Could it work for your organisation?
One of the biggest problems suffered by call centres today is in the high staff turnover, a survey from 2011 found that:
‘The mean annual attrition rate for UK contact centre agents rose to 21% in 2011, from a 6-year low of 16% in 2010, a year-on-year increase of 31%.’
The UK Contact Centre HR & Operational Benchmarking Survey (1st edition 2011)
Commenting on his report Mr Morel suggested part of the high attrition rate can be deduced from an ‘improvement in the economy’ and ‘new opportunities appearing’. Although much call centre work can be classified as simple and repetitive this is not true for more complex customer relationship building work. These more complex roles require a significant amount of investment and time to train new staff so hiring through mass recruitment is not an easy option. One often overlooked consequence of high attrition rate is that it can be seen as a sign of instability within your company. Regardless of whether you are trying to impress shareholders or sell your call centre service to a new client – high staff turnover will impede the growth of your business.
In our previous post, (here) dancing lion identified that attrition in staff is a natural by product of an improving economy. However the Jabbro GenM report 2013 suggest that over 25% of staff surveyed would leave their current job because of the lack of flexible hours. One of the most effective way ways contact centre managers can shore up a high attrition rate is to home-source or home-shore, disintegrating call centres and moving work to agents home thus providing a flexible working environment.
As far back in 1992 British Telecom Inverness Experiment put into practice of home-sourcing and found:
- Phone Home:Reduced absenteeism: 3.1% compared with the UK average of 8.5%.
- Staff satisfaction: BT’s workforce is 7% happier than the UK average.
- Time savings associated with travel: 1800 people years of time saved in travel in one year alone.
- Reduced costs associated with travel: Savings of £9.7m per year.
- Savings on property costs: £220 million over 10 years.
- Improved staff retention: 96% of women return to BT after maternity leave.
Millard. N, The Rise of the Homeshored Contact Centre Advisor, 2009
Within the environmentally conscious business world today home-sourcing also provides an effective way of reducing a company’s carbon foot print.
The Inverness experiment found that the cost of setting up each agent with the equipment to work from home came to £11,000 making it an unsustainable alternative to call centre in 1992 however broad band prices have come down dramatically, with over 80% of Britain having access to broadband (ONS, Internet Access – Households and Individuals, 2012) so the idea of home sourcing has once again become affordable and attainable. Furthermore with improvement in IP (Internet Protocol) technology and the rise of cloud based computing setting up a home shore agent is now more simple than ever. Perhaps it time for you to discuss the benefits of homeshore contact centre with us at dancing lion.
Have you had any experience with home-sourcing/home-shoring? Did you find the experience positive or negative? Please share your experience with us below.