Last month I found myself at a pretty engaging event with peers across several key verticals. Customer Contact Week (CCW) held an executive exchange which created an intimate environment to discuss innovation in delivering world-class service with speed and efficiency. The primary theme of the event is “What are you doing to improve your customer experience?”
Among the presentations and discussions, topics ranged from technology best practices, customer care improvements that increase your bottom line, AI and SMS texting for customer service, and optimizing digital efficiency.
But the discussions we had followed another train of thought. We asked attendees to think about where talent fits into their strategic vision. What we heard was an overwhelming consensus that as technology peels off layers of less complex calls, the ones that remain tend to be higher in complexity which is adding an unprecedented pressure on CX teams in terms of staffing and hiring.
Why aren’t more CX conversations about hiring?
Most CX leaders are challenged by the subject of hiring customer service talent because it’s daunting to talk about a problem when you don’t have a clear solution.
We talked about how there are many contributing factors that keep good companies from getting the best-suited talent to have the right conversation with their customers:
- Saturated markets
- Lots of jobs to choose from (historically low unemployment rates)
- A massive shift happening in the mindset of the workforce. People are choosing where, how, and when they want to work. Not just millennials. Everybody.
These conditions don’t have simple solutions. They require rethinking traditional call center and customer service operating models to give highly skilled workers the flexibility they want and help companies build immunities to hiring trends.
Are you seeing what we’re seeing?
In all honesty, as I met with person after person I couldn’t find a single one who could say they weren’t having a hard time finding the call center talent they need using traditional methods. It led me to wonder how other organizations are feeling about their ability to source other talent?
If you’re making progress in hiring, what is working best for you? How are you rethinking your talent acquisition and retention strategies? Have you tried a virtual or home-based agent model?
Let me know in the comments below!
Quick thanks to everyone at the CCW exchange who attended and participated in our talk. I hope you found it as valuable a discussion as we did.