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MYTH #3: The cost of nesting is merely wage x hours

Nesting refers to on-the-job training that follows classroom instruction. Nesting usually lasts one to four weeks.

Agents interact with customers during nesting but are not “productive” because centers often send employees back into the classroom for training and coaching.

Here are some factors to consider when assessing the cost of contact center agent nesting:

  1. Training and Mentorship Programs: Developing training materials, conducting training sessions, and designing mentorship programs require time, effort, and resources. The cost will depend on whether the training is conducted internally or with the assistance of external trainers or consultants. Learn about some best practices for training programs.

  2. Staffing and Resource Allocation: Assigning senior agents as mentors or coaches means that their time and attention will be focused on supporting and guiding junior agents. This may impact their availability for other tasks or responsibilities, which could require adjustments in staffing or resource allocation.

  3. Productivity Impact: During the nesting period, junior agents may not be operating at their full productivity levels as they are learning and receiving support. This temporary decrease in productivity should be factored into the cost assessment.

  4. Technology and Infrastructure: Depending on the nature of the nesting program, there may be requirements for additional technology or infrastructure to facilitate knowledge sharing and communication between agents, such as collaboration tools or dedicated mentorship platforms. These costs need to be considered.

  5. Monitoring and Evaluation: Supervisors or team leads will need to allocate time for monitoring the progress of junior agents, providing feedback, and evaluating the effectiveness of the nesting program. This additional monitoring and evaluation effort should be accounted for in the cost analysis.

To determine the specific cost of call center agent nesting in a particular organization, it is recommended to conduct a detailed analysis considering the factors mentioned above, as well as any other organization-specific considerations. This can help in estimating the financial resources required to implement and sustain an effective nesting program in the contact center.

For example, let's consider the frontline agent cost of nesting a 100-seat contact center.

The contact center spends $14,762 ($184.52 x 80 hours) for seven people to complete two weeks of nesting, corresponding to almost $2,109 per trainee (see below).

As shown above, by the time a new hire finishes nesting, the center has invested $10,881 in them [hiring ($2,250) + training ($6,523) + nesting ($2,109)]. The new employee’s transition to production is a center’s first chance to recoup its investment.

While there are costs associated with call center agent nesting, the investment can yield long-term benefits such as improved agent performance, higher customer satisfaction, and reduced employee turnover.

Want to learn more? Check out these other myths:

Stay tuned for other myths that will be busted!

**Excerpt from The Hard and Hidden Costs of Attrition by Mark Alpern and Brent Holland published in December 2022 in the Contact Center Pipeline magazine


Find out how Cinareo can guide your decision-making for hiring ahead of attrition in order to maximize your profitability and boosting employee performance and satisfaction.


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