It’s no secret that contact center turnover rates can be staggering. The most recent International Customer Management Institute survey pegs the average call center turnover rate at 33%, that figure obscures a great deal of nuance that can help managers increase retention. The truth is that it doesn’t take a specialized support center strategy to keep annual turnover rates within reason.
The real key to effectively lowering support center turnover is implementing a blend of traditional and innovative approaches that go to the heart of some of the biggest contributors to agent attrition. To that end, here are three ways to reduce turnover.
- Provide Comprehensive, Ongoing Training for Success
Contact center agent training should be comprehensive and continuous in ways that support employees from the first day through to mentor and supervisor status. By working alongside a support center services partner, agents and managers can conduct an assessment of current practices. The resulting report will form the basis for a customized best practices implementation through a Center of Excellence (CoE) approach.
A process like this immediately addresses pain points by making performance management immediate, consistent, visible, and targeted. The outcome is consistent performance gains driven by agents that are excited, motivated, empowered, and stress-free. This leads to greater retention and a better customer experience in the long term.
- Regularly Solicit and Act on Agent Feedback to Meet Employee Needs
While the customer experience is always top of mind with the call center, the agent experience is equally important. By soliciting ideas and feedback from agents, every contact center can tap into a wealth of creative, innovative, and cost-saving ideas that can help deliver more effective customer service.
Agents work with the customers, software, and hardware every day, so they understand hidden pain points and often have ideas for improvements. Making this process part of the culture in ways that involve all agents will generate valuable information while boosting moral and retention.
- Balance Metrics Adherence with Agent Empowerment
Call center metrics such as AHT, cost per contact (CPC), FCR adherence and other KPIs are vitally important, but none are as important as customer satisfaction. Strict adherence to the metrics as a guide for action isn’t always what is best for customer experience and satisfaction, which is why empowering agents to make decisions based on customer best interest is important to retention.
The idea is to empower agents to make the best decisions for customers through reasonable daily contact handling. Well-trained and mentored agents in technologically supportive environments can be afforded flexibility in their customer service delivery, rather than forcing strict scripts or relentless adherence to every metric. This enables them to make the best decisions for customers because they know they are being measured on how well they execute the essence of the ideal customer interaction rather than the details.
All three of these approaches are geared toward improving agent performance and morale by blending the best of proven traditional and innovative approaches in the contact center. This is foundational to improving support center performance and agent performance in ways that result in lower turnover today and tomorrow.