Reducing Attrition in Your Call Center
Call center work can be both challenging and rewarding for all involved. If contact center management does not focus on making the job more rewarding than challenging, they can find themselves dealing with higher attrition numbers. As it costs the call center so much more to hire and train new agents than it does to keep current agents happy, reducing attrition within the call center should be a primary goal.
In order to ensure you can reduce attrition within your call center, there are a few key elements to focus on to make the task another part of the way you do business. It is not necessarily an attrition-preventer as it is a smart way to do business. And, when you are operating in the call center space, any smart processes you put in place have a positive impact on the bottom line and what you have to report back to your superiors.
One of the important elements you can introduce into the call center to reduce attrition is a focus on measurement performance. Determine how you want to hold your agents accountable. Will their daily performance be measured according to calls per day, calls per hour, etc. or will their performance be measured on the results as a whole every day, week or month?
While the standard measurement efforts generally will focus on daily performance, you are not locked into this method if it is not the right fit for your center. Decide what will work best and then execute according to your own strategy. Once you have done so, it is important to communicate with your agents what your expectations are for their call center performance.
Be careful, however, that you don’t simply lay out what you expect without giving them the call center management tools to accomplish their goals, measure their performance and gain access to the training and coaching they need to excel. Agents generally want to perform well, but if you deny them the tools they need to excel, you are likely to push them out of the job and out of the call center.
Training is something that should be not only introduced within your call center, but made a priority. It won’t do you any good if your agent can handle a high volume of calls if every call does not have resolution. The agent must be trained according to your expectations and that training should be available on-the-fly, at scheduled intervals and on a constant basis. Constant improvement should be a key focus and if the agent can take control of the training, he or she is more likely to excel.
Benchmarking is often overlooked within the call center, but when it comes to agent satisfaction and performance, it should be a first line observation. If agents understand what you expect and how they can drive beyond those expectations, they are more likely to do so. And, if they feel they are part of a team contributing to an overall goal for the call center, their performance and satisfaction is likely to significantly increase.
Finally, it is important to incentivize for performance. Yes, you should have certain expectations put on each agent within the call center, but even the agent that is doing what is expected should be rewarded for that focus. Once incentives – especially financial – are included, the agent has that much more motivation to kick it up a notch and get to the next level. Not only are you building loyalty among that agent, you are reducing attrition in your call center to secure better numbers overall.