Is Employee Turnover Threatening Your Call Center’s Success?
With a turnover rate that is more than double other occupations, local CALL CENTERS have been struggling to maintain a reliable workforce.
Annual turnover rates for call centers can range from 30-65% annually which results in extraordinarily high costs for recruiting, hiring and training and results that are disappointing at best. Costs of call center turnover can add up quickly with the typical cost to hire and onboard a new employee ranging between $4000-$7500 per agent (some call centers use a percentage of base pay to predict those costs ranging for 15-20%).
Inside the workplace itself, the effects of turnover can also be measured in diminished morale and disengagement.
What contributes to such high turnover in call centers?
On paper, a call center position looks very simple – answering phones, following scripts, easy technology interface, no manual labor or strenuous work….but when you take a deep dive into the role of a call center employee it’s easy to see why disengagement and turnover are issues.
In reality, the work is far from intellectually stimulating, can be emotionally draining, and often lacks opportunities to grow a career or develop new skills. The day-to-day work is repetitive and often requires interacting with unhappy or even abusive callers. In many call centers there is not the recognition or opportunities to increase pay provided in other professions.
Competition for call center employees has increased substantially. In our local marketplace, companies like Amazon or other mid market technology companies can not only offer a wider variety of call center work but higher wages.
As we look at our call center clients, which ones are doing better at hiring the right employees and then retaining them, here are some of the things we’ve learned….
Diversifying the work helps!
Don’t limit your call center reps to exclusively phone communication. Enlist them for interacting with customers via email, SMS or social media communications. Making them Communications Specialists broadens their skill sets, expands the content of the work they do each day, plus creates a higher sense of value to the organization.
Allow Your Call Center Reps to Assist with Administrative Tasks
In an effort to break up the monotony of the job, you can assign your call center reps to administrative projects, or assign them administrative, clerical or data entry type tasks as needed. With employees often feeling that call center work is non-challenging or too repetitive, it can be crucial to blend in other tasks to ensure that representatives aren’t spending all day on the phone fighting boredom.
Involve Your Reps in Check-In or Welcome Calls
Call center representatives often interact with customers in their worst moments when problems arise and they are left to deescalate challenging situations with angry customers who threaten to interfere with the reputation of the company. To not only break up the work of employees but also find ways to connect with your customers, scheduling reps to do check-in or welcome calls can be an effective way to perform preventative customer service.
Provide Support and Recognition
With the consistent turnover occurring in call centers, managers are often paying more attention to failing employees and re-hiring efforts than recognizing the stellar work of their reliable, long-term employees. One of the reasons we hear from employees leaving their call center job is their feeling that their work is not valued, appreciated and recognized. This fact is increasingly true in large call centers where managers are overseeing even more employees and turnover rates are higher.
Call Center Turnover Rates:
Small-sized call centers: 17%
Medium-sized call centers: 37%
Large-sized call centers: 44%
This recognition of great work does not need to be expressed in grand employee retention gestures, time-consuming efforts or pricey rewards, it can simply be expressed through day-to-day quick feedback on a job well done – which will boost productivity even more!
Overall, creating diversity in the day-to-day duties of your call center employees can go a long way to making work more interesting and to create opportunities to be recognized from more internal stakeholders. To retain employees , they they not only must enjoy the work, believe that they are being paid fairly, but also believe that what they are doing can be a springboard to their career – i.e. that they are learing skills that increases their value for their employer.
Providing opportunities to diversify your reps skills can be a powerful way to differentiate your call center from others.
PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest employers find and hire employees based on the “right fit” for over 40 years.
A 3 time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation , PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.
PACE services include temporary and contract staffing, temp to hire auditions, direct hire professional recruiting services, Employer of Record (payroll) services, and a large menu of candidate assessment services our clients can purchase a la carte.
To learn more about how partnering with PACE will make a difference to how you find and hire employees, contact us at 425-637-3312 or e mail our Partner Solutions team at firstname.lastname@example.org.