One of the biggest challenges in call centers is to reduce the rate of absenteeism. The absence of agents is something that affects the whole business functioning as well as the services. Call centers handle some of the most critical business processes for their clients therefore they carry a lot of responsibilities. Excessive and regular absenteeism of agents could have a highly negative impact on the client process and hurt their business badly.
There are certain reasons and factors that result in the absence of agents. If these reasons are known in advance then contact centers can easily work upon them to increase the presence of agents in their delivery centers.
Here are some of the ways that could help you in dealing with absenteeism:-
Treat it as Priority: Most of the contact centers make the mistake of accepting absenteeism as an inevitable part of business which they have to live with. This type of attitude is never helpful and results in low rate of agent presence. Absenteeism should always be treated as business priority so that it is not taken for granted.
Evaluate the Reasons: There are certain trends and factors that are associated with absenteeism in every organization. You should try to understand the reasons for it and work upon them to achieve favorable results. You will find that there are certain stages in the job and certain times in a year when agents tend to take more leaves. If you could identify these things then you can easily work upon them and minimize the problem.
Create a Policy Regarding Absenteeism: Organizations offering contact center solutions should create a policy that would govern all the matters of absenteeism. This policy should consider all the aspects and should be fair for all the involved parties. Further, you should follow this policy strictly as there is no point in having a policy if it is not implemented properly.
Return-to-Work Interviews: It is advised that you conduct a return to work interview when an agent returns back from leave. This interview would help you in understanding the problems and reasons for absence at a very early stage. Be supportive to the agent and check whether they are fit enough to be at work. Update them regarding any new developments in the work. You should also check for any disability and whether the rules of Disability Discrimination ACT 1995 are applicable for the agent.
Flexible Schedules: Agent absenteeism can be easily reduced by implementing flexible schedules for agents. Shift swaps could be used by agents in case they have some important work at the time of their assigned shift. They could also be allowed to start their shift a few hours early or late in order to match it with their important personal work.
Create a Healthy Work Environment: The biggest reason for agent absenteeism is that they are not happy with the working environment provided by the company. Call centers should try to create a nice working place for their agents where they would like to spend time. Keep their work place hygienic and clean. Also provide them a nice eating place where they could spend their lunch time and spare time. Try to include some entertainment spots too where they can enjoy a little bit.
The above tips would help call centers in reducing the rate of absenteeism and eventually enhance their performance. By achieving higher presence rate of agents, Bluechip Call Center can deliver better and more effective solutions to their clients.