Sudale Search & Select

Attracting Customer Service Advisors in a crowded market!

Hiring and retention go hand in hand. You see a mass exodus from a business, and it automatically seen as a less attractive proposition, in the same way you see a bunch of happy employees who clearly love what they do, and that business becomes immensely more attractive. (Side note here, this isn’t as easy as forcing your employees to write you good reviews, you must work at it. When you incentivise these it is both naff and obvious :/)

Customer Service Advisors are more difficult than ever to pin down and, by the very nature of their job, you need of them! Having a large and happy workforce puts you in a great position to have your employees market your business for you, but you need to make sure they are happy, or this may backfire! It is not always as simple as just increasing the salary and this may have little to no impact at all, if other things are not managed well.

So, what makes Employers attractive right now?

Clear Internal Progression Within the Contact Centre.
Tom Fleming, Head of Customer Service, Mountain Warehouse, implemented a new development programme to showcase the pathways and expectations at each level from Advisor to Manager level. This was then used to support each role and individual development needs. This was used by Team Leaders and Managers to deliver stronger, more consistent 121s and PDPs. This process has had a hugely positive impact on staff attrition, CSAT and Trust Pilot scores within the company.


Internal Mobility.
The ability to have exposure to different areas within a business is an attractive concept for prospective employees. Don’t be afraid to move people in your Contact Centre  to areas such as CX, L&D, HR, Recruitment. Then not only shout about it internally to motivate your staff but write it down and share it! A customer I worked in volume with, had an amazing secondment programme – staff absolutely loved it, and this were included as part of the interview programme!


Recruit with less haste and more speed!
Make the interview process both fun and challenging. Have exercises which allow the interviewee to show potential, not what someone has necessarily done before. Include a real-life query that your contact centre gets and see how they can answer it (most interviews are being performed remotely. Teams/ Zoom allows you to complete this in real time, in a real “live chat” setting – use it)


Improve Your Offering
Increase your packages in line with market conditions, but only when the external salary on offer is the one you can offer to your internal teams. Disparity breeds animosity, and those who are your biggest allies can be the biggest pains.

It is important to note here that it’s not always about money even though in these tough times everyone is looking for more to have better financial security, people want to connect with the brands values & ethos. What they are working for is just as important as to who they will be working for. Feeling that they can make a holistic difference that matches their values, not just a financial value-add difference, impacts their decision making. People’s views on “value” has drastically changed in today’s market.


Build a Support Network for your People.
Nothing promotes more loyalty than when you support people through their toughest times, coach line managers on best practices but, most importantly, human empathy. This will have a hugely positive effect on your employee’s general happiness.


Collaborative Interview Process
During your interview process let people meet your current agents – the ones who have worked there for years and want to stay on the phones, the ones hungry for development, those who are on track for management. It will give the interviewee a clear idea of what the business is like and allow them to see the full career potential.


Look at your working model.
Some people love hybrid working, some would prefer 100% office based and some would prefer 100% remote.  Whatever your policy is, don’t force it on all of your employees. Having a flexible model will make your proposition more attractive to most of the market.


Can you help with transport costs?
I have seen businesses do this by promoting internal carpools etc., which is of zero cost to the business but helps share a rising cost. It also really assists those who cannot drive or don’t have access to a car. This might be a great way to stand out from the competition.


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