The Customer Touchpoint
Hiring and retaining qualified staff in the right numbers can be perennial problems for those who own and manage catalog contact centers. With more and more emphasis on customer service as a competitive differentiator, finding and keeping the right staffers to deal with your customers is critical to cataloging success.
Unfortunately, there’s no single answer or approach that can work for everyone. But here’s a list of best practices and software solutions that may help.
Best Practices for the Hiring Process
• Pre-employment testing. This can predict how an individual will react in certain situations and his or her style of relating to others. It also can help you evaluate the applicant’s core values. All of these can indicate how an individual will fit into your organization.
In addition, some HR managers have developed a profile of the type of contact center employee that succeeds in their companies and seek to find applicants with those same characteristics and profile.
• Employee referrals. Use an incentive-based referral program in which some form of compensation is given to employees for referrals that result in successful hires. For example, some companies give employees a bonus of $50 to $100 if someone they refer as a potential employee is hired and stays through the season.
• Advertising. Radio and Internet ads, job fairs and festivals, promotions at sporting events, brochures and flyers, and job ads at community colleges are among effective recruitment tactics to try.
• Expand the potential labor pool. Look beyond the obvious applicant base to consider the following: retirees, college students, staff of competitors, employees of companies that have announced cutbacks, last year’s temporary staff at your own catalog, disabled and handicapped individuals, and, of course, outside agencies.
Best Practices for Employee Retention
After the hiring process is complete, the next important facet is retaining those contact center staffers: