Tips for Staffing a Multichannel Contact Center [SUCCESS STORY] & [SLIDESHARE]

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 9.49.41 AM Meeting the needs of today's connected consumer hinges on the ability to engage on the consumer's channel of choice whether it's phone, chat, email or social media. Rising to this occasion first requires offering multiple communication channels, which then requires having the proper technology and agents with the right skill sets to communicate on a variety of channels. When it comes to staffing a multichannel contact center, there are two main paths you can go down; either hire specialized agents to focus on specific channels, or hire super-agents capable of successfully communicating on all channels. While specialized agents have always been around, the super-agent model is a relatively new concept. Leading tool manufacturer Positec, is an excellent example of how a super-agent model can have extremely positive results. Rhonda Tate, vice president of direct response at Positec, recently presented on this topic at IQPC Call Center Week in Las Vegas. Here is what we learned in Rhonda's session: Positec found that giving agents options to handle multiple transactional channels resulted in:

  • Happier employees
  • Reduced burnout
  • More productivity
  • Less turnover
  • Higher sales
Next comes the question of how to hire a group of agents who can actually handle the demands of ringing phones, incoming emails and pinging live chats. Throughout Rhonda's experience, she's learned that there are generally two types of agents:
  • Super helpful customer service driven people pleasers.
  • People who are motivated, competitive, and driven by sales, transactions and goal winning.
While they can be difficult to find, Positec strives to hire agents that are a combination of both. Other great tips from Rhonda on hiring super-agents, included:
  • Asking interviewees what their "theme song" is, since you can tell a lot about someone who claims "The Eye of the Tiger" or "Welcome to the Jungle" versus "Yankee Doodle Dandy."
  • Test with some grammar and writing exercises and try to tug on their creative juices -- check out if they know the difference between the spelling of "your" and the conjunction "you are."
  • Make sure agents fit your demographic. A mature representative with a strong knowledge of a product may not have the typing skills required to perform live chat --or even navigate through your system. Conversely, a younger and more tech savvy agent may not have the phone etiquette required to meet your standards of excellence or may not do well with written communication.
Click through Rhonda's presentation to see what else you missed: Click here to learn more about how to engage better, respond faster, and empower your agents.

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