Attrition is one of the biggest challenges in the call center industry. While industry averages lie between a 30-45% attrition rate, some call centers are unlucky enough to experience over three times that amount in a single year. Moreover, call center agents tend to stay a maximum of one year in a role, much lower than the national median of four years.
Call center turnover rates are some of the highest in the entire workforce. But that doesn’t mean call center leaders are powerless. How do you retain high-performing call center employees?
You can solve employee turnover with a few best practices. First, we’ll cover why high turnover rates matter and how they affect customer service and revenue. Then, we’ll touch upon the top causes of turnover, and how to lower your attrition rate.
Why Call Center Attrition Rate Matters
With over 157 million Americans in today’s workforce, attrition is easily solved with a new hire, right?
Turns out, it’s not that simple. You can always recruit more agents, that’s a fact. But recruitment, onboarding, and training cost time and money. Retaining a high-performing employee is less costly than training a new agent to that same standard.
Call centers have an average industry attrition rate of 30-45%.
Bottom line? Call center attrition matters because it results in the following:
- Higher financial and time costs for recruitment
- Lower customer service standard
- Reduced employee morale
Top Reasons for Call Center Attrition
Since the call center industry is disproportionately affected by high attrition rates, we can see a few overarching, common reasons for turnover:
- Poor training
- Ineffective leadership
- Uncompetitive compensation
- Limited opportunities for advancement
- Inefficient call center technology
DID YOU KNOW?
Exit interviews are an excellent way to collect data about management performance, company culture, competitor offerings, and operational efficiencies (or inefficiencies).
How to Reduce Employee Attrition in Contact Centers
Try out these five ideas to lower employee turnover rate!
Start at the recruiting process.
What do you look for in a new hire? Are you scrambling to quickly fill positions, or are you taking your time in finding the right candidates?
Here are a few ways to optimize your recruitment process to hire the right agents and reduce attrition:
Use technology to your advantage: If you need to hire many employees, you might have trouble keeping track of all the applications. Applicant Tracking Systems and Candidate Relationship Management Software help organizations create a database of candidates to pick from over time.
Pay attention to tone: Does the candidate sound calm and collected? Or tired and strained? The candidate’s tone of voice will be a significant representation of your brand to each customer. So, you should ensure they have the adaptability and empathy to always maintain professionalism in their tone.
Test candidate’s accessibility: Call center agents must communicate brand information clearly and concisely. Candidates who over-explain, patronize, or sound confusing might not be a good fit in your contact center.
Look for measurable success in resumes and interview answers: A candidate may have worked in another call center for three years, but what did they accomplish? Encourage them to share strong metrics and tell stories about how they improved operations.
Structure your recruitment process: If your recruitment process is scattered and inconsistent, you’ll have a hard time comparing candidates. Streamline your process and standardize interview questions to improve the experience for both management and candidates.
Evaluate management regularly.
A strong management team is essential for retaining solid call center agents. You should regularly evaluate management performance and style, and provide managers with specific training to improve these important skills:
- Communication skills
Ensure your compensation is competitive.
Poor compensation is a common reason for employee attrition. If your compensation is below the industry average, you can expect to lose some high-performing agents.
Conduct regular research to ensure your compensation, including salary and benefits, are at or above industry standards.
Invest in your training processes.
Good training is the main ingredient for strong company culture.
As call center leaders, you might feel excited to have a new hire and rush their training to get them on the floor. Unfortunately, this is the easiest way to increase your employee attrition rate.
Your training programs should empower new agents to do their job correctly and feel confident talking to customers. Additionally, use specific remote and hybrid training strategies for agents with flexible schedules.
Consider enlisting support from more experienced agents to mentor new hires. And, regularly review your training programs to find areas for improvement.
Invest in call center technology.
One top reason for employee attrition is outdated or unintuitive technology. Your competitors are using the latest contact center technology to smooth our call spikes and reduce the burden on agents.
Without the right tools, agents might feel unsupported in handling high call volumes, leading to burnout and resentment. It’s important to set your agents up for success – the more engaged they are in their work, the more likely it is that they’ll stay.
Fonolo’s Voice Call-Backs give autonomy to the customer and reduce call volumes. Additionally, Fonolo’s Web Call-Backs (formerly Visual IVR) offers more communication channels to customers so agents have extra time to address pertinent customer issues.