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Harnessing Selection Science to Optimize Call Center Hiring

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Call centers are attracting more attention from customers to company executives—and deservedly so. Without question, the call center—whether inbound or outbound—has a direct impact on a company’s brand, reputation and customer experience due to the frequency and nature of these customer touch-points. The link to a company’s market performance and shareholder value is validated by a recent study led by the NationalQuality Research Center at the University of Michigan. The study showed that a portfolio of companies deemed to be high customer-satisfaction companies outperformed the major stock indices as follows: the DJIA by 93 percent, the S&P 500 by 201 percent and the NASDAQ by 335 percent over a six-year period.

Just as front-line call center representatives are highly influential in forming lasting, positive impressions of a company, high call center representative turnover rates significantly damage a company’s ability to maintain service levels and create a positive customer experience. One recent study indicates that call centers with 10 percent or less annual turnover have customer satisfac­tion ratings of 73 percent while those with turnover over 30 percent have ratings of 56 percent. When the exorbitant costs of hiring, training and lost productivity are added to the mix, it is easy to see why call center representative turnover is high on the priority list of many of today’s customer-focused companies.

A call center’s selection and hiring process should address the root causes of turnover by answering questions such as: Are the call center representatives a good fit for the job? How well will they perform? How long will they stay? Companies that do not utilize selection science and data-driven metrics to answer these questions frequently find themselves plagued by high call center representative turnover rates and suboptimal performance levels from their population of call center representatives.

This white paper explores the challenges of traditional call center hiring—as well as how these challenges impact your company. The paper will also explain the key advantages of implementing a hiring management process that is driven by selection science.