How to Reduce Attrition in Call Centers

The landscape of call center work is rapidly changing. Digital transformation leads to better contact center analytics, more robust customer satisfaction measurements, the adoption of cloud technology and an increase in more remote agents. Despite these advancements in the way agents work, the causes of call center attrition remain just as pervasive. Agent satisfaction, burnout, and work overload are as real as ever. Technology can enhance the agent-customer interaction only when employees are empowered and supported. There are real opportunities to develop strategies that improve retention in call centers and bring out the most in valued agents. Study after study reinforces that if you want to decrease Time in Queue, decrease Total Transfers, decrease Handle Time…then increase agent loyalty.

Call Center Turnover Statistics 2017

  • Average turnover in call centers: 33%
  • Cost of each agent lost: $6,440
  • 55% of call center employees are not engaged at work
  • 51% of call centers report the cost of training and development is highest for the millennial age group
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    Agent Retention Tips (especially at BPO Contact Centers)

    Outsourced call center work is fast paced and stressful. It can take up to 6 weeks and a large training budget to get one agent completely trained. Agents deal with emotional customers and high call volumes at peak hours. That can make it difficult to get to the right answer when the lines are busy and decimate First Call Resolution. A few consecutive days of agent absenteeism, or “no call no shows”, and call center KPI’s plummet.
    The best managers and supervisors engage their agents with collaboration in a social learning environment. They know that people perform best when they are a part of a supportive and empowered team. High performing call centers also create transparent performance management systems that are aligned with agent expectations. This way, team leaders can coach their agents against clear metrics to avoid confusion, frustration and attrition. These are only a few measures that an organization can take to create their call center attrition action plan. As expectations for client metrics rise, outsourced call centers continue to look for more efficiency in every opportunity. The next frontier is agent turnover and with it comes opportunities to save millions.

    Call Center Employee Engagement

    The average agent works long work days while attached to their phones, speaking with angry and frustrated customers. The flat organizational design that is common in call centers is not always conducive to proper agent training and employee engagement when too many agents report to one manager.

    Although the average turnover rate for this industry is high, there are call centers who incorporate low-cost ways to increase engagement, appreciation and loyalty, which directly affects First Call Resolution and Customer Satisfaction. Call centers who reduce agent turnover by 50% in just 3 months do so as a result of targeted employee engagement programs. These call centers lower their company’s turnover rate and increase customer satisfaction scores. How much will better technology produce better people? Not anymore!Improvements in the agent experience now provides the best return on investment for a call center.

    How Retensa increases Call Center Employee Satisfaction:

    1. Exit Interviews: Start with actionable intelligence from Exit Interviews. Using a third party like Retensa to conduct exit interviews creates the safety net agents need to avoid burning bridges and be really honest about why they are leaving. The truth is with agents, it is almost never just the salary. Ask the right questions to pinpoint the root causes for high turnover at call centers and prepare strategies to help increase agent retention. The right data eliminates wasted time, focuses response, and accelerates change. No more guessing, know exactly why agents quit each site, department, and even manager.
    2. Retention Skills Training: Provide Retention Skills Training to show call center managers how to effectively motivate and retain employees working in a high-stress environment. With all the training they get, were your managers they ever given the tools and tactics to retain their best agent? Retensa provides real-world retention strategies based on customized insights from what employees say they want and need from their organization. Retensa knows that each call center culture has different needs and styles. Invest in training that is customized to the specific agent population.
    3. Retention Diagnostic: Get prioritized recommendations with a data-driven Retention Diagnostic. This will identify the areas where your call center excels, where it can focus, and all the “noise” to ignore. To reduce agent turnover, go further with the root causes of low morale, high absenteeism, or disengagement. Get clear and actionable recommendations to retain the most successful agents. Call centers with the highest FCR, highest Customer Satisfaction scores, highest Service Level/Response Time…have the lowest turnover.

     
    If agent turnover was just the “nature of the business”, why do some call centers have half the average turnover rate? What would your call center save by keeping 10%, 20% or 30% more agents every month?

    Retensa can show you. We guide call centers to get precise and proactive to reduce turnover and provide an experience worth staying for. Agent retention does not get easier by itself. But there are answers. Call to get options now at (212) 545-1280 or email a retention expert here