How to Reduce Call Center Turnover and Keep Your Employees Happy.
Finding the right talent to fill critical roles has never been easy. Especially when it comes to Call Centers where a 30-45% call center turnover rate is considered normal. Now that the job market is competitive - recruiting is time-consuming and expensive, and resumes and cover letters don’t always give you a complete picture of what an employee will be like on the job. And since the outbreak of the pandemic, the market has opened up in unprecedented ways.
Stop high call center turnover in its tracks
Employees want job opportunities that fit their lifestyle and are willing to “try on” a new job temporarily until they find the role that suits them. Adding to that is the rise of contract customer service work, where agents are uninvested independent workers, and frequent job-hopping becomes all the more likely.
The challenges in attracting and keeping the right talent, combined with the rapid growth of the global call center industry and increasing demand for more qualified candidates, have made managing attrition more important than ever.
Keep reading to learn more about what causes high call center turnover, and what you can do to stop it.
The five most common causes of high call center turnover
Understanding what’s causing high attrition rates is the first step in turning the situation around. A majority of the contact centers complain about high turnover as their prime operational concern. While the reasons for an agent to leave a job are often entirely subjective, there are a few key causes that we see again and again.
While hiring someone who isn’t a good fit for your company is entirely avoidable with the right pre-hire assessments in place, traditional hiring methods often completely overlook this key tactic. Polished cover letters, professionally prepared resumes, traditional language assessments, and predetermined responses to interview questions give you an incomplete picture of how a potential hire will perform on the job. Thus, put the focus on hard skills rather than job fit(hard + soft skills)—which is a more reliable indicator of future job performance and satisfaction.
It’s an undeniable aspect of human nature that we all want to do well at our jobs and obtain appreciation from others. But does the training provided to your employees facilitate or limit their drive to succeed? An onboarding and training process that isn’t fully mapped out, presents the wrong information at the wrong moment or overwhelms rather than empowers the new hire.
According to a survey, about 40% of the respondents said they would leave their positions within the first year of joining if they receive poor job training. Lack of training deprives employees of the support they need to be successful and creates unnecessary stress that causes them to look for greener pastures.
Call centers are competitive by nature, but so is the job market for experienced agents. Most call center agents are easily lured away by similar positions that offer more attractive pay, bonuses, incentives, or other perks like health coverage, flexible work arrangements, and extra paid time off. Thus, be sure to keep your compensation plan current to attract and retain top talent.
Call centers also experience high attrition rates when there is a lack of communication within the organization. Changes to products, offers, or policies should be communicated to all employees quickly and efficiently. This not only keeps agents aware of the organization’s developments but also boosts employee engagement and productivity. Additionally, it is important to give agents a venue to voice any frustrations and feel heard. Ignoring their complaints puts both employee and customer satisfaction at risk.
No opportunity for advancement
While seasoned agents enjoy some level of job satisfaction in knowing that they’ve achieved mastery at what they do, if no opportunity for advancement exists, they may seek out other opportunities. Additionally, organizations that overlook this often face what is called the ‘dark side’ of retention where they lose the talented employees and retain those who are underperforming.
Everyone likes to be recognized for their contribution, but without the room to grow, learn, or acquire new skills, retaining your performing employees could be a challenge.
Methods to lower call center turnover rate
High turnover is an issue that can’t be fixed overnight. But it is possible to improve retention with a few key actions to set your agents up for success from the moment they first apply.
Use pre-hire assessments to promote transparency
How can you tell if a candidate is job-ready? It’s not something you can quickly discern just from looking at a resume or by your gut feeling. That’s why pre-hire assessments are so crucial. These pre-hire assessments enable complete transparency about what the job entails and assess the skills each candidate brings to the table. This level of transparency is key to attracting the right people to fill the roles. It ensures their fit for the company and helps them achieve a high level of job satisfaction.
Revamp your onboarding process
When welcoming new agents to the team, take extra care to ensure your training process adequately addresses the skills, techniques, and resources needed for success.
Consider the lessons learned recently from the vaccination hotline call centers that opened in each Canadian province. The road bumps they faced highlighted the importance of ensuring that agents receive the proper training before they go live on their first call.
Not to forget that adequate training to familiarise your agents with the support tools is equally important as their establishment.
Give agents the tools that let them resolve issues on the first call
First Call Resolution (FCR) is one of the most important metrics in call centers around the globe. So it stands to reason that you would want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to empower agents to boost their FCR rates.
All organizational procedures, protocols, best practices, documentation, support tools, and systems should work together seamlessly to ensure the customer leaves that first call completely satisfied. When you achieve this level of synchronicity, your agents will be empowered to do their best work and deliver a high level of service.
Motivating leadership that helps reduce call center turnover
Employee performance is often a reflection of company culture. Encourage a culture of kindness, empowerment, and support with team leadership tactics that motivate. Thus, organizational leaders often adopt the ‘sticky strategy’ of traction, memorability, and action. They do so to encourage relationship building, outline clear goals and expectations, and celebrate accomplishments and progress.
In other words, the atmosphere on the call center floor goes a long way in ensuring employees are well equipped and motivated to provide great service. According to a recent report, “60% of all consumers said they’d stop doing business with a brand if the service they received was not friendly”. This goes to show that it definitely pays to ensure that your employees are well supported in their roles.
In today’s highly digitized world where we’re used to getting everything we need or want with just the touch of a button. The customer’s expectations are higher than ever before. These increasingly high expectations put your front-line employees in an incredibly vital role. They provide a much-needed human touch while working as ambassadors for the brands they represent and the values you endorse.
The key to happy, satisfied customers is happy, well-supported employees who are a perfect fit for your organization.
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