The Importance of Call Center Certification from a Former Call Center Agent
March 04, 2013
By Mae Kowalke
, TMCnet Contributor
With unemployment still an issue for many workers, it is tempting to forget the other side of the employment equation – retaining the top employee talent.
However, good talent makes the difference in most cases, and this is no exception with the call center. If anything, retaining experienced and effective agents is more crucial than with many other industries, as agents essentially are the public face for most organizations; the men and women who customers actually interact with when they have a question or concern and the most immediate and raw representation of a company and its brand.
That in mind, the Contact Center Association (CCA) revealed last week that it formed a strategic partnership with Contact Center Employer of Choice Certification (CCEOC) Inc. to offer choice certification to U.S.-based call centers. The certification shows that contact center managers know how to both take care of the customers and the agents in their call center that support them.
At its root, this move by the CCA affirms the importance of a good work environment for call centers agents, creating a framework to judge call center performance in supporting its agents and nurturing top talent.
Bottom line, it sends a clear signal that top talent matters.
"When you have a great work environment that inspires employees to perform their best every day, you create a more successful, profitable operation," said Jeff Doran in a recent article about the partnership, president of CCEOC.
For more than 10 years, CCEOC has been working with call centers to improve working conditions for agents, and Doran said that the results have definitely proven the value of creating the right environment for agents.
Contact centers certified by CCEOC have seen reductions in staff stress by up to 80 percent, he noted. Perhaps even more appealing to management, certified centers also have seen productivity improvements of up to 50 percent.
Image via Shutterstock
Contact centers that have already been certified by CCEOC include FedEx, HILTI North America, Scotiabank, AIR MILES, ING Direct, Roche Diagnostics and Davis + Henderson, among others.
That’s a big difference in productivity, and it highlights the importance of retaining good talent and creating a work environment that’s sane and effective.
As a former contact center agent myself, I can personally attest to the importance of good morale and a work environment that appropriately supports agents. It can be hard to work in a cubicle day in, day out, spending much of your time interacting with customers who have issues your company’s products or services.
Needless to say, it is important to be supported and treated as a person and not just a unit of human resource. And while creating much of that human connection during a call falls on the shoulders of the agent, creating that environment at the call center itself is largely the task of call center management.
So at the end of the day, the move by CCA is a welcome one, highlighting the importance of a high-functioning call or contact center and what exactly that means in practice.
To learn more about call center certification, click here.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo