Call center agent attrition can significantly impact company budgets and profitability. According to 2012 CallMe! research, “Total costs can range from 60 to 200 percent of an employee’s annual salary,” and one study estimated that costs related to turnover represent more than 12 percent of pre-tax income for the average company.
With companies taking such a hit due to agent turnover, here are 5 ways to reduce and avoid call center agent attrition.
1. Start with the recruiting and hiring process
Agent attrition can be avoided from the get-go with the hiring process. Consider implementing a referral program or offering the option to allow agents to work from home. While interviewing, make your expectations known and clearly define job roles. Let your interviewee know about common tasks they’ll complete as well as performance measures that will be taken, and allow them the opportunity to opt out of the job if they don’t feel it is a good fit. Pay attention to communication skills, cultural fit, whether they would work well in a team setting, and if they are goal-oriented. Taking extra measures to ensure you are hiring the right employee for your company can considerably reduce turnover and the associated costs.
2. Provide adequate training
Regardless of how fast a new hiree learns, all agents need to undergo the same amount of training. An extended training period for new employees can be worth the benefits of a more extensive understanding of job roles and product knowledge, as well as fostering camaraderie with other agents, which in turn creates a more enjoyable work environment. When agents feel comfortable and confident in their jobs, they are less likely to leave them. This confidence starts with adequate training.
3. Provide current software and tools
Providing excellent software and tools to your employees allows them to be more productive and more effective in their duties. The technology you use in your call center should make their jobs easier and company processes more efficient. Being given the tools your employees need to more easily serve your customers prevents job dissatisfaction and allows your employees to give their best efforts.
4. Offer opportunities for promotion
When excellent agent performance is rewarded by opportunities for promotion, agents are more likely to be motivated to do their best and stick around. Most open positions in call centers are filled by internal candidates, which incentivizes exceptional effort in current duties and in achieving team and personal performance goals. It also encourages company loyalty.
5. Give Constructive feedback
Creating a culture of coaching through team leaders can give a much-needed support and guidance system. Employees should know who they can talk to in complicated work-related situations for direction and information. They also benefit from regular performance evaluations that involve constructive feedback and encouragement from fellow employees. Knowing how they can improve and that their opinions matter can be hugely beneficial to their job satisfaction, and overall employee retention.
When call center agents are enabled and motivated to perform their best, they are not the only beneficiaries; call centers with these employees run smoothly and efficiently, and the costs to agent attrition are kept low and in-check.