Talent Capabilities Assessment
Many world-class First Call Resolution performing contact centers do talent capability assessments from the agent to the SVP level. Their general belief is that the contact center needs to develop and nurture its employees. In addition, world-class First Call Resolution (FCR) performing contact centers want to ensure a continuing sequence of qualified agents capable of advancing to supervisor levels.
In fact, most supervisors come from the agent ranks. They also want to make sure they have qualified supervisors and managers to move up and take over when the current generation of managers and key people retire or move on. SQM’s experience has shown that succession planning is much more important than the actual time contact center management devotes towards these efforts.
World-class FCR contact centers meet at least once a year to discuss the talent capabilities of their employees. The talent capabilities assessment for world-class FCR performing contact centers includes a Voice of the Customer (VoC) call resolution assessment of agent and supervisor performance.
If there are certain call types or lines of business in which agents are under-performing, they are identified, and action plans are developed to rectify the agent under-performance. These contact centers also conduct VoC and call resolution talent capabilities assessments at the supervisor level.
The VoC call resolution supervisor assessments are critical because supervisors coach and motivate agents to improve or maintain call resolution. As well, they are the ones going into management positions. Arguably, the supervisor position is one of the most important positions in the contact center. SQM’s Esat research shows that world-class FCR performing contact center supervisors are viewed by their agents as great VoC coaches.
Clearly, world-class FCR performing contact center managers understand that FCR success is highly correlated to having very talented supervisors. Therefore, talent capability assessments should be designed to improve customer service, FCR and provide the following benefits:
- Effective at understanding the knowledge, skills, and abilities from the agent to SVP level
- Talent capability assessments and the succession planning process assist in improving FCR and call resolution performance
- Assist in the hiring process to identifying shortfalls in the current talent pool
Succession planning should be part of a contact center’s strategic plan and objective (e.g., a world-class VoC FCR performer). A strategic plan and objective based on being a world-class VoC FCR performer require developing and filling positions at all levels with customer-centric people.
This is especially important at the senior levels in the contact center. Most SQM’s clients have talent capability assessments and succession planning at the manager to the SVP levels. However, very few do so at the agent and supervisor levels. At a minimum, succession planning should be at the supervisor level.
There should be enough time to groom successors and a realistic timeline given to employees for career advancement opportunities. Unfortunately, many employees believe that the timeline and opportunities for career advancement are unrealistic. Also, potential successors should be designated early on in the succession planning process.
Doing this will help employee development and eliminate disappointment and departure from the contact center or organization because they were not informed or groomed for career advancement opportunities. Succession planning should be designed to improve customer service and FCR and to provide the following benefits:
- Ensures a continuing sequence of qualified employees for career advancements
- A process that identifies employees who should be targeted for succession planning
- A formal written plan for identified succession employees
- Develops employees who are FCR and call resolution focused for career advancement positions
- Increases the quality and frequency of individual career advancement and performance discussions
- Increases the bench strength for critical positions
- Improves FCR, customer satisfaction, and employee retention