4 Causes of Call Center Attrition [And Solutions]

Employee attrition is a problem that affects businesses of all sizes in all fields. Adding to the problem are changes in employee expectations and the rise of hybrid work brought on by the pandemic.

Call centers also experience attrition, with notoriously high turnover rates—twice as much as in any other industry. While this metric may seem alarming, delving into the causes of call center attrition provides valuable insights for business leaders. Let’s take a closer look.

What Is Call Center Attrition?

The pace at which call center agents quit over a given period is referred to as attrition. It happens when agents leave the company, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.

What Are the Types of Attrition?

The most common types of call center attrition are as follows:

  • Involuntary Attrition: This occurs when the company initiates the separation due to performance concerns, misconduct, or changes in workforce needs.
  • Voluntary Attrition: In this case, candidates leave on their own accord regardless of how long they have stayed in the organization. It is the most costly and most challenging type of attrition to manage.
  • Demographic Attrition: Spotting this type of attrition requires data collection and analysis. It reveals whether a specific demographic or group leaves the organization at a higher rate than average.
  • Retirement Attrition: This attrition occurs when agents reach the right tenure for retirement.

How Is Attrition Calculated?

The call center attrition rate is calculated by dividing the number of agent resignations by the average number of agents over a given period, typically a year. The value can be represented as a percentage by multiplying the previous figure by 100.

For example, if 52 agents leave in a year and you have an average number of 390 employees, the attrition rate would be 13.33%.

52 (Agents Who Left) / 390 (Average Number of Employees) = 0.1333 X 100 = 13.33% (Attrition Rate)

What Is a Good Attrition Rate for a Call Center?

The industry average for call center attrition rates has remained relatively stable over the years, ranging from 30% to 45%—above the rate for every other occupation. High-stress levels, rising customer expectations, and the stress of dealing with high call volumes are the top reasons behind high attrition rates.

While industry benchmarks serve as a guide, businesses should take the time to assess their internal processes to truly discover the reasons for employee turnover (and potential solutions for their specific challenges).

call center agent

What Causes Attrition in Call Centers?

The initial step to addressing call center attrition is understanding the root cause of the problem. Below are the most common contributing factors in the call center industry.

1. Ineffective Training & Onboarding Processes

Customer service roles can be demanding, as they have to deal with aggrieved customers while navigating new CX technologies. Poor onboarding procedures and insufficient training lead to high attrition rates, as new agents need the proper guidance and education to prepare for their roles.

Your agents are less likely to feel confident and motivated at work without adequate training. As a result, they will be more inclined to leave the company to search for other opportunities.

2. Poor Candidate Selection

Resumes and past experiences don’t always guarantee that a candidate is a good fit. Unfortunately, hiring the wrong candidates contributes to high attrition rates. To prevent this, it’s critical for talent acquisition teams to screen candidates thoroughly to determine if they will gel with your company’s culture and work environment.

3. Employee Burnout

According to an industry survey of HR leaders, burnout causes 50% or more of the annual turnover rates in large organizations. Burnout strikes when your agents have exhausted their physical and emotional strength. When employees reach this tipping point, their performance begins to dip, and they become continuously demotivated until they leave (voluntarily or involuntarily).

4. Substandard Technologies

While training and skill advancement is important, they can only take you so far. Without the right technologies to support growing call volumes from an expanding customer base, your employees will fail to reach key metrics.

Some organizations outsource their call center services to reliable third-party companies like ROI Solutions to access the industry’s latest technologies and talent pool.

How To Reduce Call Center Attrition

When you lose an agent, you don’t simply lose their expertise but also the investment made to train and hire the employee. Filling that seat can cost your organization up to $20,000 per agent.

You can reduce costs and drive employee satisfaction by managing call center attrition rates.

1. Improve Training & Onboarding Processes

Your training program is critical in empowering your agents and making them feel more competent in their roles. Therefore, implement a consistent training program that is engaging, practical, and holistic. Besides teaching soft skills, ensure your agents receive adequate training on your CX platforms.

2. Give Them the Right Tools

According to an industry survey by G2, 62% of employees believe software mismatch hinders them from reaching their full potential at work. 24% considered looking for other opportunities due to this concern. Using the right technologies can boost job satisfaction and productivity.

To better support your agents, consider investing in technologies that provide insights into their performance, with user-friendly dashboards to drive engagement.

3. Create Opportunities for Career Advancement

According to a report by Global Talent Monitor, a lack of future career development is a key driver of employee attrition. To keep your employees motivated, establish a clear career path for them.

Specify what promotion opportunities are available and what they can do to get there. This also provides the means for management to assess employee performance and provide feedback.

Partner with ROI Solutions for World Class Call Center Services

Managing call center attrition is a serious challenge for businesses. Let us ease the burden for you. ROI Solutions provides world-class call center solutions using industry-leading technologies to reduce operating costs and boost customer satisfaction.

Reach out today for a free quote, and learn more about how we can help your business grow. Have any questions? Get in touch, and we’ll figure things out.

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About the Author: Han Butler

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Over the course of his tenure at ROI Solutions, Han Butler has led the charge on creating a company that is truly a leader in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. His drive, and enthusiasm for creating a culture of inclusion, and camaraderie from the top down within ROI is only exceeded by his love for his family, and his ever-growing collection of LEGOs. Through his keen eye for creating value and opportunity, Han has been able to help usher in an unprecedented era of revenue and growth for ROI Solutions.

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