5 Ways to Retain Advisors Using the Same Tools as Customer Retention


There are many similarities between retaining advisors and keeping customers, meaning you can often use the same tools to do both.

While they are often defined as two separate challenges, in practice, they are often reflected in one another.

With this is mind, Orit Avital, General Manager of Ottorita, introduces five common service tools that are often used by contact centres for customer retention, before discussing how each tool can also be used to help reduce advisor turnover.

1. Retention Is a Matter of Timing – Keeping a Strict Response Time

When service levels decrease, and the real-time screen starts flickering with warning lights, the entire management team on the floor goes into action mode.

In most contact centres, reducing long queue times for customers is primary to everything else. This is because long waits usually result in customer dissatisfaction and complaints from those who remained in the queue and did not abandon.

Long wait times = dissatisfied customers is an equation that is very clear to us all.

How Is This Related to Advisor Retention?

It is important to understand that this equation works for advisor queries as well. So, be sure to provide contact centre advisors with a response to their requests within a reasonable time. This of course refers to both personal and professional requests.

In order to retain an advisor and prevent dissatisfaction, which ultimately leads to abandonment, you must provide a quick and available managerial, personal and professional response.

Just as with customers, an advisor who feels that they have no professional response and that their requests are unattended will grow frustrated, and the chance of churn will grow.

Answer Advisor Requests Quickly

Define an internal objective, an Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the managerial team for handling advisors’ requests.

For example, for a personal vacation request, a Team Manager or a Contact Centre Manager must reply within 72 hours.

Once the handling of the advisors’ requests is regulated and structured, it becomes easier to coordinate advisor expectations.

Once the handling of the advisors’ requests is regulated and structured, it becomes easier to coordinate advisor expectations.

Also, the wait will be perceived as shorter and the uncertainty therein will be reduced. Accordingly, retention rate will likely increase.

2. Retention Is Enabled When Customer Satisfaction Is High

A satisfied customer, that is the ultimate goal of every contact centre, and extensive effort is invested in the measurement and monitoring of customer satisfaction.

The abundance of possibilities for measuring satisfaction even includes innovative technologies for carrying out interactive and user-friendly satisfaction surveys through various media channels.

All of the possibilities are used for optimal reflection of customer satisfaction level.

How Is This Related to Advisor Retention?

The satisfaction of the contact centre team fluctuates exactly in the same manner as customer satisfaction. Therefore, measurement of customer satisfaction is carried out in many contact centres after every call.

The satisfaction of the contact centre team fluctuates exactly in the same manner as customer satisfaction.

Yet in a large number of contact centres, advisor satisfaction is only measured once a year, together with the entire organisation.

It is high time to take a different approach to this issue and to understand the importance of remaining attentive to advisors’ satisfaction.

Create Regular Employee Surveys Using Your Customer Survey Tools

Take the technology you use for customer satisfaction measurement and create a satisfaction survey for advisors at predefined intervals.

Try carrying out a satisfaction survey using a non-calendar segmentation – as is done in many modern contact centres. Instead, use satisfaction surveys for advisors in accordance with their tenure, e.g after each three months of working.

In addition to the value of the survey results for advisor retention, carrying out such a survey in the contact centre constitutes a significant message to the entire team. This is the message that: “We care how you feel, we care about your situation, and we are putting in effort for the benefit of your retention at every stage.”

Find out how to create a metric for advisor satisfaction in our article: How to Calculate an Employee Net Promoter Score

3. Distinct Retention Is Carried Out at the Complaint Crossroads – Address Complaints Thoroughly

Complaining customers are our good customers. They provide us with an opportunity to correct our mistakes. When a customer makes a complaint, what needs to be done to ensure retention becomes clearer.

In order to create as many opportunities for retention as possible, many contact centres create varied channels for relaying complaints and are also meticulous in creating procedures for how to correctly handle a complaint.

Handling a complaint is usually done with transparency and in such a manner that the customer feels that their complaint is being taken seriously. The customer is treated with respect and a satisfactory solution is found for them, sometimes involving some sort of compensation.

How Is This Related to Advisor Retention?

Your advisors also complain; this is clear and natural. Do not forget that they too, like you, are customers. But in practice, in contrast to the methodical and serious manner in which customer complaints are handled, advisor complaints are usually handled on an informal level.

Yet there is room to create a structured process for handling advisor complaints in the same manner as customer complaints are handled.

Seriousness and affirming the importance of advisor retention at the complaint crossroads is significant and directly influences employee churn rates.

Create a Clear Platform for Advisors’ Complaints

Create a clear and convenient platform for forwarding advisors’ complaints in the contact centre and then make sure to inform the entire team of the process.

Ideally, the advisor’s complaints will first be forwarded to their direct manager. If this does not happen, it is important to check why. This could be another problem that needs to be addressed.

Ideally, the advisor’s complaints will first be forwarded to their direct manager. If this does not happen, it is important to check why.

Furthermore, define a responsible person to coordinate and thoroughly investigate the nature of the complaints. You will be surprised to find out how many things your advisors hold back because they are not provided with the appropriate platform to raise their complaints.

It may be little things that were not said until this platform was introduced, which possibly led to abandonment and could be solved with the necessary seriousness and promptness.

4. Retention Through Personalisation and Personal Tailoring – a Tailored Response Makes the Difference

One of the main trends integrated into service-providing organisations in recent years is personal service.

The guiding principle of this trend is that the organisation has varied customers with varying needs and preferences. Thus, personal adaptations are made for every customer in service offerings, promotions and benefits, as well as in the nature of care.

All of these contribute greatly to customer retention. The customer feels and understands that their needs are being noticed and that constant and ongoing effort is made to satisfy them personally. And that works!

How Is This Related to Advisor Retention?

Well, the guiding principle is identical. Despite the characteristics common to the entire team, we can find diversity in the characteristics of the team members in every contact centre.

The contact centre has advisors of different backgrounds, different sectors, different ages, different aspirations and preferences. Therefore, each advisor has different needs.

Retaining advisors through a personal managerial response adapted to them is a challenge, just as it is with customers, but it is worth the effort.

Sit With Your Team Leaders and Discuss Their Advisors

Warning! The following tool requires thorough acquaintance with your team and investment in the provision of personal care.

Firstly, sit with your team leaders and review the characteristics of their advisors with them. Then, for every advisor, ask the following three questions:

i. Where are they in terms of performance level?
ii. What is their level of satisfaction and what bothers them?
iii. What is important for them within the work at the contact centre?

This conversation can allow you to focus on the methods required for providing a tailored response for each individual advisor.

From here, get on your way and find solutions that can provide a response to the needs of the various advisors.

The managerial perception that requires the entire team to be a uniform workforce requiring an identical managerial response is no longer valid. Your advisors are not only a workforce, they are much more than that, and, in order to retain them, it is important to study in depth who they are and what is important to them and how, by implementing creative methods, you can satisfy them.

Also, it is important to remember that diversity in the managerial response does not indicate improper management! As long as it is carried out fairly, honestly and is consistent with the reciprocal relations between the advisor, their performance and satisfaction level – trust yourselves!

5. Retention Processes Are Proactive Processes – Be the Initiators, Always!

In recent years, many actions were integrated in many contact centres for the benefit of retaining customers.

Many companies do not wait any more for their customers to contact them in order to take care of them, but they create proactive communications and processes which originate in the contact centre. These communications are across multiple channels and remind the customer that they are important to the organisation.

Many companies do not wait any more for their customers to contact them in order to take care of them, but they create proactive communications and processes which originate in the contact centre.

There is an abundance of examples of that. For example, updating customers on new service processes and products, training and support tools, as well as greetings for personal occasions.

The initiated activity, if carried out properly, creates the “wow effect” and contributes to customer retention.

Initiated activity is actually preventive activity intended to maintain a high level of satisfaction and tighten the connection between the organisation’s customers and the organisation itself.

How Is This Related to Advisor Retention?

Do not wait for a complaint, an uprising or even a wave of abandonment to handle and examine the retention processes. Instead, provide the team with a working environment in which actions are carried out on a regular basis, for their retention and satisfaction.

Create a Plan for the Next Half Year

Schedule a managers’ meeting and sit with a calendar in order to prepare a proactive plan for the coming half year.

Mark various dates on which there are holidays, advisors’ birthdays, high and low times for the contact centre activity, and think in advance of creative ideas for marking these events in a fun and surprising manner.

For example, you could decorate the contact centre, offer holiday gifts, greeting cards, little presents, food, workshops, contact centre team-building activities, outings and so on.

Most importantly, try to be original. Granted, recurring initiatives are also important, but prove to your advisors that you invested thought in the creation of the unique twist for your contact centre!

In Summary

Orit Avital

Orit Avital

As a final recommendation, why not try putting together other tools which you use for customer retention and examining how they can be implemented for advisor retention processes.

Remember that there is a feedback relationship between customer retention and advisor retention, so take a look at your current processes to ensure that you are not missing a trick.

Be sure that the investment in customer retention is reflected in your ability to retain the company’s advisors, especially those who are so pivotal to your contact centre’s make-up.

Good luck!

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

Published On: 4th Jul 2018 - Last modified: 19th Jul 2018
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