11 May 2017

Hello, is anyone there? Reducing staff turnover in contact centres

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Call centres have a reputation for having one of the highest rates of turnover of any industry, with a turnover rate of between 30 and 45 percent.

With angry voices in their ears and cords binding them to their desks, it’s little wonder contact centres struggle to retain a high level workforce. Call centre agents are also often entry-level positions with lower salaries which offer little temptation to keep them in the role.

Call centre turnover impacts directly on finances (in the cost to find, hire and train new employees), customer satisfaction (as workers are new and inexperienced) and an unpleasant work culture which, in turn, fuels more turnover.

There are strategies you can implement to reduce turnover in your contact centre:

1. Get the right people for the role
If you find yourself hiring someone you know will not succeed in the long term with a ‘someone is better than no one’ mentality, you’re setting your employees up for failure. Investing some extra time in the recruitment process can save you time and money in the long run.

2. Offer incentives
Consider monthly awards or a recognition scheme. Financial bonuses are nice but so is a handshake from the boss.

3. What do you expect?
Being a call centre agent can feel like treading water with no end in sight. By establishing clear goals on a daily/weekly/monthly basis you will ensure your staff have an outcome to strive for.

4. Create a career path
Call centres are traditionally flat structures and few call agents recognise the opportunity for career progression. It’s important to demonstrate the roles available- team leader, customer service advocate, etc.

5. Equip them with tools to succeed
“It’s like a thousand spoons when all you need is a knife.” It might not be ironic, as Alana would have you believe, but having the wrong tools for the job is a pain in the neck. Make sure you have the right call centre software to make life easier for your agents and long term ROI in both customer satisfaction and finance.

Check out Akolade's ground-breaking Contact Centre Operations Summit being held in Melbourne on the 25-27 September 2017. This summit features national and international key speakers with proven techniques to recruit, engage, and retain an efficient, customer-centric workforce.

Written by: Claire Dowler

Claire Dowler is a Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.

A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

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