Agent Management – Single Skill or Multi Skill? The ongoing debate

December, 2014

We all know that agent turnover is high in call centers. Is multi media providing a solution to this problem?

Agent management

Call centers suffer a notoriously high rate of turnover; this is not news to anyone in the industry. The cost of recruitment, followed by investment in training adds up to an expensive pastime if the assets just keep walking out the door.

So, how to reduce this drain?

Ask yourself this, “Do I want to do the same thing all day, every day?” Any poll result on that question would deliver a resounding “NO!” So, why do we expect call center agents to put up with such tedium? Their misery doesn’t stop there; we apply all sorts of targets they have to achieve in order to be classed as ‘good’ in their boring roles. Of course we aren’t really like that; we provide an occasional team briefing and run periodic incentive schemes that encourage better performance. Joking aside, we know we are far more sophisticated in our recruitment and training processes these days, but staff turnover continues to be high.

Hail the arrival of multimedia. People’s need to communicate using methods that suit them at any time they want, can bring system headaches but also provides a potential cure to short agent tenure. For example, training agents on how to handle emails and chat sessions increases their skill set and alleviates the monotony of handling voice calls. Also, having the system flexibility to switch agents between different functions as queue demands dictate, can further increase variety and keep job appeal high. Having teams of agents whose natural characteristics not only complement each other but where the individuals are multi skilled and are empowered to handle different types of tasks, goes a long way to building loyalty.

However, be mindful of different people’s abilities. An agent with a wonderful telephone manner may be weak at written skills. Remember, it is the company’s reputation that could be affected if apostrophes go astray or decimal points are left to guess work. Building a team of multi skilled agents doesn’t happen by chance, it takes more effort and investment. But the rewards could pay off handsomely as morale increases, agents enjoy their work and the exit door is used less.

A quote from ‘Anonymous’, sums up this dilemma; “CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?” CEO: “What happens if we don’t and they stay?”

What We Offer

Sytel Limited develops and supplies Softdial Contact Center® (SCC), offering multimedia, multichannel, fully blended cloud contact center solutions, for quick and easy deployment by partners offering CCaaS or enterprise users. All Sytel cloud components are secure, resilient and scale seamlessly from 10 agents to 10,000+, whether local, mobile or remote.

  • Flexible Contact Center Platform

    Softdial Contact Center™ – tightly integrated modules, designed to deliver at scale

  • Blended Media Desktop

    Fully customisable, multi-channel, multi-session workspace

  • Work Anywhere

    Browser-based tools, no software installation required

  • Cloud Or On-Premise, Multi-Tenant

    Scalable, resilient, secure, proven

  • Customise, Localise, White Label

    Design all user interfaces to individual requirements

  • Integration Via APIs

    ‘Swap out’ components and integrate with 3rd party apps

  • World Class Development

    Continuous evolution pushing technical boundaries


Softdial Contact Center™ (SCC) is designed to be flexible, extensible and scalable, integrating with any legacy equipment, and meeting the most complex of requirements.

  • All Media Types

    Voice, chat, email, social, etc – fully integrated and blended

  • Agent Multi-Tasking

    Work with multiple live contact sessions of any media type

  • Dynamic Media Blending

    Automated, ‘best available’ decisions to blend and balance work load across all media types

  • Predictive Dialing

    Best-of-breed performance under compliance

  • Intelligent Routing

    Smart rules and ‘best-available’ decisions to drive great customer service

  • Agent Scripts

    Help agents achieve and maintain excellence

  • Voice and Screen Recording

    See and hear exactly how agents are interacting

  • Analytics and Data Feeds

    Measure and evaluate performance at every level

  • IVR, Bots & Conversational AI

    Design effective automated flows or integrate with 3rd party providers

  • Customer Journey Tracking

    Stored customer contact history, to aid routing and add context to conversations


A complete suite of tools, with unique flexibility to extend and swap out modules to deliver a tailored contact center solution for any environment

  • Softdial One™

    Highly flexible unified web UI for agents, supervisors and administrators

  • Softdial Scripter™

    Create complex process flow scripts for agents, IVR, chatbots and other applications

  • Sytel AI Dialer™

    Best-of-breed predictive dialing under any compliance rules

  • Softdial Pathfinder™

    Precise routing rules for ‘best available’ connection

  • Softdial Media Server™

    Core telephony functions to manage all inbound/ outbound SIP calls

  • Softdial Reporter™ 5

    Fully customisable performance stats, charts and reports, across all channels

  • Softdial Publisher™

    Comprehensive data output to build your own reports

  • Softdial Recording Monitor™

    Audio and screen recording of agent activity to ensure the highest standards

  • Softdial Campaign Manager™

    Comprehensive configuration and control for outbound campaigns

  • Softdial Repository™

    Central storage and configuration of common resources

  • Sytel Global Compliance™

    Flexible ‘no contact’ rules to protect contact center and consumer


Performance and efficiency for a wide range of business applications

  • Customer Service

    Connect quickly to well equipped agents

  • Sales & Telemarketing

    Maximise agent productivity with best-of-breed predictive dialing

  • Healthcare

    Secure, highly-configurable multichannel communications for excellence in patient care

  • Market Research

    Best-of-breed predictive dialing with CATI integration

  • Collections

    Automated inbound/ outbound blending integrated with any debt management app