Call center turnover is one of the biggest problems faced by organizations today. Agent attrition makes an enormous impact on almost all the call centers. Replacing an agent takes time, money, and resources. Losing an agent also means increased workload, and additional stress, for other employees. Reducing attrition rate is important for the success of a call center, or any other business for that matter.
Following are a few ways how you can improve call center retention.
#1. Optimize recruiting and hiring process
Reducing call center attrition starts with hiring the right employees for your company. Consider the personality of the candidate, cultural fit, communication skills, attitude to be a team player, and skills, while hiring. Communicate to the agent clearly what the company expects from them. Explain the remuneration package in detail. This will ensure that the agents will not come back complaining about job expectations and salary issues, once (s)he is employed.
#2. Adequate training programs
Training programs are very important to new employees. It is essential for the agents to understand and learn about their respective process before hitting the floor. If an agent is not properly trained because of time constraint or any other reasons, it will adversely affect the performance on the job. This will not only affect the performance report of the agent but also result in the agent feeling inadequate and vulnerable, especially on-call with the customers. Ultimately, this will result in the agent leaving the company.
#3. Develop an open culture
Both employees and the company can benefit by creating an open and transparent business. Companies can offer forums, business scorecards, and suggestion schemes to the employees. This will enable them to air their views and concerns. The whole process will help to create a workplace where people feel valued. This will result in job satisfaction. Keeping the business transparent will ensure that an employee will not feel like someone else is given priority over them.
#4. Establish Line Management
It is very important for an agent to be heard. If an agent has a concern or an idea that they need to share, there should be a medium to communicate. A line manager can ensure that an agent's concern is heard, and properly addressed. They can also maintain an open culture and inform the agents about the key aspects about the business. This will assure the agents that they have a bright future in the company.
#5. Financial Rewards
Nothing motivates employees like a financial reward. If an employee is getting rewarded for the hard work they are doing for the company, then that agent will think less of leaving the company. An increment in the employee salary based on the annual appraisal or an annual bonus or incentives, all help to retain employees. Appropriate benefits package, like a childcare voucher scheme, or discount vouchers are also great employee motivators.
#6. Continuous Promotion Opportunities
No employee likes to be stuck in the same position that they had started with the company. Offering promotions to internal candidates in a company will ensure that they feel motivated to stay with the company. Companies have to ensure that their top performers get promoted in a timely manner. This will also ensure the new employees to work harder. Employees will stay with a company if they feel that they have a fair opportunity to advance their careers.
#7. Provide Necessary and Efficient Tools for the Agents
There is nothing more frustrating than asking your customer to wait on the call because your computer is slow, or you do not have access to the appropriate tool to provide the necessary information to the customer. This will eventually make the agents give up, and look for another job. It is very important to provide your agents with necessary, and working tools so that they can attend and finish their calls in a timely manner.
#8. Flexible working conditions
Most of the call centers work 24/7. Call center agents have to be flexible with the shift timings. If the agents are allowed to swap their schedules with one another when necessary, it will help them to manage time efficiently. Opportunities to work from home, small time offs (for example, giving a half hour time-off for an agent who aspires to be an actor, to attend an audition), and transparent shift timings will all help to motivate employees.
#9. Break the Monotony
A call center job can be monotonous, answering the same customer queries again and again or performing the same troubleshooting steps day in day out. One way to break that monotony is through games or other fun filled activities. It is also important to promote an agent to the next level as soon as (s)he is capable of. Shifting an agent to a different process will also help the break the monotony of the job.
It is important to calculate the turnover rates for your call center on a regular basis. The information/data can be used to develop programs to assist with call center retention.