Reducing Agent Turnover to Reduce Contact Center Costs

In some contact centers, agent turnover year-to-year stands at more than 100%. With turnover figures like that, it can’t be a surprise to say that if you could reduce your turnover, you can reduce your costs. It takes a lot of resource and energy to train up new agents, and newer agents typically have much lower first contact resolution rates. As a result, a newer agent ends up costing a contact center a lot of money.

In this blog entry, I’ll explore just a few ways to break the cycle of constant turnover. How can you help keep agents around?

First and foremost, career pathing is an important part of agent retention. If agents feel that they are working in a dead-end job, it won’t take long for them to start sprucing up their resume. If they see their current position as a stepping stone, perhaps to a more senior position in the contact center, and after that either to a position in contact center management or a position in a business group in the organization, they’re more likely to stay around, and at the same time, positively affect the contact center’s performance. Career pathing doesn’t require any technology whatsoever to implement, but it can make a significant difference in the perception agents have of the contact center and their future with your organization.

Let’s also look at a way that current contact center technology combined with a business process can improve morale and result in better retention. Many workplace studies have shown that for the majority of workers, just getting a compliment when they do a good job helps motivate them, energize them, and keep them emotionally in the game. Compliments are free, and can be handled either privately, or better yet, publicly—by posting a message throughout the contact center when an agent does a particularly good job.  For some centers, it could be the result of a good quality score after scoring a set of recorded interactions. It could be increased sales figures – or perhaps a compliment passed on from a customer during a customer satisfaction survey. It takes management a little time to craft the message—but the payoff will be worth it.

Do you have other ideas on how to retain agents to help lower costs? We’d love to hear from you.

Rachel Wentink