As small businesses struggle to gain a competitive edge in today’s business world, business owners are turning to their customer service staff. By providing personal, hands-on attention to each of their customers, a small business can set themselves apart from local and even online competitors selling the same products or services.
According to research by Forrester, 56 percent of companies surveyed plan to attract new customers and retain existing ones by providing excellent customer service. This prioritization of customer service makes it more important than ever that small businesses attract the best call center workers to represent their business to the public. Once those good customer service representatives are chosen, small businesses must then find a way to keep them.
This isn’t as easy as it sounds. As Cloud-based call center software provider Five9 points out, call center turnover is a real problem for businesses today. Businesses are often limited to workers who live within a 20-mile radius, competing with all other businesses in the area for the friendliest, most reliable employees. Among those talented employees who live within 20 miles of a business are workers who cannot pass background or drug screenings, fail to grasp the concepts behind your particular business model, or generally emerge as unreliable or unable to interact properly with customers.
But Five9 has a solution for this challenge. According to the company, research has shown that allowing call center employees to take calls from home improves retention and increases employee productivity. Here are a few reasons you should consider making the switch to home-based call center employees.
- Attract better employees. Allowing call centers to work from home removes the 20-mile barrier from your business. In fact, you could utilize call center employees who work across the country. By removing location as a criteria, you’ll open up the pool of candidates, allowing you to be more selective in the workers you choose.
- Gain edge over competition. JetBlue allows its call center employees to work from home, while competing airlines do not. If you were a call center worker with experience in the airline industry, which call center job would you choose? Since working from home is considered a “job perk,” you’ll have a leg up on the competition when it comes to attracting the best workers, positioning you to win customers away from those other companies.
- Improve employee retention. Good call center workers could easily be lured away by larger businesses who are able to offer better salaries and benefits. Working from home is one of those benefits and, by offering your employees the chance to save on daily commutes and work in their PJs, you may be able to improve the odds of keeping those employees long-term.
- Save money. As your small business grows, chances are you won’t have the space to house extra employees. Each worker who utilizes a home office saves your business money on office space and utilities. It’s also a perk for those workers in that they won’t have to buy clothes for work or pay for commuting costs to get to your building each day.
Cloud-based call center software makes it easy for small businesses to hire call center workers without regard to location, offering them perks that competitors aren’t offering. For more information on how Five9 can help automate your call center, streamlining operations and automating staff scheduling, visit Five9′s website.