Create a Contact Centre Orientation Plan to Reduce Attrition


In many organisations, the contact centre is viewed as a separate community. But when it comes to recruitment, the contact centre can learn from HR.

We know that the highest internal churn rates occur during an advisor’s induction, onboarding and adjustment stage. However, if you have an orientation plan in place, like many HR departments do, you can help retain advisors for longer.

With this in mind, Orit Avital, General Manager at Ottorita, summarises the main principles of building an orientation plan which will help you to retain new advisors and more.

What Is an Orientation Plan?

An orientation plan is the general name for a clear, structured process that the advisor undergoes from the moment they enter the organisation until the end of their adjustment period.

An orientation plan is the general name for a clear, structured process that the advisor undergoes from the moment they enter the organisation until the end of their adjustment period.

It is intended to lead to a more pleasant induction process, which inspires a higher sense of certainty and security for the advisor.

The orientation plan should also promote the quick integration of the advisor within their role, the contact centre and the overall organisation.

What Are the Benefits of Having an Orientation Plan?

While this list could perhaps be extended further, here are the seven main benefits of creating an orientation plan.

1. Reduction of recruitment costs by reducing abandonment.

2. Acceleration of the recruitment and integration process of new advisors at the contact centre.

3. Reduction of the initial management resources invested in the advisor during the initial period of their work at the contact centre.

4. Optimal coordination of expectations with the advisor regarding their work and what is expected of them.

5. Building and strengthening a positive attitude with high satisfaction of the new advisor, right from the start of their employment.

6. Reduction of anxiety, stress and uncertainty among new advisors.

7. Institution of a structured, professional and sometimes progressive advisor training process.

An Orientation Plan Involves More Than Just a Welcome

It is true that the welcome created for a new recruit’s first day is very significant for later on. However, the essence of the plan does not end with the creation of a hearty welcome. This is an important and necessary activity in every organisation, but it is not the main thing.

The welcome created for a new recruit’s first day is very significant for later on. However, the essence of the plan does not end with the creation of a hearty welcome.

Having said that, why not try to include the most cheerful greeting when welcoming new advisors to the organisation?

In the context of the welcome, you could try out some of the activities listed below.

Activities for the First Day

While it is great to keep the first day light and breezy, to settle advisors into their roles, there are four key areas that should be covered. These are:

1. An Introduction to the Organisation – Its history, vision and guiding values, principal norms and the organisational structure.

2. An Introduction of the Contact Centre – The function of the contact centre in the company, the purpose of the contact centre, guiding values and important functionaries.

3. An Initial Introduction to the Significant Functionaries – Team Leaders, Senior Advisors and, of course, the Contact Centre Manager.

4. A Clear Job Definition – This should include the significance of the advisor’s role within the organisation and in the contact centre. Targets, objectives and responsibilities also need to be discussed.

Documents to Give to Advisors on Their First Day

Giving advisors the right information on the first day can help to improve their attitude towards the position.

Here are six ideas for documents that you can give new recruits on their first day, from important materials to more innovative suggestions.

1. A personal letter from the company’s CEO congratulating the advisor on joining the organisation.

2. A list of essential contact people – their full name, phone number and role in the organisation.

3. Required onboarding documents – together with an example of how to fill them in, if the documents are complex.

4. A document summarising the benefit package provided by the organisation to its employees.

5. A document telling of promotion opportunities, threshold conditions and the process of submitting candidacy to other positions.

6. Written information on important organisational codes and norms, such as – dress code, available functions at the organisation and manner of contacting them.

An Orientation Plan Is More Than Initial Induction Training

The orientation plan includes the initial training that advisors undergo before they start handling customer queries, but it does not end there.

A good orientation plan continues further beyond the initial training stage and includes activities of tightening the advisor’s connection with, their level of commitment to and their involvement in the contact centre, as well as the organisation beyond.

So, how can this be done? Here are some examples of activities that may tighten a new recruit’s bond with the contact centre, which can be included in the orientation plan.

1. A Defined Mentor

Assign a personal mentor out of the contact centre, with extensive tenure and high motivation. Such a mentor can be a very significant figure for a new advisor.

An assigned mentor – buddy – is the address for informal information in the organisation. A buddy is someone who can follow up on the integration of the advisor in the contact centre and also be there on a more personal level.

Also, first and foremost, buddies should be accessible to new advisors, who should feel comfortable to raise doubts, questions and concerns with them.

A mentor must also provide advisors with a personal response and share advice and best practices with new advisors.

For more on contact centre mentoring, read our article: How to Develop Coaches and Mentors in a Contact Centre

2. Satisfaction Surveys

Follow and measure the level of integration and satisfaction of new advisors.

Follow and measure the level of integration and satisfaction of new advisors in the contact centre during the orientation plan and the progress aftwewards.

Usually, satisfaction surveys are carried out annually and are taken by all an organisation’s employees in that time period. So, marketing, the design team, HR and so on will all complete the same survey, with the same generic questions.

However, the contact centre should regularly survey advisors, with the first in the integration period, as advisor surveys at this point will inform you how you can improve the onboarding process in the future.

3. Gamification

A lot of work processes aren’t always addressed in induction training, in an engaging way, at least. This is why it can be a good idea to include gamification in the contact centre’s orientation plan.

There are contact centres in which the training process is consistent with the development and progress rate of individual advisors. In others, the process is rigid and doesn’t take into account individual knowledge.

To avoid this, it’s important to track progress while using gamification processes, which help to make the learning easier, more enjoyable and effective.

Gamification, perhaps using an e-learning platform, can help to bring knowledge elements and processes to life, while also developing soft skills at this early stage of an advisor’s development.

Gamification, perhaps using an e-learning platform, can help to bring knowledge elements and processes to life, while also developing soft skills at this early stage of an advisor’s development. Motivational games can also be used once advisors have settled into their role.

4. Follow-up Meetings Along the Plan

Create regular meetings, according to predetermined intervals, for the entire adjustment period. This helps to examine the integration level of the new advisors into the contact centre. These meetings may be held in a group, if you recruited several advisors at the same time, or with individuals.

The follow-up meetings will provide you with information regarding the onboarding process and will continue to tighten the advisor’s integration in the contact centre and the organisation as a whole.

In Summary

An orientation plan is a structured organisational tool that has the end goal of retaining advisors. Along the way, it achieves other interim purposes, which can strengthen and empower the entire contact centre.

Orit Avital

Orit Avital

But before you start creating your orientation plan, don’t try to create the full and complex version right way.

Try, slowly, in every recruitment cycle, to integrate more elements. This will make the onboarding process more extensive and comprehensive and will serve a central need in the management of contact centres – advisor retention.

Good luck!

Thanks to Orit Avital at Ottorita for sharing this article with us.

Published On: 16th Jul 2018 - Last modified: 13th Feb 2019
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