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Reducing new hire costs: increasing speed to competency with innovative "Jump Start" program.

SITUATION:

Agent Attrition Strains Financial and Human Resources

Even with best-in-class agent attrition rates, attrition still costs Center Partners hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Mitigating those costs is a high priority, because it allows us to reduce the training time necessary to bring agents up to full production and pass the savings on to our clients. In a recent example, one of Center Partners' clients reported that new agents required five weeks of training and two weeks of nesting. Despite this extensive training, many remained unsure of their skills. Their lack of confidence translated into long hold times, longer call-handling times, and lower quality scores during the 12-week ramp period.

RESOLUTION:

"Jump Start" -- A Learning and Development Partnership

Center Partners' adult learning experts partnered with the client's training teams to redesign the Learning and Development program. Agents-in-training were required to complete a three-week fundamentals class, followed by Jump Start--a mentoring program with a ratio of one coach to four new agents. This innovative and practical program brought new-hire quality and performance up to new levels by including the following elements:

* In an orientation session, new agents learned what to expect in a call center environment and reviewed processes, procedures, call flows, and scripts.

* A one-hour training session began the first six days of production, refreshing the group's product knowledge and system navigation information.

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* The mentor monitored quality and gave feedback directly to the agent three times each day.

* The first six days of production concluded with a debriefing workshop, which gave agents an opportunity to discuss issues that had arisen and to brainstorm with their new-hire team on ways to handle unusual call situations.

OUTCOMES:

Reduced Time to Competency

Jump Start helped new employees understand their personal contribution to the client's overall strategy to deliver excellent customer service. The program reduced time to new-hire competency from 12 weeks to seven, by helping agents make the transition from training class to call production with more confidence. The improved new-agent performance more than offset the additional resources required to provide additional mentoring and coaching during Jump Start.

Center Partners developed the Jump Start program in partnership with the client, exchanging information and retooling the original training program. As this client discovered, Center Partners welcomes the opportunity to serve as an extension of each client's organization--partnering to improve business results.

NEXT STEPS:

Learn more about Center Partners' innovative programs.

Call 1-800-519-3532 x8451 or visit www.centerpartners.com

RELATED ARTICLE: Key Benefits of Jump Start

* Average call handling time reduced by 10%

* Average on-hold time reduced by 7%

* Quality scores improved from 87 to 94 points

* Reduced early-tenure attrition

* Reduced cost-to-serve by reducing time-to-competency by 30%

by Martha Lanaghen, Center Partners, Inc.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Case Study
Author:Lanaghen, Martha
Publication:Customer Interaction Solutions
Article Type:Advertisement
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2004
Words:452
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