Call Center Hiring Featured Article

Three Highlights from Contact Center Decision Makers' Study

March 03, 2011
  By David Sims, Call Center Hiring Contributing Editor

ContactBabel (News - Alert), a UK-based analyst firm covering the call center industry, has released their 2011 US Contact Center Decision Makers’ Guide (2011 Guide) sponsored by FurstPerson.

The report covers topics focused on people, process, and technology, based on interviews with 209 contact centers across a broad number of industry groups and agent size studying “how your peers view the industry, their performance metrics, and how they view the industry’s future,” according to the study’s authors. 

Following are excerpts from three areas highlighted by the study:

The home agent model. This continues to draw significant interest from call center operators. The attractive economics, labor pool benefits, and political benefits are driving more and more contact centers to establish a home agent model.

ContactBabel asked decision makers to think about the contact center in five years. One question asked the respondents whether agents will still be centrally located or will they be working from home or spread throughout the company. Fully 60 percent of the respondents believe that agents will not, in fact, be centrally located, but will be working from home or spread out in the company, reinforcing the interest in the home agent model.

This can be via either the hub model, where home agents work near or around the contact center but usually are within a pre-determined driving distance, or the virtual model where the contact center hires agents “virtually” far beyond the labor pool constraints of a hub model.

Modeling success on the job. The ContactBabel Guide also discusses the most important attributes of a successful contact center agent, again based on feedback from the survey respondents. Of all respondents, 88 percent said that agents must access more than one application and 60 percent have to access more than 3 applications in order to manage a call. For the new hire, being able to multi-task is an important attribute to job success.

Effective hiring tools. When an organization builds the hiring process, the effort to link the hiring tools to the competency model is critical. The face-to-face interview was consistently rated as the most effective hiring tool according to the respondents. Taking the time to conduct an empirically based job analysis and then matching the right hiring tools to evaluate job candidates enables the organization to select talent based on real performance drivers.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Chris DiMarco