Cringe! Merriam-Webster defines it this way:
"to recoil in distaste" and "to experience an inward shiver of embarrassment or disgust."
In the call center industry, we define Cringe! as:
"That feeling you have when you hear some of your agents phone calls."
Yes, you know what I am talking about, don't you!
Well, not every one of your agents makes you Cringe, or you would not be in business! But, most call centers have at least one-third of their total agent pool who makes them Cringe some of the time. And it is often the bottom one-third. Those agents who rarely (or never) hit goal, but you need them to maintain contact center service levels.
So, what do you do? Well, there are several solutions to eliminate the Cringe! factor, including continuous training and coaching (not to mention your recruiting and hiring processes). But, in reality, some agents will never change, and they simply need to be moved out. But continuously hiring and terminating one-third of your reps increases costs, impacts service levels, suffocates customer satisfaction (NPS) and denigrates the labor market near your center. Another option? Simply outsource the bottom one-third to a great call center partner so you can retain and focus on your top performers!
This is a great strategy because call center providers should only staff highly-trained, high-performing reps to serve your customers. After all, this is all a call center provider does ... deliver and manage labor to serve your customers (this is their core competency). They should never have poor performing reps. Ever. And your contract should enforce this. In addition, an outsourced call center provider can deliver many other benefits, including disaster-recovery and fail over, flexible staffing for overnight and weekend coverage, and improved service levels during peak call volumes. And, when you find the right provider, you will have a low cost way to test new products, new sales campaigns so you do not need to use your internal center as a test bed.
At Emerging Global Services, we invest heavily in recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, coaching, quality assurance, and front-line supervisors. Any any agent who simply does not perform is moved out .... quickly. We cannot afford to keep poor performing reps around, yet we must make sure we hire and supervise right so we turn new agents into great agents, serving your customers.
So, the next time you Cringe when listening to, or monitoring your call center, you might consider moving those reps out and find the right parter you can leverage to cut costs, drive quality and improve customer satisfaction across your enterprise.
If interested, please reach out to me! We will eliminate YOUR Cringe!
Steve Shefveland, Founder
Emerging Global Services, LLC
602-312-8900 / firstname.lastname@example.org