BPO Needs to Attain Full Proficiency in 30 Days
High early-stage attrition poses a significant issue for the BPO industry as a whole. In an industry where client satisfaction and service quality are a must, the continuous loss of newly hired talent at the early stages of their employment can disrupt operations and lead to increased costs associated with recruitment and training.
The industry faces an average annual attrition rate of 30-35%, further emphasizing the urgency of addressing this challenge. In this case study, we delve into a critical challenge faced by a prominent BPO, as it navigated through the difficulties of talent acquisition and retention.
The Challenge: Talent Attrition and Misalignment
A significant challenge arose for this major BPO: the objective at hand was to recruit 200 proficient sales agents tasked with delivering impressive results within a tight 30-day timeframe, crucial to upholding stringent Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for the largest telecommunications company in the United States. However, the BPO found itself grappling with a persistent issue: early-stage attrition, which had affected the last three batches of new hires.
This issue came to light through insightful exit interviews, unveiling a substantial problem: a noticeable misalignment of expectations between the BPO and its incoming talent pool. This discrepancy was particularly evident concerning sales commission expectations and the perceived readiness of new hires for their actual roles. Adding complexity to the situation, the BPO was now faced with the financial responsibility of retraining these agents, intensifying the challenge.
The Action: Revamping Training and Screening Processes
The client strategically leveraged SymTrain to enhance their candidate screening and interview procedures by incorporating authentic content directly related to the tasks required for successful transaction closures. Furthermore, they effectively utilized recordings featuring their top-performing sales agents to refresh all training materials. These materials were then transformed into simulations meticulously crafted to drive successful deal closures in three steps:
- Following the initial resume screening, candidates progressed to a comprehensive phone screening conducted through SymTrain.
- During this stage, candidates participated in a SymTrain phone screen, which involved addressing three critical questions:
- What were your best sales conversion numbers from first call to close?
- In which role did you achieve these results?
- Can you role play and close this deal – Actual Sym closed by a Top-performing agent.
- Candidates’ eligibility for interview invitations was determined based on assessment of both completion and keyword scores.
Performance Based Assessment
- Following a successful interview, candidates actively engaged with SymTrain to explore innovative training technology and gain deeper insights into the position’s specific requirements.
- Candidates were presented with three essential role-play scenarios using SymTrain:
- Sales Offer Review
- Objection Handling and Probing
- Deal Closure
- Candidates’ performance was scored on the number of practice attempts, abandonment, and confidence.
- New Hires started running Syms as early as the second day of training versus the third week of nesting.
- Agents who were progressing faster were able to access new content quicker and run more Syms.
- Agents ran twice the number of SymTrain sessions originally assigned, completing training in 2 weeks instead of 3.
- By week 4, agents consistently met their sales goals.
- By week 5, the entire cohort outperformed the production floor’s average results from the previous 3 months.
The Outcome: A Substantial Reduction in New Hire Attrition
The BPO conducted interviews with a significantly larger pool of candidates, tripling their previous rate. This led to the recruitment of new hires who quickly grasped fundamental sales concepts within the first two days, a marked improvement from the previous pattern of struggling by the end of week two before implementing SymTrain.
The training program successfully managed to reduce a 12-day cycle to just 9 days. Notably, the organization experienced a substantial reduction in the attrition rate, with only 8% of new hires leaving within the first 90 days, compared to the 35% attrition rate observed in the first 90 days of the prior three cohorts.
As a result of meeting SLAs, the client decided to extend their contract and anticipated a reduction cost totaling $1,275,000.
One of the trainees, when inquired about their interaction with the pre-hire simulator, shared valuable feedback, stating:
“I have never seen anything like that, and I even showed a few friends what I was doing for my interviews. Two of them want to apply for the next class. If I had to encapsulate the experience, it was straightforward, purposeful, and highly effective.”