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Rising Trend: Graduates Flock to Thriving Contact Centers Amid Job Shortages 
Explore the rising trend of graduates turning to thriving contact centers amid job shortages. Discover how call centers can appeal to young professionals. 
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Explore the rising trend of graduates turning to thriving contact centers amid job shortages. Discover how call centers can appeal to young professionals. 

In the midst of job shortages and economic uncertainties, a surprising trend has emerged that is reshaping recent graduates’ career choices. A growing number of young professionals are now turning to thriving contact centers as a viable and rewarding career option.

Let’s explore the factors driving this trend and why contact centers are becoming attractive for graduates in the current job market.

 

Call Centers as a Bridge for the Emerging Workforce 

In our fast-paced world, a new generation of workers is rapidly entering the workforce. However, despite joining the workforce, many college graduates in 2023 were underemployed, with 40.1 percent facing such circumstances in the United States.¹

This scenario highlights an opportunity for call centers to become an appealing choice for these graduates and offer them a chance to gain valuable work experience, develop essential skills, and potentially launch fulfilling careers.

The dynamic nature of call center roles and the rising demand for customer support services position call centers as attractive avenues for employment. As new graduates enter the workforce, you can offer meaningful opportunities for the incoming generation, bridging the gap between education and practical, career-oriented experiences.

Related Reading: Looking for Gen Z-Ers? Perks to Offer When Recruiting 

 

The Shift in Call Center Perception Roles 

Gone are the days when call center roles were merely associated with monotonous tasks and a repetitive script. For new graduates stepping into the job market, there has been a significant transformation in the perception of call center roles, reflecting the dynamic changes in the industry.

 

Skill Enhancement and Development

Call centers are increasingly recognized as training grounds for valuable skills. For fresh graduates seeking a platform to enhance their communication, problem-solving, and multitasking abilities, call center roles provide fertile ground for skill development.

The emphasis on continuous learning in this dynamic environment aligns with the career aspirations of ambitious young professionals.

 

Entry-Level Pathways to Career Growth

Call center roles are no longer viewed as mere entry-level positions but as ones that offer a flourishing career. Many organizations have structured career advancement programs that enable fresh graduates to climb the corporate ladder. This shift in perception transforms call center jobs into strategic starting points for ambitious individuals eager to carve out a successful career path.

 

Embracing Technology and Innovation

Recent graduates, often considered tech-savvy, find themselves well-placed in call center environments where technology plays a pivotal role. Call centers have been innovated by incorporating artificial intelligence, automation, and data analytics. This technological immersion appeals to graduates looking for roles that leverage their digital skills and offer exposure to cutting-edge tools.

Related Reading: How AI Can Improve Your Call Center Performance 

For instance, edge connectivity is a developing idea that revolves around handling data in proximity to its origin (such as the user’s device or a nearby server). This localized processing diminishes the duration required to transmit data to and from a central server, guaranteeing faster response times and a more seamless customer experience, particularly in situations requiring real-time interactions.

Paired with cloud-based solutions, edge connectivity provides advanced tools for seamlessly connecting customers to agents, regardless of their location.

 

Customer-Centric Mindset

As businesses increasingly focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences, call center roles have evolved to require a customer-centric mindset. It aligns seamlessly with the principles that drive fresh graduates.

According to the Sustainability Prospects, 91 percent of young professionals consider sustainable practices when making job decisions.² The study showed that it was important for their job to make a positive impact on people’s lives.

Fresh graduates are driven by the desire to make a positive impact, and they find fulfillment in positions where they contribute to building and maintaining positive customer relationships. They want their work to positively impact their personal growth and the environment and society. This shows a growing trend toward socially and environmentally responsible careers.

The customer-centric approach in call center roles provides a direct avenue for these graduates to fulfill their eagerness to work with purpose. By actively contributing to positive customer experiences, they see their work as beneficial for personal growth and impactful on the environment and society.

 

Social Impact and Brand Representation

Call center roles are no longer detached from a company’s overall mission and values. Meanwhile, fresh graduates are drawn to positions where they can represent a brand, contribute to its reputation, and positively impact customer perceptions.

Seeing call center agents as brand ambassadors signifies a broader trend aligning with the aspirations of graduates to be part of something meaningful. It implies that these roles are not just about handling customer queries or providing support; they are integral to the overall image and identity of the company.

Fresh graduates can be drawn to the idea that their work in a call center can actively contribute to shaping and upholding a positive brand image, fostering a stronger connection to the organization’s purpose and values.

They now see these positions as opportunities to actively contribute to a company’s success, be part of a larger narrative, and play a crucial role in shaping how customers interact with and perceive the brand.

 

Opportunities for Graduates in Call Centers 

Here’s why call center careers are beneficial to recent graduates and the benefits that make these opportunities appealing, from skill development to dynamic work environments.

 

Opportunity for Growth

Before delving deeper, it’s important to clarify that most roles in a call center are not dead-end positions. A dead-end position provides limited opportunities for financial and personal growth, which is the opposite of what a job in the contact center industry offers. There are ample opportunities for different facets of a career and personal life.

Unlike traditional notions of stagnant call center roles, many organizations now offer structured career advancement paths. Graduates can rapidly climb the corporate ladder, from entry-level roles to supervisory and managerial positions. Many supervisors and managers started as agents themselves, and they progressed steadily through the ranks.

In this setting, graduates have the opportunity to apply the knowledge gained from college or university to the account they manage or the role they are in. Whether as a customer service, technical, or sales representative, they can further hone and enhance their expertise in various ways.

Related Reading: 6 Career Paths for a Call Center Professional! Which One Is Best for You? 

 

Transferable Skills

Nearly every job listing includes a standard requirement: “Must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills.” Professionals must articulate their thoughts effectively, including verbal communication, emails, and phone conversations. While other qualifications may vary by industry, the necessity for clear communication remains constant.

Call centers provide a diverse set of skills that apply to almost any profession. Employees can acquire valuable attributes, such as punctuality, efficiency, and essential communication practices, which prove beneficial in any job search.

Moreover, the experience gained in a call center, particularly in customer-facing roles, introduces graduates to the challenges of dealing with clients. This exposure becomes a valuable asset as they progress in their careers, offering insights and skills that can be applied effectively when working directly with clients in future positions.

Contact centers serve as multifaceted training grounds, equipping young professionals with skills and experiences that are beneficial within the call center industry and highly transferable to various other professional domains.

 

Global Exposure and Multilingual Opportunities

The global reach of many call centers signifies their extensive operations and offers graduates a distinctive chance to immerse themselves in diverse and multicultural environments. Operating globally means employees may interact with people from various countries and cultures regularly. For graduates fluent in multiple languages, this presents a particularly exciting opportunity.

They can leverage their language proficiency to access roles that involve communication in different languages, contributing to the international dimensions of business operations. This multicultural exposure not only enriches their professional experiences but also positions them as valuable assets in globalized business.

 

A Variety of Benefits

Like any company in various industries, there are advantages for those looking to join. Given the flourishing state of the contact centers, graduates who are willing to explore opportunities in this field can enjoy several perks:

  • Paid time off
  • Paid training
  • 401k matching
  • Health and life insurance
  • Wellness program
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Yearly bonuses
  • Profit sharing
  • Incentives/Performance-based rewards
  • Retirement plan

Many contact centers implement incentive programs and performance bonuses to reward top-performing employees. Graduates who excel in their roles, meet or exceed targets, and contribute significantly to customer satisfaction may receive additional financial rewards.

These incentive structures serve as motivational tools and enhance the overall earning potential of high-achieving graduates.

Additionally, many offices provide numerous amenities, including game rooms, gyms, sleeping pods, and pantries, catering to the recreational needs of every employee, showcasing the company’s commitment to its workforce’s well-being.

 

Competitive Wages

One frequently cited reason for individuals considering a job in a contact center is the competitive salary they offer for their employees. According to Indeed, call center representatives in the U.S. earn an average base salary of $17.37 per hour.³

For a recent graduate in search of a position that ensures competitive pay and comprehensive benefits, opting for a role in a call center may indeed be a suitable and rewarding choice. This makes working in a call center a smart and fulfilling opportunity for those starting their careers.

 

EMBRACE THE FRESH PERSPECTIVE AND DYNAMIC ENERGY OF NEW GRADUATES WITH SALEM SOLUTIONS

Attract top-tier talent to your team—invest in talent, foster innovation, and create a thriving workplace. With Salem Solutions, we can help you shape the future of your company by tapping into the potential, creativity, and innovation that young professionals bring.

We are renowned for our dedication to achieving excellence and our unwavering effort to ensure accuracy in aligning talent with opportunities. Learn more today about seizing the opportunity to build a workforce that drives success and growth for your organization.

 

References 

1 “Underemployment Recent College Graduates U.S. 2022.” Statista, www.statista.com/statistics/642037/share-of-recent-us-college-graduates-underemployed/.

2 “91% of Graduates Want to “Make a Difference” in Their Job | Prospects.ac.uk.” Www.prospects.ac.uk, www.prospects.ac.uk/prospects-press-office/91-percent-of-graduates-want-to-make-a-difference-in-their-job.

3 “Call Center Representative Salary in United States.” Www.indeed.com, www.indeed.com/career/call-center-representative/salaries.

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Discover why call center turnover is a crucial KPI in customer service. Learn how it impacts financials, service quality, and productivity. 

Organizations are more likely to maintain strong and sustained performance when their employees are motivated, productive, and consistently striving for new goals. However, many workers still leave their jobs voluntarily every year.

The call center turnover rate is now a crucial Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in customer service. While organizations traditionally prioritize metrics like customer satisfaction and response times, the increasing significance of turnover rates signals a shift.

We’ll delve into why call center turnover rate has become the most important KPI and how organizations can use this insight to improve overall performance.

 

What Is Employee Turnover? 

Employee turnover indicates the number of workers leaving the company, whether voluntarily when employees are enticed by a competitor offering higher salaries or involuntarily when staff members are laid off or terminated due to poor performance.

Companies commonly assess the employee turnover rate as a percentage. They are derived by dividing the departed employees within a specific timeframe by the average workforce during that period.

For example, if 10 out of 150 employees left last year, the turnover rate would be 6.7 percent.

10 / 150 x 100 = 6.7 percent 

This metric is significant for HR professionals and managers to assess their alignment with industry benchmarks or organizational goals. If the turnover rate deviates, they can take steps to reduce turnover, such as enhancing employee engagement and managerial skills. Additionally, management may have established a target turnover rate that HR aims to achieve.

So, employee turnover is crucial for organizations to gauge their overall performance. Just as financial metrics gauge fiscal health and customer-related metrics measure satisfaction, employee turnover reflects workforce management’s organizational well-being and effectiveness.

Read More: Job Fit Matters: How Salem Solutions Nails Job Fit for Call Center Professionals 

 

Understanding Its Impact 

Eliminating employee turnover is impractical for most companies. Despite thoughtful recruitment strategies, not every employee will be an ideal fit, and enticing job offers might arise. Besides, adding new employees can bring in fresh perspectives.

However, excessive turnover increases costs and diverts time and attention from organizational goals. It can lead to a loss of institutional knowledge and hinder efforts to foster a cohesive corporate culture. In 2022, the prevalence of quiet quitting and the rise in great resignations posed persistent challenges for call centers, impacting customer experience and elevating operational costs.

Research from the SQM Group indicates that 47 percent of managers cite high agent turnover and absenteeism as major challenges in call center operations.¹ This has resulted in a notable drop in First Call Resolution (FCR) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).

The consistently high agent turnover rate of 38 percent is a primary obstacle to achieving high CSAT and FCR rates in call centers. And the employee exit trend isn’t calming down anytime soon. More agent turnover means more burnout, absentees, higher operating costs, and lower FCR and CSAT.

It emphasizes that call center turnover is the top KPI. This idea comes from the belief that keeping an eye on turnover is crucial for running things smoothly in the call center world.

 

Call Center Turnover Cost in Numbers 

According to the NICE WEM Global Survey, call centers experienced an average attrition rate of 42 percent in 2021.² Additionally, research from Cresta spotlights the attrition cost for call center roles, which is around 1.3 times the average attrition rate in the U.S. since COVID-19:³

  • Contact centers overall: 83.7 percent
  • Sales roles: 79.8 percent
  • Care and support roles: 87.6 percent

 

Beyond the concerning statistics, high turnover rates create major financial burdens for contact centers. The constant churn requires perpetual recruiting and training investments, including:

  • Contact centers overall: 14.3 months
  • Sales roles: 15 months
  • Care and support roles: 13.7 months

 

Meanwhile, the yearly expenses to replace a call center with 100 agents are calculated as follows:

  • Contact centers overall: $800,000–$1.7 million
  • Sales roles: $800,000–$1.6 million
  • Care and support roles: $900,000–$1.8 million

 

This excessive turnover resulted in surging expenses for recruitment, declining productivity, and falling workplace morale. The data signals an urgent priority for the industry – mitigating the turnover crisis to build workforce stability.

 

Factors Contributing to Employee Attrition in the Call Center 

There is a long list of reasons for high agent turnover in contact centers, making many operators consider turnover an unavoidable part of the industry. However, there are ways to address these high turnover rates. To find solutions, it’s crucial first to pinpoint the root causes of turnover:

  • Monotonous or repetitive tasks
  • Not being recognized for efforts
  • Limited opportunities for career advancement or development
  • Rigid work environment
  • Lack of employee engagement
  • High pressure or stress
  • Dealing with abusive calls
  • Diminished job satisfaction

 

The daily emotional strain of customer service is a significant burnout driver. Handling complaints, abusive calls, and high-stress interactions takes a toll on mental health over time.

Moreover, low pay is a factor in contact center turnover rates. Many of these centers fill most roles with minimum-wage positions, making it tough to compete with companies like Amazon, which hire employees with similar skills and consistently raise their wages.

Read More: 6 Qualities That Make a Great Call Center Agent 

 

Why Employee Turnover Matters 

It critically measures workforce stability and effectiveness. A high turnover rate signals potential retention issues, impacting customer service, operational efficiency, and finances.

Monitoring the turnover rate provides insights into workforce health, enabling proactive measures. A lower rate indicates a more stable and experienced team, ensuring consistent and high-quality customer service. The call center turnover rate is crucial, reflecting overall performance and sustainability in delivering exceptional customer experiences.

High employee turnover rates inflict damage on call centers in multiple areas:

 

Financial Implications

According to Deloitte’s report, reducing agent turnover by 1 percent can save a company with 30,000 employees and an average attrition rate of 13 percent, or approximately $32.9 million annually.⁴

The financial implications of high attrition rates are important. The costs of recruiting, training, and onboarding new employees increase. Recruiting expenses involve advertising positions, conducting interviews, and processing new hires.

Training costs include the time and resources invested in bringing new agents up to speed, which can be considerable, especially in roles that require specific skills or knowledge. That’s why addressing the agent turnover issue is crucial to achieving substantial cost savings.

 

Customer Satisfaction and Service Quality

High attrition rates can lead to inconsistent customer service as agents leave and new ones come in. New employees have to be trained, and during this time, the quality of customer service may not be consistent.

For instance, a customer might receive different information or assistance depending on the agent they speak to or the department they contact. This could contribute to a less-than-satisfactory customer experience.

Read More: The Year that Shaped Us: 2023 Call Center Staffing Lessons to Prepare for 2024 

 

Loss of Productivity

There is also a loss of productivity during the transition period. As seasoned employees leave, their replacements need time to reach the same level of efficiency and effectiveness. This transition period could bring a temporary dip in productivity. The slowdown can directly impact service delivery and overall operational performance and influence the call center’s day-to-day effectiveness.

Read More: 4 Ways to Increase Productivity in Your Call Center 

 

SECURE YOUR WORKFORCE WITH SALEM SOLUTIONS

Cultivate lasting loyalty, foster professional growth, and create a workplace that keeps your employees committed and thriving. Salem Solutions addresses call center, administrative, and healthcare support needs. We provide solutions for temporary, temporary-to-hire, direct hire, and high-volume staffing needs.

A motivated and engaged workforce is inherently more productive, innovative, and resilient in facing challenges. By taking decisive action now, you pave the way for a workplace that thrives, achieving both short-term gains and long-term success and sustainability. Learn more today!

 

References 

1 “Call Center Agent Turnover Problem: The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting and Top 3 Tips to Improve It.” SQM Group, 10 Jan. 2023, www.sqmgroup.com/resources/library/blog/call-center-agent-turnover-problem-improvement-tips.

2 NICE. “2022 NICE WEM GLOBAL SURVEY: CONTACT CENTERS – from ATTRITION to RETENTION.” Nice.com, Jan. 2022, www.callcentrehelper.com/images/resources/2022/nice-attrition-to-retention-global-survey-20220211.pdf.

3 How AI-Driven Real-Time Coaching Stops the Revolving Door of Agent Attrition, Increases Productivity, and Improves CX Reducing Ramp Time & Agent Attrition in Contact Centers CRESTA INSIGHTS REPORT 2022 Q1.

4 Mittal, Kirti, and Asst Professor. “Article ID: IJM_10_05_035 International Call Centers.” International Journal of Management (IJM), vol. 10, no. 5, 2019, pp. 391–399, iaeme.com/MasterAdmin/Journal_uploads/IJM/VOLUME_10_ISSUE_5/IJM_10_05_035.pdf, https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/ES5GN.

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Explore the top 10 contact center trends for a successful 2024. Stay informed to enhance your work quality, from AI-enhanced customer interactions to sustainability. 

Customer satisfaction is among the most critical metrics for many employers and employees in the customer service industry. Even 87 percent of consumers say they buy from companies that offer proactive customer service.¹

With the latest technological innovations emerging year after year, today’s work landscape calls for speed and efficiency to provide good customer experiences. How exactly do professionals adjust to this fast pace? Staying on top of the tech game can become your fundamental strategy.

 

Technology in the Contact Center Industry 

When providing customer service, it’s important to view technology as more than a tool. Instead, think of it as your trusted ally in the delivery service. Technology acts as your assistant, helping you streamline tasks so that you can focus on what matters most – the customers.

Behind the scenes, technology plays the role of a conductor, anticipating issues and resolving queries before they escalate. It empowers you to provide a level of service that exceeds expectations.

In contact centers, time is of the essence, and technology ensures that you don’t just keep up but stay ahead. By integrating communication channels, customer service becomes a well-coordinated operation where interactions flow effortlessly, and customers receive top-quality assistance.

 

10 Contact Center Trends to Know for a Successful 2024 

Whether you’re aiming for an onsite position or a fully remote role, technology can help you thrive. This is why call center agents like you need to know about the latest technological trends.

Below are the top ten contact center trends you should know to become successful in 2024.

Read More: Contact Center Trends for 2023 

 

1. Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Customer Interactions

AI-driven customer interactions have emerged as a pivotal trend in the rapidly evolving contact center landscape.

Picture having virtual assistants and chatbots that respond to inquiries and predict and address potential issues before they escalate. This trend is about efficiency, quicker response times, and personalized interactions.

Using AI tools doesn’t just streamline processes; it transforms your approach to customer service, ensuring a proactive and seamless experience. It elevates your work quality by offering more efficient, personalized, and timely solutions, enhancing customer satisfaction.

Read More: How AI Can Improve Your Call Center Performance 

 

2. Personalized Customer Experience

In the quest for customer satisfaction, personalized experiences have taken center stage. Tailoring services based on individual preferences and behaviors ensures a deeper level and a higher quality engagement.

This trend is not just about transactions. Instead, it’s about building lasting relationships between customers and your company’s brand.

Understanding and anticipating customer needs can turn each interaction into a uniquely satisfying experience. Ultimately, personalization fosters customer loyalty and advocacy, creating memorable and meaningful connections.

Read More: A Personalized Approach to Staffing – The Salem Solutions Difference 

 

3. Predicative Analysis through Synthetic Customers

A cutting-edge trend in the contact center industry is integrating predictive analysis through synthetic customer personas.

To understand this trend, consider a synthetic customer as a data-driven representation that mirrors your typical customer’s behavior, preferences, and needs. This trend involves leveraging advanced analytics tools to generate these synthetic personas, allowing you to predict customer behavior accurately.

So, why is this gaining traction? Professionals like you can anticipate customer needs and address potential issues before they arise.

This transformative trend empowers you to offer a more proactive and personalized customer experience. Integrating this approach into your operations means your interactions become reactive and anticipatory, contributing to higher service and overall customer satisfaction.

 

4. Omnichannel Integration for Improved Communication

Omnichannel integration is more than a buzzword; it’s a strategy to revolutionize communication in the contact center industry. This trend ensures that various communication channels seamlessly come together, whether voice, chat, email, or social media.

According to research, companies with omnichannel solid integration retain around 56 percent more customers than those with weak integration.²

So, why is this important? Well, it offers customers a consistent and connected journey, regardless of their chosen communication method. By providing a cohesive experience, you improve the overall quality of your work, creating a unified front in customer interactions.

Moreover, this trend also allows customers to choose how they want to be helped. Instead of repeating themselves to different agents, omnichannel integration gives you access to their concerns regardless of the medium!

Read More: Everything You Need to Know About Omnichannel Contact Centers 

 

5. Remote Workforce Optimization

According to contact center industry analyst Sheila McGee-Smith, around 60 to 80 percent of contact center agents shifted to remote work during the pandemic.³ This led to companies acknowledging the benefits of customer service representatives working in the comfort of their own homes.

As the contact center industry embraces remote work, workforce optimization has become an essential factor companies try to address. This trend is about using technology to manage virtual teams efficiently, striking the right balance between flexibility and productivity.

Remote workforce optimization ensures that your team remains cohesive and delivers top-notch service despite geographical constraints. This trend is crucial because it helps you adjust to the evolving work environment, enabling you to stay efficient and effective as a contact center professional.

 

6. Augmented Reality for Better Support

Augmented Reality (AR) is transforming customer support by providing hands-on experiences for troubleshooting and training.

It reduces resolution times and elevates customer satisfaction by offering immersive and interactive support. AR can transform complex issues into easily comprehensible solutions. For instance, you use AR to overlay visual instructions on a customer’s device screen. It helps them resolve issues step by step.

By incorporating AR into your support toolkit, you enhance the quality of your work, delivering more engaging and practical solutions to customers.

 

7. Voice Biometrics Usage

In the evolving landscape of contact centers, incorporating voice biometrics and interfaces is reshaping security measures and customer interactions. This new tech utilizes unique vocal patterns to verify and authenticate individuals, streamlining the verification process frictionlessly. Think of it as your voice becoming your secure passcode.

Why is this important? Voice biometrics enhances security and simplifies interactions. This makes it easier for customers to verify their identity without the hassle traditional methods bring.

Integrating voice biometrics and interfaces into your workflow as a contact center professional contributes to a more efficient and secure customer interaction process. It’s a technological advancement that improves your work’s efficiency and contributes to a seamless and trustworthy customer experience.

 

8. Emotional Intelligence in Customer Interactions

With constant technology usage within the industry, the human touch becomes even more necessary when dealing with customer relationships and interactions. Beyond scripted responses, you should prioritize building rapport and empathy through interactions.

The importance of emotional intelligence lies in creating genuine connections with customers and fostering trust and loyalty. Incorporating it into your services enhances your work’s overall quality, ensuring customers feel heard and understood.

 

9. Cybersecurity Measures in Contact Centers

With increasing cyber threats, it becomes paramount to prioritize cybersecurity measures in contact centers. As businesses and customer interactions become more reliant on digital technologies and online platforms, the volume of sensitive data transmitted and stored also grows, and so does the risk of exploiting these vulnerabilities.

Thus, cybersecurity is evident in maintaining customer trust and complying with data protection regulations. Professionals can create a secure and reliable customer service environment by incorporating robust cybersecurity measures such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), encryption practices, and regular audits.

 

10. Sustainability of Contact Center Operations

Sustainability has emerged as a trend reflecting broader societal concerns. Considering the energy and resources used to create machines and tech tools, many are rightfully concerned about the depletion of global resources.

These concerns led to the trend of sustainable contact center operations. It involves adopting environmentally friendly practices and technologies.

The importance of sustainability lies in aligning contact center operations with global efforts to reduce environmental impact. By incorporating sustainable practices such as remote work, paperless operations, and energy conservation, you contribute to a positive corporate image and demonstrate responsibility, enhancing your overall work quality and your organization’s reputation.

 

FIND THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITIES WITH SALEM SOLUTIONS

Finding a job goes beyond mastering skills and gaining knowledge. Even if you meet the requirements of your desired role, you can’t succeed without job opportunities. This is where Salem Solutions can help you.

Working with us allows you to focus on mastering skills and learning about the latest trends. You don’t need to scroll through job boards aimlessly anymore. Allow us to find the best opportunities for you. Reach out to us now to start finding the right fit!

 

References 

1 Jive. “The 10 Most Common Call Center Problems and How to Fix Them.” Jive, 2017, logmeincdn.azureedge.net/jivemedia/library/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/CCenterEbook.pdf.

2 Saleh, Khalid. “The State of Omnichannel Shopping – Statistics and Trends.” Invesp, 18 Apr. 2023, www.invespcro.com/blog/state-of-omnichannel-shopping/.

3 Ringshall, Ben. “Why the Future of the Contact Center Is Remote.” Fonolo, 7 Dec. 2023, fonolo.com/blog/2020/11/the-future-of-the-contact-center-is-remote/.

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Learn how AI trends reshape customer service, from chatbots to facial recognition. Stay ahead in the industry for enhanced productivity, loyalty, and revenue growth. 

Call centers feel the heat to meet higher customer expectations. But old systems and processes strain resources, giving not-so-great experiences. This makes customers go to brands that give smooth, personalized service. And losing customers and opportunities costs a lot.

So, how can you stay ahead of the call center industry? This article highlights AI trends reshaping customer service. With advanced tools like virtual assistants, predictive analytics, and better personalization, call centers can enhance productivity, loyalty, and revenue. Agents can concentrate on forming meaningful customer relationships with technology rather than just reacting to problems.

 

Top 7 AI Trends in Customer Service 

The following includes seven AI trends revolutionizing how businesses engage with their customers:

 

1. AI-Powered Chatbots and Virtual Assistants

Customer service is being transformed by chatbots and virtual assistants empowered with advanced natural language processing (NLP), enabling more human-like conversations. By 2022, Gartner predicts 70 percent of white-collar workers will interact with these AI tools daily.¹

This trend highlights the growing reliance on AI assistants in professional settings, underscoring their effectiveness in managing routine tasks and providing information quickly. Intelligent chatbots can efficiently handle routine queries and transactions, allowing agents to focus on complex issues. Their omnichannel presence – across websites, social media, and messaging platforms – creates consistent, seamless support.

The key is integrating chatbots and virtual assistants across platforms to increase reach and impact. Their scalability allows call centers to improve experience cost-effectively while expanding capabilities. Agents’ future roles will shift to managing and optimizing AI systems rather than replacing human roles.

Related Article: Everything You Need to Know About Omnichannel Contact Centers 

 

2. Predictive Customer Service

Predictive customer service uses customer data like past interactions and transactions to anticipate future needs and satisfaction levels. This allows customer support agents to provide more proactive and personalized service.

For example, algorithms can analyze customer profiles and identify those at risk for cancellation. Agents can then reach out preemptively to resolve problems and improve satisfaction. Or customer usage patterns might show increasing reliance on self-service options, allowing call centers to promote digital channels to meet changing preferences.

According to McKinsey, companies implementing predictive customer service have seen notable results. For instance, one leading credit card company implemented a CX data and analytics stack to improve customer satisfaction and operational performance systematically, ultimately lowering cost for interaction and operations by 10 to 25 percent.²

Similarly, a U.S. healthcare payer utilized a “journey lake” syncing billions of records across multiple systems to proactively address customer issues, significantly increasing digital adoption and operational cost reduction.

The bottom line is that agents can focus less on routine transactions and more on building meaningful customer relationships.

 

3. Enhanced Personalization

Enhanced personalization is a key factor in customer service. In fact, around 71 percent of consumers prioritize personalization when interacting with brands. There is also a clear link between personalization and loyalty – over a third of customers will return to a company that offers a positive, tailored experience even when cheaper or more convenient options are available.

Additionally, 76 percent of consumers are inclined to buy from brands that provide personalized experiences, and 84 percent are likely to buy from brands that treat them as individuals.³

Since call centers lack face-to-face contact, focusing on personalization helps meet critical customer expectations and encourages future business. Even small personalized touches can make interactions feel more genuine and valued from a customer’s perspective.

Related Reading: A Personalized Approach to Staffing: The Salem Solutions Difference 

 

4. Facial and Emotion Recognition

Facial recognition technology, including emotion recognition, is rapidly expanding across industries. In 2022, the global facial recognition market is valued at USD 5.15 billion. And it is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.9% from 2023 to 2030.⁴

This growth is fueled by its diverse security, surveillance, access control, retail, and e-commerce applications. Facial recognition enhances customer experience and operational efficiency in retail, enabling faster, more secure payments and personalized customer service. Alibaba Group, for instance, has integrated facial recognition into payment methods, significantly improving the shopping experience.

healthcare is also expected to see significant growth in facial recognition use, primarily for security purposes. The technology ensures that only authorized individuals can access sensitive areas or confidential data, improving overall security infrastructure in healthcare facilities.

For agents, this technology can support recruitment and training. Facial analysis can aid hiring by determining fit for a customer-facing role more objectively. Emotion tracking can identify stress during initial training to provide additional coaching and support if needed.

 

5. Sentiment Analysis

This trend is gaining popularity for tracking customer satisfaction and spotting market trends. It’s projected to grow from $7.6 billion in 2022 to $22.4 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 24.4 percent.

This emphasizes the need for businesses to accurately understand and respond to customer emotions, as there’s a notable difference between how businesses perceive customer satisfaction and reality. Over 50 percent of businesses think their customers are satisfied, while only 15 percent agree.

Moreover, 70 percent of customers express frustration with generic experiences, emphasizing the significance of personalized interactions. Sentiment analysis acts as a bridge to narrow this perception gap, ultimately improving customer experience and loyalty.

 

6. Intelligent Routing

Intelligent routing in customer service involves matching incoming contacts with the most suitable agents. Initially, contact centers relied on more straightforward methods like hunt groups and least-idle routing, but these were ineffective. Skill-based routing brought more customized strategies based on agent skills and customer details.

However, with the growth of digital channels, these methods faced challenges due to complex service operations. Smart routing tackles these issues using AI, allowing contact centers to set up routing, queuing, and workflows more efficiently. This improves customer experience and engages agents better.

 

7. Automated Customer Feedback Analysis

This entails leveraging artificial intelligence technologies like natural language processing and machine learning. It is increasingly pivotal in modern business strategies. This technology automates processing large amounts of unstructured customer feedback data collected through various channels such as surveys, social media, and direct customer interactions.

The main advantage? Quick and efficient extraction of actionable insights. This enables companies to address customer needs and adapt to market changes promptly.

Moreover, these systems help businesses understand customer feelings, likes, and trends, leading to smarter product and service choices. This directly boosts customer satisfaction and loyalty by allowing businesses to respond to feedback more effectively.

Automating feedback analysis saves time and resources and ensures that customer insights are swiftly and accurately integrated into business processes.

Read More: How AI Can Improve Your Call Center Performance 

 

TRANSFORM YOUR CALL CENTER OPERATIONS WITH SALEM SOLUTIONS

Having a skilled and responsive team to handle customer interactions is essential. Salem Solutions can meet your unique customer support needs. We’re skilled in providing well-trained, professional personnel who ensure customers always receive the best support.

Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you revolutionize your call center operations, boost customer satisfaction, and drive your business forward.

 

References 

1 Goasduff, Laurence. “Chatbots Will Appeal to Modern Workers” Gartner, 31 July. 2019, https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/chatbots-will-appeal-to-modern-workers

2 Diebner, Rachel. et. al. “Prediction: The future of CX” McKinsey and Company, 24 Feb. 2021, https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/growth-marketing-and-sales/our-insights/prediction-the-future-of-cx

3 Shewale, Rohit. “78+ Personalization Statistics In 2023 (Trends & Facts)” DemandSage, 23 Nov. 2023, https://www.demandsage.com/personalization-statistics/

4 “Facial Recognition Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Technology (2D, 3D, Facial Analytics), By Application (Access Control, Security & Surveillance), By End-use, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2023 – 2030” Grandview Research, Accessed 19 Dec. 2023, https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/facial-recognition-market.

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Explore ways to maximize call center staffing efficiency, aligning with customer needs. Read more on why assessing staffing is vital.  

Call centers are like the backbone of customer service for many businesses. However, managing call center staffing can be a challenging task. If there are too many agents, it’s a waste of resources. If there are too few, customers might not get the help they need. That’s why it’s crucial to have the right number of staff at all times.

In this article, we will discuss why assessing how well your call center staff is doing is important and share smart ways to make it work better.

 

Why Assessing Call Center Staffing Matters 

Evaluating how well a call center manages its staff is crucial. It ensures there are enough people to handle calls, assist clients, and deal with issues, providing excellent customer service.

In fact, 88 percent of customers like speaking to a live agent rather than dealing with automated phone menus. People find phone menus irritating for several reasons:

  • When options are irrelevant (69%)
  • They can’t fully explain the issue (67%)
  • There’s no human interaction (43%)
  • Service is inefficient (33%)
  • Options are confusing (15%)¹

These statistics highlight aligning staff levels with customer preferences and needs. But to achieve that, you need enough people. Proper staffing keeps the call center running smoothly, improving the overall customer experience. Let’s explore why checking call center staffing is so important.

 

Optimizing Staffing Levels

This involves strategic workforce management to find the best balance between the number of workers and the tasks they need to do. It’s about finding the correct number of skilled employees to handle the work without too many.

Balancing the number of agents and maintaining high customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores is crucial. While achieving quick resolution times and handling many tickets per agent might seem impressive, it shouldn’t come at the expense of customer satisfaction.

For instance, the department operates with a lean staff during regular hours to avoid unnecessary costs. But they bring in extra staff for quick and efficient customer support during busy times. Having agents trained in different tasks adds flexibility.

This example illustrates how optimizing staffing levels involves a strategic approach to balance workforce capacity with varying demands, ensuring efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and high-quality service delivery.

 

Improving Agent Performance

Monitoring and evaluating agents’ performance is crucial for identifying areas that need improvement and ensuring agents meet service level agreements. This initiative also boosts agents’ confidence, motivates skill enhancement, and offers opportunities for career growth.

You can introduce performance management initiatives to address occasional delays in response times and prolong issue resolution. Regular call monitoring and analyzing key performance indicators provide targeted feedback and training, leading to improved response times and increased customer satisfaction.

Implementing a performance-based incentive program and transparent career paths enhances agent productivity, nurtures a culture of excellence, and provides tangible advancement opportunities. The result is improved operational efficiency and a more motivated and skilled workforce.

Read More: Service Redefined: Discover Top Customer Service Talent with Salem Solutions 

 

Enhancing Customer Experience

Sufficient staffing ensures customers receive prompt assistance, minimizes wait times, and boosts satisfaction and loyalty. Studies indicate that 93 percent of customers will likely make repeat purchases from a company after receiving excellent service. On the flip side, 9 percent of customers are willing to switch to another company if they encounter bad service.²

Adequate staffing is crucial for boosting the customer experience. When agents are not under time pressure due to staffing shortages, they can provide product recommendations and quick assistance, resulting in positive customer satisfaction. This enhanced experience delights customers, motivating them to return, building long-term loyalty, and generating positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Read More: 6 Qualities That Make a Great Call Center Agent 

 

Reducing Call Center Turnover

High call center turnover rates can harm customer service and operational efficiency. When employees frequently leave their positions, it disrupts service continuity and may result in declining customer interaction quality. This inconsistency can impact overall satisfaction, potentially causing a loss of business.

To tackle this challenge, evaluating call center staffing efficiency is crucial. This involves thoroughly examining hiring and retention processes to pinpoint areas for improvement. Identifying suitable employees is vital for building a stable and capable team, considering technical skills and interpersonal communication abilities crucial for excellent customer service.

Efficient call center staffing improves employee retention, ensuring experienced and knowledgeable agents stay with the company. This, in turn, leads to more consistent and reliable service. Additionally, a stable workforce reduces the costs and difficulties associated with frequent recruitment and agent training.

 

Adapting to Call Volume Fluctuations

Evaluating the effectiveness of call center staffing enables call centers to be prepared for fluctuations in call volume. By carefully evaluating historical data and analyzing patterns, call centers can anticipate peak call hours during product launches, promotions, or specific seasons. For instance, a retail call center might experience increased call volume during holiday sales or promotional events.

With this foresight, call centers can proactively adjust their staffing levels. They may schedule additional agents during anticipated peak hours to handle the expected call surge. This ensures customers don’t experience long response times, improving customer satisfaction.

Moreover, distributing the workload evenly among agents is essential for maintaining service quality. During periods of low call volume, agents can engage in training sessions or address other tasks that contribute to their professional development. This balanced distribution optimizes the workforce’s efficiency and prevents agents from being overwhelmed during sudden spikes in call volume.

Call centers can create a more agile and responsive operation by regularly assessing and adapting staffing strategies. This improves overall customer experience and ensures that the call center can handle varying workloads efficiently, contributing to sustained customer feedback, satisfaction, and loyalty.

 

Approaches to Improve Call Center Staffing Efficiency 

Plans to improve and enhance call center staffing involve implementing smart strategies to optimize workforce management, ensuring smooth operations and top-notch customer service. As you explore these strategies, consider taking advantage of Salem Solutions’ Call Center Staffing Assessment for personalized insights into your call center’s staffing dynamics and identify areas for improvement. 

 

Technology Integration

Explore innovative technologies such as AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to handle routine inquiries. This frees up call center agents as well as allows them to focus on more complex issues and introduces efficiency through automation.

Read More: How AI Can Improve Your Call Center Performance 

 

Remote Work Opportunities

The modern call center landscape allows for remote work possibilities. Leveraging remote staffing options can provide flexibility and access to a broader candidate pool and improve overall staffing efficiency.

 

Maximizing Individual Performance

Ensuring agents receive adequate rest and preventing burnout can increase productivity and enhance customer service. This includes effective workload management and cultivating a healthy work environment, prioritizing employee well-being, and ultimately fostering a more efficient and customer-focused team.

 

Utilizing Analytics and Reports

Create schedules for agents based on their productivity trends and use data analysis to ensure they work efficiently without compromising the quality of customer service. This means aligning each agent’s working hours with their most productive times and using thoughtful planning to maintain both efficiency and excellent customer support.

 

A Proven Approach: The Strategic Advantages of Salem Solutions Staffing Assessment 

Salem Solutions is a dedicated staffing and recruitment agency specializing in call center support. Our services include temporary-to-hire, direct-hire, and high-volume staffing needs. 

Explore the advantages of our free call center staffing assessment and gain insights into our unique approach, which provides you with exclusive strategic benefits.

Read More: Customer Delight Experts: Why Salem Solutions is Your Ideal Staffing Partner 

 

Customized Insights

Our assessment tool provides tailored insights into your call center’s staffing dynamics, identifying strengths and areas for improvement.

 

Cost-Effective Solutions

By understanding your staffing needs, you can implement cost-effective solutions that align with your organization’s budget while maintaining high service standards.

 

Continuous Improvement

The assessment is not a one-time solution; it’s a tool for ongoing improvement. Regularly reassessing staffing efficiency ensures that your call center remains agile and adaptable to changing circumstances.

 

START YOUR SUCCESS JOURNEY WITH SALEM SOLUTIONS

If you require specialized staffing expertise and seek a firm that will genuinely collaborate in your success, Salem Solutions is the ideal choice for you. We are experts in promptly addressing essential job requirements while also strategically planning for the future. Our team is dedicated to delivering unparalleled staffing solutions that align with your business goals.

Take the first step towards optimizing your call center staffing by exploring our free Call Center Staffing Assessment. Connect with us today and experience the difference between proactive and responsive staffing solutions tailored to your unique needs. 

 

References 

1 Ariella, Sky. “45 Crucial Call Center Statistics [2023]: Metrics, Performance KPIs, and Industry Data.” Zippia, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.zippia.com/advice/call-center-statistics/.

2 McCain, Abby. “30 Crucial Customer Service Statistics to Pay Attention to [2023]: How Businesses Succeed.” Zippia, 2 Apr. 2023, https://www.zippia.com/advice/customer-service-statistics/.

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Unlock the secrets to hiring top-notch customer service talent! Learn strategies to build a winning team, create a positive work environment, and discover the qualities that make a great customer service representative. 

Do you believe excellent customer service starts with hiring the right people? If yes, then having the right team is the first step to delivering outstanding service at your business.

But how do you find the best customer service talents, and more importantly, how can you be sure they’re the right fit for representing your brand and serving your customers effectively? Let’s explore this in detail in this article.

 

Challenges and Hiring Pains in Customer Service 

Customer service is the backbone of business success. It’s the vital connection between a company and its customers. Good customer service builds trust, loyalty, and positive experiences, leading to business growth and success.

In fact, in customer service, 91 percent of customers might switch companies after just one bad experience.¹ But, 80 percent can forgive a company’s mistake if they receive excellent service.² What do these statistics indicate? These numbers suggest that customers have high expectations for service quality and are intolerant of poor experiences.

Finding good customer service talent is no simple task. Companies often want to fill a position without finding the right person. Sometimes, even if someone has the right qualifications, they might not have the right attitude and mindset to align with your team and meet your business goals.

 

Hiring Strategies for Call Center Agents 

You can apply call center hiring strategies throughout every phase of the recruitment process. Here are some guidelines for creating a pool of potential agents.

 

Pay Attention to Building Your Employer Brand

Employee branding is about how a company is perceived as an employer. It’s about how you present the organization to potential candidates, emphasizing unique cultural aspects. It defines the company’s identity, its uniqueness, and what it stands for.

A strong employer brand signals that your company is a great workplace, benefiting your recruitment, employee engagement, and retention. When done effectively, it generates positive word-of-mouth, attracting motivated candidates and satisfied employees.

They can tell others about their positive experiences, spreading the word to potential hires, clients, customers, and stakeholders, which helps strengthen the employer brand.

Additionally, a strong employer brand makes it easier to attract top talent. Ensure your company’s website and social media channels emphasize the benefits of working with you and showcase the company’s culture and initiatives.

Related Reading: Quality at Scale: Everything You Need to Know About Salem Solutions’ High-Volume Call Center Staffing Solutions 

 

Seek Advice from Existing Agents

You might often wonder where to find new agents. The current staff is an excellent source of advice and offers a valuable source of information.

Ask them about what qualities they would seek if they were involved in the recruiting process. This approach allows you to understand their perspective, fostering engagement by involving them in business activities.

Existing agents are also well-acquainted with the job requirements and can assist in pre-screening candidates. If potential candidates have questions, they can also talk to existing employees for more insights into the position and team.

 

Establish an Employee Referral Program

Many employees might already have network contacts who could help fill vacant positions. An effective employee referral program can further encourage more employees to recommend top candidates.

Consider providing referral rewards to motivate people to share the opportunity, making it one of the most effective call center recruitment strategies. Great people tend to associate themselves with other skilled experts.

 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Several organizations recognize the importance of implementing DEI practices and actively work towards creating an inclusive work environment. However, many organizations still have a lot of progress to make.

It’s also widely understood that a workplace with cultural diversity drives innovation, fosters creativity, and increases business profitability.

DEI efforts ensure that the call center agents mirror the diverse customer base. Having representatives from various backgrounds helps understand and address customers’ diverse needs and preferences.

A diverse team also brings together individuals with different perspectives, experiences, and problem-solving approaches. This diversity allows teams to come up with more creative solutions and strategies for addressing customer issues.

Organizations prioritizing DEI in their call center hiring practices project a positive and inclusive image. This can enhance the company’s reputation and attractiveness to both customers and potential employees.

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI technology is applied for candidate sourcing, resume review, and interview scheduling tasks. Certain platforms utilize AI to analyze responses to written interview questions by learning from the data and employing algorithms to advance candidates who best fit the criteria.

You can use AI for job recommendations on career sites, candidate matching, suggesting job descriptions, automated messages for candidate screening, and scoring candidate engagement. AI also shows significant potential for eliminating bias from resumes, as AI-powered writing tools can substitute biased or gendered language.

For instance, Nowsta is an HR technology platform designed for companies to discover, recruit, oversee, and analyze their workforce. The platform utilizes AI-driven analytics to assist clients in recognizing patterns, such as high turnover rates in particular departments.

This enables organizations to identify and address underlying causes while implementing retention strategies swiftly. Additionally, Nowsta offers an AI-powered scheduling solution, providing accurate staffing predictions and personalized scheduling options based on employee preferences or performance.

Related Reading: How AI Can Improve Your Call Center Performance 

 

Interact with Job Seekers as You Would with Customers

When meeting applicants in person, over the phone, or through video, the impression they get of your brand is important. You should focus on the job and make candidates excited about connecting with the management team. A great strategy in hiring, especially for call centers, is treating interviewees just like you treat customers.

To do this, be respectful of their time, show up on time for interviews, create a friendly atmosphere, and strive to make a positive first impression as the first person they encounter from the company. Lastly, ensure accessibility by providing precise contact details so candidates can reach out with questions at any time during the hiring process.

Related Reading: The Importance of Relationship-Building for Call Centers 

 

Ensure Well-Defined Roles and Responsibilities

Before advertising a job, the organization must know the necessary qualifications and other job details. In the interview, provide fundamental information about the job, covering aspects such as salary, working hours, dress code, days off, vacation leave, and more.

Clearly communicate the company’s expectations and include a standard workday and workweek. Discuss considerations like holiday work and training attendance. Lastly, address interviewees’ inquiries regarding the company and the specific job. Strive to offer a comprehensive understanding of your expectations.

 

The Ideal Candidate Profile for Customer Service 

Sometimes, we get too focused on finding the “perfect” candidate. But the truth is, it’s almost impossible to find someone ideal because they might be working elsewhere, and you can’t fully know them just from their resume and interview.

The good thing is you don’t need perfection. The key is understanding what to seek in potential candidates and keeping that in mind during interviews. Here are some handy tips to help you along the way.

Related Reading: 6 Qualities That Make a Great Call Center Agent 

 

Great Communicators

Customer service revolves around people and involves creating positive personal connections during daily customer interactions. In customer-focused roles, outstanding communication skills are essential. Effective communication fosters stronger relationships and instills trust, contributing to customer satisfaction.

 

Good Listeners

In customer service, being an excellent listener is an essential skill that’s vital for understanding customers’ needs, wants, and concerns, especially when interacting with upset customers. A skilled listener can pose the appropriate questions to grasp the real issue causing customer frustration and enhance a customer’s overall experience by providing the best solution.

 

Excels in Collaborative Teamwork

Providing service to customers, particularly in large organizations, necessitates successful teamwork. Individuals who are team players will quickly establish strong connections with all team members and feel at ease working collaboratively with colleagues, management, and even customers in a shared environment.

 

Demonstrate Leadership Qualities

Leaders set positive examples for their teams and excel in problem-solving, taking responsibility, and making decisions. Leadership skills are essential in complex situations where customers expect someone to take charge and provide a prompt and effective solution.

 

Has the Right Mindset

To serve customers effectively, one must possess a service-oriented mindset. This involves being prepared to assist others and going above and beyond, creating genuinely positive and memorable customer experiences to ensure customer satisfaction.

 

Adopt Attitude-Driven Hiring Skills through Training 

Customer service representatives serve as your brand’s face, and they can either make or break your company’s reputation. Once identified and hired, investing effort in ongoing training is important. This ensures they possess a thorough understanding of your products or services and can adeptly serve customers with high professionalism.

Finding and training great customer service people gives your team an optimal chance for growth and success within your organization. This investment yields significant returns over time. Remember, individuals capable of delivering outstanding service foster customer loyalty, generate referrals and contribute to your business’s long-term success.

 

FIND GREAT-FIT CANDIDATES WITH SALEM SOLUTIONS

You’ve mastered the art of hiring customer service representatives; all that’s left is to start your search today with Salem Solutions. We specialize in recruiting for hard-to-fill positions and managing high-volume staffing needs. We also offer continuous HR support and talent management to guarantee our associates’ success.

Contact us today, and let’s build a resilient and high-performing call center team that thrives in the future.

 

References 

1 McCain, Abby. “30 Crucial Customer Service Statistics to Pay Attention to [2023]: How Businesses Succeed.” Zippia, https://www.zippia.com/advice/customer-service-statistics/.

2 Dencheva, Valentina. “Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors Based on Their Customer Service Experience Worldwide as of May 2022.” Statista, 8 May 2023, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1323488/consumer-behavior-customer-service-worldwide/.

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