How to Beat Agent Churn in the Call Center

Posted by Rodney Kuhn

4/7/16 1:30 PM

Employee_turnover.jpgIs your call center experiencing abnormal increases in agent churn? Before you start to panic, know that call centers have one of the highest turnover rates of any industry. In fact, according to research from QATC, overall averages for the call center industry as a whole range between 30 percent and 45 percent.

While the turnover of call center agents is normal, it’s important that you keep a watchful eye on your turnover rate. After all, unexpected increases in agent churn can have a negative impact on your business and its bottom line.

For example, high turnover rates are associated with high costs. The cost of recruiting, onboarding and training new agents can really put a dent in a company’s wallet. What’s more, a high turnover rate can affect morale. It becomes increasingly difficult to create a motivating and positive work environment when agents are constantly leaving.

The good news is that you can reduce your churn rate by making a few simple changes. But before you can seek a solution to your problem, you have to understand why your agents are leaving in the first place. The most common reason why agents quit their jobs is because they are simply not a good fit for the work.

Call center agents must have a diverse set of skills, including flexibility and adaptability. It takes a special individual to deal with the stressors of fielding upward of 80 calls per day. Many hiring managers make the mistake of onboarding individuals simply because they have good phone skills, not taking into account how the pressure mounts with each successive call.   

The second most common reason why call center agents quit is because they have issues with their supervisors. Supervisors play an extraordinarily important role in the call center. Not only do they ensure goals are met, but they are responsible for motivating agents and creating a healthy work environment.

Unfortunately, many supervisors get so wrapped up on meeting aggressive KPIs that they forget about their agents’ needs. Oftentimes, supervisors are painted as discipliners or enforcers who display no interest in developing agents’ skills or motivating team members.

So, what can call center leaders do to ensure that their agent churn rate remains healthy and employees stay happy and motivated? It’s actually a lot simpler than you might think.

Implementing workforce optimization software into your call center can greatly improve agent churn. For example, the technology helps efficiently and effectively train agents so they have the tools and skills to confidently perform their jobs. And more confident agents equate to better-quality service.

What’s more, workforce optimization software records voices, screens, agent keystrokes and application workflow right from the desktop. Armed with this information, supervisors can identify agents who might be struggling and intervene before they call it quits.

Retaining employees is the key to reducing recruitment and operational costs. Therefore, it’s important to keep your call center agents motivated and feeling valued. Improve your agent turnover rate by implementing workforce optimization software. Not only will you see improvements in turnover, but you’ll also see spikes in overall customer satisfaction.

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