Adaptation of contact center operators Part 1

What does the adaptation of operators and sales managers look like in a call center?

Adaptation of contact center operators Part 1

The purpose of the adaptation of operators from a business point of view: to reduce costs due to staff turnover and low-quality or insufficiently intensive work of managers. It has been observed that over 60% and 80% of the churn of hired salespeople occurs in the first week and the first 3-5 months of work, respectively. A complete and accurate calculation shows that the replacement of one employee in the region costs 40,000+ rubles, and in Moscow it is a multiple more.

Adaptation creates an amount of comfort and discomfort for the manager (this is important), in which he could calmly focus on working with clients, but at the same time not relax.

Important note! The process of adaptation of the operator must have an employee (Owner) responsible for its results. This employee is appointed by written order of the director. There is no responsible – the process (adaptation of the operator) does not work.

The article refers to the manager's tool

When does onboarding begin?

It is traditionally assumed that, ideally, onboarding begins on the first day a manager enters work. But what if a beginner sees incomprehensible rules of the game literally from the doorway? Situations “we gave you the wrong questionnaire, fill out another one” or “this is an old description of the motivation scheme, we haven’t done a new one yet, but we’ll show it that way” – and it’s not uncommon and a clear signal: “prepare to adapt to the mess.”

Likewise, when a company broadcasts values on social media in the form of “cheers, Friday,” it's hard to hope to recruit anyone other than those who want to sit in a chair until the weekend. And the person will come to the interview, already imagining something about “how it is accepted here”. When an organization demonstrates acceptable behavior by living examples, for a beginner it is equal to a command to action.

Friendship begins with a smile, and adaptation does not even begin with an interview, but from the first “point of contact” (viewing a vacancy by an applicant, a call from an HR manager).

Newbie Questions and Concerns

A good salesperson doesn't handle objections, he doesn't create them. Like a good salesperson, a good company works with the new employee's questions and concerns in advance. If fears are not eliminated, then they provoke excess stress in the beginner. And excess stress is bad for operator adaptation. And it’s bad for work, because it directly affects the effectiveness of training, productivity and labor productivity.

What are the concerns? Here is a sample list:

  • How will they treat me in an interview? Will I pass it?
  • Will I be deceived in the matter of wages?
  • What will be the working conditions?
  • How will my relationship with my future boss develop?
  • How will my colleagues receive me? What are these people?
  • I've never done this, what if I can't handle it? Will I succeed?
  • Can I earn enough?
  • Will I be able to prove myself so that I am noticed and given the opportunity to grow?
  • How will my work be evaluated? Will the assessment be fair?

If these issues are not worked out, the risk of losing a new applicant before graduation will increase (in practice, up to 2/3 of candidates are lost). The organization spends resources on attracting staff, but vacancies are not filled.

The right company strategy for the candidate

… is described by a very simple formula:

  • We are waiting for you
  • We appreciate and respect you
  • We will help you

But if you tell it to the applicant, he won't believe it. Beautiful and correct words mean nothing, deeds are needed. How to show respect for a person with deeds? Make the interaction simple and comfortable for the candidate to save his time.

Pre-interview pre-interview activities


An example of how they usually do it An example of how to improve
In a telephone interview, the applicant does not receive a response. Salary question example:

– What is your salary?

– It is in order to discuss this and other issues that I invite you to an interview.

Another problem:
— I want to get a job with you
— How did you find out about us?
(the company already wants to know something for itself from the applicant, but has not yet given him what he wants to know about the vacancy).

This is a common mistake, it ruins communication.

It’s better not to use the “drag to interview” approach and “sell the company” there. If you do not answer basic questions by phone, then it is unlikely to “sell” face-to-face – basic fears will not be removed.

– What is your salary?

Option 1:

– Right question! On average, our managers receive 21,000 rubles per month. But there are guys who overfulfill the plan, they get about 40,000 “clean” ones. [If you want, I will introduce you after the interview, they will tell you themselves]. How do you like this?

(Voice, of course, must be true numbers).

Option 2:
– On average, our managers receive 21,000 rubles per month. There are guys who overfulfill the plan, they get about 40,000 “clean” ones. But at the beginning it is better to focus on 21.000, I say right away so as not to misinform you. To what extent does this level of income suit you?

The question “How did you hear about us” is asked either at the end of the telephone interview (not at the beginning) or at the end of the interview, but before the applicant is informed of the decision on his candidacy.

Before the interview, the applicant receives an SMS in the spirit: “You have an interview at Buttercup at 16:00 on 06/21/16, address, phone” On the morning of the day the interview is scheduled for, the applicant receives an SMS that makes his life easier:

“Interview at Buttercup”. Good morning Alina. We are waiting for you today on 21.06.16 at 16:00 at our office at …. If there are difficulties with finding the building, call …, we will meet. GPS coordinates and hyperlink to directions. Head of Human Resources, Olga Sinitsyna”

The applicant has to look for an office Signposts to the office are located in prominent places from the bus stop directly to the gathering place for job seekers inside the office. There is a large sign with the name of the company on the building (not always possible, but one should try to place it).

I have seen a case where one in five applicants got lost on the 100-meter route between a bus stop and the office. The entrance to the building was not trivially located.

Uncomfortable sofas at reception Sell uncomfortable sofas and buy comfortable chairs (no wheels) with writing pads. If you need to fill out a questionnaire, it should be convenient for the applicant to do this. A common occurrence is the hunched back of newcomers filling out questionnaires, or their sitting with their backs to the front door.

Screening method – ROP / contact center manager personally fill out 10-12 questionnaires in a row at the place where applicants will do it. If convenient, then the place is suitable.

Overloaded questionnaires:

"Enter your passport details and previous jobs"

Extremely simplified questionnaire:

  • First and last name
  • contact number
  • Age
  • Citizenship,
  • Locality and street of residence
  • Consent to the processing of personal data

NOT included in the questionnaire:

  • Desired Schedule
  • Desired income level based on “hands-on” after taxes

This is discussed during negotiations with the candidate

Filling out the questionnaire should not take more than 60 seconds.

Additional information, for example, the preferred schedule, will be recorded by the recruiter on their letterhead. Passport data will be removed by the personnel department during registration (from there you can find out the date of birth, so that later you can congratulate on the holiday). Previous work experience is revealed orally, it needs to be talked about.

There is no “Gallery of Fame”, or it is sluggish. It is broadcast that the organization values people and their results:

At the reception or in the room where the interview is taking place, that is, in the direct line of sight of the candidate, there should be a “gallery of fame” – photos of the best employees.

But there are five subtleties:

  • Next to the photos and names of the “heroes” there should be short lists of their achievements
  • Photo captions should contain not only achievements, but also information about awards (bonus, additional paid leave, promotion, etc.)
  • Photos must be professional
  • Photo captions should be in large print: not all candidates have good eyesight.
  • The "Gallery of Fame" must be updated at least once a month, and the candidate must see the dates of achievements. That is, it should be clear that the gallery is “live”.

If all five of these requirements are not met at the same time, the gallery does not work very well or does not work.

You can replace the gallery with a TV screen and broadcast a presentation dedicated to the heroes there. The TV gives more flexibility for presenting information.

There is no information about the company in the place where the applicant is waiting for an invitation to an interview A “Company Book” is required, including at least the following sections (all are required):

  • About company. When founded, number of branches, location of head office, any information that can show the firm in a positive way, such as a list of industry awards received). Ideally, no more than 3 paragraphs, in total no more than 20 sentences (except for the list of regalia).
  • Interesting stories. Up to 2 pages in total (5-6 stories from the life of the company or the real practice of managers) – the applicant should not be bored while waiting for an interview.
  • Working conditions. Organizational structure, a short list of achievements of department heads, visual diagrams and photographs of the workplace, the process of working with clients, available shift schedules.
  • Education. The text of the interview with the current coach, including a brief biography of the coach. Purpose: to remove the classic question “do you have training?”. The total volume of the block is no more than 1 page.
  • Managers' income structure and payment procedure. Opportunities to increase your income. It is desirable to indicate additional benefits, for example, that if the pay date falls on a holiday or weekend, the company pays before the weekend.
  • Rules of behavior. Should be with explanations. For example, if it is written that in open space a mobile phone should be set to silent mode, it is necessary to explain why this is so: the turned on sound distracts colleagues (especially adult education – a ban is not enough, there should be an explanation).
  • Brief biography and professional achievements of the director
  • Interview with the CEO about the goals and objectives of the company, appeal to new employees.

Nothing else is needed in the book, the work and dining areas are shown on the tour of the company after a positive decision on the candidacy. Photos of a “friendly team” can have the opposite effect of the expected effect, emphasizing the applicant’s fears: “they have already formed a team, will they accept me into it.”

The format of the book is A4. Do not spare money on design and layout – the book should look "corporate".

Be sure to obtain the written consent of all employees mentioned in the book


Important! Safety instructions:


An example of how they usually do it An example of how to improve
There may be situations when the flow of applicants inside the office "intersects" with the "flow" of employees who resolve issues with the accounting and personnel departments. Possible "crossings" of flows should be eradicated. There should not be [even potentially] a situation when a newcomer hears and sees an interview before leaving, the stages of processing any personnel documents or the process of “showdowns” of an existing employee with accounting (for example, if something was “not additionally charged”)

With careful On closer examination, it usually turns out that this possibility exists almost everywhere, even with dedicated rooms for accounting and human resources: some conversations still tend to “flow into the corridors”, especially in small organizations.

The verification method is "mystery seeker". By the way, it's especially fun to stand next to the working operators in the smoking room – you can learn a lot of interesting things about the company without even entering the office. Therefore, the beginner's path should, if possible, be as far away from the smoking area as possible.


In the next part (onboarding agents), we will explain in more detail how to conduct an interview to quickly find the people you need.

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