously. Organizations that put time and effort into training new agents see a lower learning curve, more engagement, and lower attrition rates in the long run.
But, managers conducting training have to divide and stretch their time. This could potentially lead to oversights and mistakes on the floor.
It takes new agents an estimated 8-12 months to gain proficiency in your call center. Less than full proficiency translates to providing an experience that may not meet you or your customer’s standards.
Retain Your Agents with Better Training
Research shows that onboarding is critical to an agent’s experience at your organization. Creating better training practices can have a long-lasting impact on performance, engagement, and, most importantly, retention.
Giving your agents a path forward is key to retaining them. Leverage the tools already at your disposal to make sure your agents are engaged and feel supported.
You can design onboarding programs that consider:
- Role-specific knowledge
- System operating competency
- Best practices for customer service
Business intelligence (BI) tools help you drill down into the root cause of what makes agents effective. You can use BI tools to examine not only the customer experience but also the agent experience.
Digital behavior assessments and interventions can help you focus and improve your training. Analyze how agents interact with customers and offer aid when necessary.
You can focus on metrics that might indicate where agents are struggling. Pinpointing long periods of silence or lots of transfers can cue you to offer technical training or just check-in.
Some quality management tools can even reduce attrition by helping out with parts of the job that cause large amounts of stress. Coaching can help agents handle calls that might be emotionally charged.
Creating a training program that focuses on giving your agents the tools they need to succeed decreases the possibility of attrition. Agents that feel frustrated or confused while. Take time to check-in and assess throughout the onboarding process.