CRM Buyer Interview

I had a wonderful interview with Pam Baker of CRM Buyer, last week.

Call center reps get a bad rap. They’re expected to be constantly nice in the face of increasingly not-nice customer interactions, field the blunt of management’s never-ending drive for increased performance, and solve every problem that randomly hits their line. It’s no wonder the industry faces a lightning-fast turnover rate.

“It’s a problem our clients wrestle with every day,” Matt Katz, vice president of business consulting at Merced Systems, told CRM Buyer. “Anything companies can do to add even a few months to an individual’s time on the payroll has real financial impact.”
The Math Behind the Madness

For every month a single staffer is retained, Katz said, the company saves from US$2,000 to $3,000. “It costs $10,000 to $15,000 in hard expenses to replace a single call center worker, plus there’s the lost performance costs — during the gap between when the trained staffer leaves and before the new staffer is up to speed — of a few thousand more a month,” he said.

That’s a lot of pennies to pay for staffers that turn on a dime.

“The challenge for employers is to figure out how to retain key employees and make their jobs fun, interesting and less stressful all at the same time,” Jack McElaney, vice president of sales and client services at E Communication Advantage, told CRM Buyer.
Walking the Talk

“It is true that retention is a big issue in call centers. It always has been,” David Anderson, CEO of The Utopia Group, told CRM Buyer. “However, in places like Central America, which is where I live, this is even more important, as there is a limited resource of English speakers to consider.”

Read the whole thing, or click here to download a PDF of the article.

Retention is a huge issue in Costa Rica, with a couple of large Call Centers like HP and Sykes, competing for a limited pool of bilingual workers. As the Contact Center industry grows throughout the region, the same issue of retaining high quality talent, presents a unique set of challenges. Until recently, there was very little competition in the virgin territory of Managua. With the arrival of Sitel, the ante will be upped in Managua as well, as there are now a number of top flight organizations there.

The article is great for looking at some ideas for retention and motivation.

One Response to “CRM Buyer Interview”

  1. Remi Says:

    This article is great and reading for this blog explantion.

The Business Adventures of an Expat Call Center Guru in Costa Rica