The Great Resignation Solution BPOs and Call Centers Are Flocking To
Americans are quitting their jobs in record numbers. Many of those leaving are looking to change careers or find a higher-paying offer for the same position. The record-high numbers of workers changing jobs mean employers must pay workers more than ever to retain employees or on-board new hires, driving up costs in almost every industry, including customer service.
According to NPR and UC Berkeley, things won’t go back to the way they were either. If BPOs and businesses want to maintain KPIs like average handle time (AHT), first call resolution (FCR), and time to resolution with more customers calling in and fewer customer service representatives on phones they will either have to increase their hiring budgets or leverage new technology to automate the most common call types and customer inquiries and improve the agent experience.
This month, The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 4.3 million people, or 2.9% of the entire workforce, quit their jobs in August 2021. That record high rate of quits has been going up sharply since the beginning of 2021 and doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down. The number of employees quitting means workers have more leverage and are likely quitting to find jobs with higher pay. According to Ben Casselman, economics, business, and data reporter for the New York Times, workers without a college degree are driving the trend — a demographic critical to many call centers.
So far, the "Great Resignation" is mostly a blue-collar phenomenon -- job-to-job transitions for non-college grads are soaring. For college grads, they're just returning to pre-Covid levels. pic.twitter.com/A2zY6oO3QT— Ben Casselman (@bencasselman) October 19, 2021
Rate at which employees are voluntarily quitting (nationally)
Note: Seasonally adjusted
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics via FRED
Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed, told the Washington Post, “This really elevated rate of people quitting their job is a sign that workers have lots of confidence and they have relatively stronger bargaining positions than they’ve had in the past,” Bunker said. “There’s lots of demand, and people are seizing that opportunity and quitting their job.”
“There’s lots of demand, and people are seizing that opportunity and quitting their job.”
— Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed
The cost to fully employ an expert contact center full of trained representatives ready to handle any call and properly represent your brand is going up, and it won’t be going back down. NPR and UC Berkeley economist Ulrike Malmendier suggest the pandemic has permanently changed how these workers view their jobs. Reality on the ground seems to be confirming their hypothesis. According to reports from Customer Contact Central, “several call center outsourcing vendors have disclosed that training class show rates are down to 40%-50%, some as low as 20%.” BPOs and call centers will have to increase their wages or offer signing bonuses like Amazon’s recent $100 signing bonus for vaccinated new hires if they want to get CSRs in the building.
As more customers call contact centers and fewer agents are around to answer, the gap between contact center capacity and inbound call volume grows. The answer many BPOs are opting for are self-service solutions designed to automate their most common call types. According to Gartner, “Migrating Contact Volume From Assisted to Self-Service Channels” was one of the most important priorities for 80% of customer service leaders in 2021, followed closely by “Automating Customer Service Processes.” It makes sense. Automated solutions are both cost effective, and reduce the average handling time of inbound calls — both critical advantages in the modern market.
Sitting on top of traditional voice IVR systems, self-service tools like Visual IVR deliver engaging customer service to callers with common use cases, leaving the contact center agents still at work available to handle more complex, empathy-driven interactions where their human skills and expertise provide the most value.
25-40% of callers opt in to Visual IVR self-service when they are presented with the option. With impressive containment rates over 70%, a well designed and implemented Visual IVR solution helps businesses handle the same or greater call volumes with fewer new staff hires while improving their customers’ experiences and reducing customer effort for the most common, routine call types and customer inquiries.
Customers Are Calling and Self-Service is The Answer
Most contact centers see 80% of their calls and interactions caused by the same approximately 20% of query types. By innovating these critical use cases, executives can quickly relieve the pressure of the Great Resignation and deliver the digital customer service experiences today’s consumers crave. By automating where it’s needed and letting live agents handle the rest, customers and businesses stand to benefit and self-service deployment times can be reduced to a few weeks.
Solutions like Visual IVR are cost effective and quick to implement, making them the perfect digital self-service solution to adopt in reaction to the increasingly competitive hiring market modern contact centers are facing.
Contact center managers can now confidently alleviate the pressure of onboarding new agents, answer the surge of inbound calls, and improve customer experience by reducing average handling time all at the same time. Launch a Visual IVR solution in under 4 weeks to unlock the benefits modern self-service tools are providing to today’s contact centers.