Regardless of company size, most businesses can agree that call center attrition is costly. Although the impact of this vicious cycle cannot always be felt immediately, its influence is sure to cause a ripple effect throughout businesses large and small.
According to data from Contact Babel’s 2014 U.S Call Center Decision-Maker’s Guide, almost one in three call center managers will leave their jobs this year compared to one in six employees across other industries within the same period. Couple this with the fact that replacing a call center agent costs approximately 3-4 months of the position’s pay and you start to see how the contact center industry manages to lose over $9,000 for every agent that hangs up the headset for good.
Although it’s not possible to eliminate call center attrition completely, there are some simple steps you can take to help prevent your valuable agents from phoning it in, or worse, calling it quits.
Experts agree that taking your time to hire the right talent is the single best way to reduce your employee churn rate. And no one knows this fact better than the contact center non-conformist, Zappos.com. By weeding out any applicants who are uncommitted to their culture of extreme customer service, Zappos.com is able to identify candidates who share the same vision and values the company’s foundation was built upon. This is why if you’ve ever spoken to a Zappos agent before, you get the feeling that you are talking to someone who would go to the moon and back for you to provide you with the best customer experience possible.
An agent who leaves a company can expect a 10-20% raise in salary. Clearly, the prospect of such a significant pay increase could be motivating enough for even the most satisfied agents to start rethinking their career options. That said, offering an attractive, competitive, and comprehensive benefits package with components such as flexible hours, life insurance, or onsite child care, is a sure way to reduce employee turnover.
Managers often overlook how important and meaningful performance feedback and recognition are to call center agents. Sure, you may not be able to pay your agents $100,000 to answer phones, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reward them in other ways. The point in case, a survey by Make Their Day and Badgeville carried out in 2013, revealed that 88% of queried workers found praise from their superiors to be incredibly motivating. Simple emails of praise at the completion of a project, peer-recognition programs, and monthly memos highlighting the achievements of your team members are just a few of the many ways to maintain and promote a happy and motivated workforce.
Ultimately, the best advice on how to reduce call center attrition is to find what makes your agents tick. Reports show that 80% of call center agents view their job as a short-term fix, so failing to keep your employees happy and motivated is clearly not an option. Agent development and retention must always be an area of focus within any high-performance call center. So what are you doing to keep your agents happy?