Contact center agents make up the backbone of countless businesses’ customer support efforts. While many companies choose to outsource their call center operations, about 2.83 million people work in contact centers in the U.S. today!
With such a remarkable imprint on the U.S. labor market, it’s worth taking a closer look at the trends shaping contact center hiring in the U.S.
Below, we’ve outlined three key recent developments in U.S. contact center hiring.
The COVID-19 crisis completely altered the contact center landscape nationwide. While expansive office spaces were long the hallmark of a call center, the onset of the pandemic required call center agents to go remote. Though many call center agents have gone ‘back to the office’ in light of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, signs show that remote work will continue to be a major component of the contact center industry in years to come.
Workforce management software has a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3% in the U.S. and is expected to grow to $357 million by 2024. Experts believe that this staggering CAGR largely has to do with the growing popularity of workforce management software in small and mid-sized call centers.
Recruitment professionals focusing on hiring a high volume of call center agents must take extra care to understand the implications of the growing remote workforce within their industry, regardless of whether their particular company allows call center agents to work from home.
While remote work certainly has its perks, one pitfall is increased security risk. When contact center agents are able to work in their own homes, companies must take extra precautions to implement security measures that keep customer information safe.
Though increased security measures like VPNs and two-factor authentication are non-negotiables for contact centers that allow remote work, leaders of in-person call centers should also consider investing in increased security to stay aligned with industry standards.
When it comes to hiring call center agents, HR leaders must include background checks in their hiring process to meet SOC 2 security requirements. While all call centers should strive for the highest level of security, those handling sensitive customer information, particularly in the financial sector, will need to meet SOC 2 compliance to run daily operations.
HubSpot found that 33% of consumers reported that repeating the same issue to different contact center agents was the most frustrating part of seeking customer service. Because of this, in recent years contact centers have begun implementing software that enables omnichannel customer support. This means contact center agents can see all touchpoints, like emails, instant messages, and phone calls that have occurred with a single customer, in one place.
When investing in this sort of technology, it’s key that contact center organizations invest extra time in training employees in using omnichannel customer support software. Hiring professionals in the industry should prioritize job applicants with omnichannel support experience to lessen the burden on training teams.
Contact centers have undergone massive changes in light of the COVID-19 crisis and other market conditions, and these three trends will have impacts on the industry for years to come
If you and your team need extra support in creating an effective hiring funnel for contact center agents, be sure to request a demo of Fountain.