What Is Attrition In Call Centers?
Call center attrition is a critical metric that measures the turnover or churn of staff within a call center. This indicates the rate at which employees leave the call center over a specific period, which leads to a need to fill those vacancies.
Sound familiar? Right?
This is because your company may be facing this pandemic era. But you are not alone in this mess since the average agent turnover rate is 30% to 45%.
Assuming this problem is a characteristic of call centers, companies have been inheriting attrition instead of tackling it. This leads to more new recruitment and training costs, decreased productivity, and potentially lower customer satisfaction.
But we will not walk along the path because we will deep dive into call center attrition with ways to reduce it.
End of the day, you will be well prepared to overcome the attrition challenge and get to know about,
- Reasons For Call Center Attrition
- Ways To Reduce Attrition In A Call Center
- How To Calculate Attrition Call Centers
- How To Improve It
Types of Attrition
The operations of a call center are significantly impacted by attrition, and there are two basic types of attrition in call centers:
However, the call center environment also contains other forms of attrition.
- Functional Attrition
- Retirement Attrition
- Demographic Attrition
- Unplanned Attrition
- Seasonal Attrition
- Internal Attrition
1. Voluntary Attrition
When employees or agents leave their jobs voluntarily for some reason, these workers typically look for better chances or are dissatisfied with their current position. Thus, you decide to resign from the existing role.
2. Involuntary Attrition
In contrast to voluntary attrition, in involuntary attrition, companies terminate the employees if there is any issue, company downsizing, or other operation reasons. In such cases, call centers may give pre-notice so workers can find a replacement, refer, or offer some administrative support.
Reasons For Call Center Attrition
In call center attrition, employees may leave the company, or the company can terminate an employee. This has become a global issue, and there are several reasons for this.
There are also ways to reduce the problem.
Before you go for the solution of reducing the attrition rate, let us closely examine the root causes.
- Poor candidate selection can be the main reason for a higher call center attrition rate. It can happen due to a lack of qualification checks, referral checks, or not taking any pre-screening tests. Thus, unqualified agents can not fully fulfill their responsibilities to the company, or they themselves may leave the office after a while.
- Inadequate training for the newly recruited agents can be another cause. Call center agents need to possess a bunch of skills and need to polish them over time. If companies cannot give sufficient training, this later leads to attrition.
- The lack of advancement opportunities in the job sector forces agents to switch elsewhere. If there is no clear career path, there will be no way for employees to become successful. So, they start searching for better opportunities.
- Call center agents are required to perform a variety of tasks, such as cold calling services, handling customer queries, selling products, and more. However, if they are constantly engaged in monotonous work, it can be frustrating for them. Companies that do not provide adequate entertainment options can create a stressful workplace, which is not acceptable for the staff.
- Lastly, unsupportive managers. Agents become happier if they get direct company feedback and guidance. Unsupportive management that does not even appreciate workers addressing their pain points and always maintains a boundary tends to move more toward high attrition.
Effects of Call Center Attrition
Initially, attrition did not seem very problematic.
However, the effects of call center attrition gradually become severe, with the potential to ruin a company’s reputation, raise costs significantly, and ultimately result in a substantial loss for the company as a whole.
Imagine one of your employees working as a virtual assistant in a cleaning business suddenly quits. This could potentially damage your reputation with clients and lead to a loss in your call center.
In particular, key metrics like first-call resolution (FCR), average handling time (AHT), and customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) can all be impacted by a high agent turnover rate. For any call center business, these performance key metrics are the cornerstone. And turnover rate can directly influence these.
Moreover, in such cases, call center managers and supervisors need to spend more time dealing with recruitment, training, and employee turnover issues. This can easily divert their attention from other critical tasks. Gradually, it will be tough to maintain consistency.
The equation can be described as, on the one hand, your cost will increase, and on the other hand, your productivity will surely decrease.
So far, you may be unaware of these facts, but now you know. So, there is no room for staying relaxed and not preventing the issue.
7 Ways To Reduce Attrition In A Call Center?
Starting in 2021, the attrition rate was 35%. By 2022, it had increased to 38%, the highest rate.
So, you never know when your company will severely face this churn pandemic. To eradicate this problem, call centers and BPO companies are adapting many techniques.
Searching for the solution, you will come across thousands of suggestions.
However, we will highlight 7 tried-and-true strategies to lower call center attrition.
Qualification Process Before Hiring
Most of the call center companies do not go for a pre-screening process. The proper qualification process can save you in the long run. Weeding out the unfit candidates from the very beginning can save them from attrition in the call center later or making common mistakes in day-to-day work.
Check their experience, educational qualifications, and portfolios, then conduct some tests. Assess their ability on several criteria, such as
- Effective Communication Skills
- Knowledge Retention and Recall
- Ability to Handle Pressure
- Back Office Service Skill
- Speed and Efficiency
- Creative Problem Solving
- Emotional Stability
- Organizational Ability As A Virtual Assistant
However, the requirements and needs of call center organizations vary. So, you must first determine what you want your workers to handle and then assess them accordingly.
A smooth transaction from the company always leads to satisfied workers. The more comfortable your workers are, the higher the chances they will show more dedication toward their work.
All in all, happy workers indicate a hefty profit for any business.
Ensure you provide competitive salaries on time with all other benefits. Provide them health insurance, yearly or festival bonuses, a period increment on their salary, and even an increment for the top performers.
Regularly review and adjust compensation packages to remain competitive in the job market.
Hiring and Onboarding
Improve the hiring and onboarding processes to ensure that new recruiters are well-matched to the job. Also, they should receive proper training to boost their skill. Adequate preparation and a clear understanding of the role can help reduce early attrition.
Also, give a clear insight about the onboard plan, what the new employees are going to experience, and their roles and responsibilities for the first month. Outline your call center goal, target, benefits for agents, and other rules.
Here are some steps you can go with while hiring a representative for your call center,
Employees become happier if they get supportive leaders who address their pain points, try to solve them, and engage in direct communication.
Train your HR team or managers to become supportive leaders who give equal importance to every team member and provide guidance. A positive manager-employee relationship can significantly influence job satisfaction and retention.
The work environment influences employees’ mindset and growth, especially call center agents. Call center reps need to handle thousands of calls and other tasks. They need to interact with numerous people and, hence, need to stay calm and stress-free.
The only way to relax them is by creating a healthy environment with positive reinforcement. Give them employees facilities like sick leave, timely salary, break time, etc.
Companies with adaptable and clever strategies know the importance of worker engagement. Engaged staff are more likely to stay longer with the organization.
Also, these agents directly connect with the customers. They know precisely what the client wants, needs, and interests and how to solve the issues.
It can benefit your contact center in both ways. You can get innovative ideas to improve business, and employees feel valued by participating in decision-making, recognizing their contributions, and promoting teamwork.
Most businesses are unaware that the overall success depends on customer feedback, and the other half solely depends on employee feedback.
Also, when your company’s agent feels that you are taking feedback and acting accordingly, this will demonstrate a commitment toward your reps.
Either directly communicate or take feedback like an interview. Or create a feedback form that most organizations rely on. Continue the loop periodically and gradually; it will reduce the attrition rate as people tend to stay where they feel heard and valued.
How Is Attrition Calculated In Call Centers?
The high call center attrition rate of any business is concerning. Like other key metrics of a business’s performance, attrition should be calculated regularly. With the result, you can better visualize whether your contact center is going down or working at its peak.
However, the calculation is way too simple. Usually, the attrition rate is calculated within a year. There are simple formulas you need to remember.
Calculation of the average number of employees working in your company in a specific period. Add the total number of employees at the beginning of the period (year) to the total number of employees at the end of the period (year). Then, divide the result by two.
Now, divide the number of workers that left during the time you are calculating the attrition by the average number of employees and multiply the result by 100. You have the result that is the attrition rate in your hand.
Suppose you have 7200 workers at the beginning of a year. By the end of the year, there will remain 6500 employees, so what would be the attrition rate?
Average number of employee = (7200 + 6500) / 2 = 6850
Attrition rate = (700 / 6850 ) * 100 = 10.21%
How To Improve Call Center Attrition?
Now that you know how to calculate call center attrition and the ways to reduce it, you should leverage your technique to improve turnover rate.
Business is an ongoing process where continuous improvement and preparation for the future are the keys to ultimate success.
Look at these two statistics: learning and development in job sectors is vital for 87% of millennials, and 59% of them believe development opportunity is crucial before they apply for a job.
Whether you are aware of this fact or not, improving agents’ retention by giving them career development is one of the crucial points. Employee retention rates, motivation levels, knowledge, and abilities are all increased by an efficient career development program.
Provide opportunities for career advancement and skill development. Show employees a clear path for growth within your organization. Go for promotions, additional responsibilities, or training programs.
Health and Wellness Programs
Implementing health and wellness programs can help reduce call center attrition by promoting employees’ physical and mental stimulation.
If you can afford these costs, then they must include access to gym facilities, stress management workshops, and mental health support. Take initiatives to encourage staff to choose a healthy lifestyle.
Employees who feel physically and mentally well tend to work happily in call centers.
Prioritize your employee’s work-life balance if you want them to stay. Give them flexible schedules and reasonable workloads. Let the agents choose their work schedule, like allowing work from home, as long as it is not hampering their work.
Recognition and Rewards
One of the powerful and effective ways to make your agents stay motivated is through recognition and rewards.
Incentive and recognition programs can be classified into three categories.
Monetary incentives: Call center agents need to fulfill a daily target. You can cheer up those who meet the daily target and then offer some commission to the top performer at the end of the month.
Non-monetary incentives: Ensure flexible work hours or non-paid off days.
Peer recognition: Ask your managers or other high-level employers to perform incentive programs. Also, encourage everyone to cheer up their colleagues.
Efficient Tools and Training
Improving call center attrition is dependent on providing efficient tools and continuous training. You will be astonished to know that 74% of employees willingly learn new skills or re-train to stay employable.
You need to keep your agents always engaged within the company. So they do not get the chance to leave the job.
Provide them with skill development training for the newbies, especially with real-time customer interaction. Next, utilize the advanced technology in the training session. Also, offer them the technical tools so they can work more flexibly.
Conduct exit interviews with ex-employees to gain insights into the reasons for their departure. Initially, this may seem like time-wasting for many. But, the truth is that exit interviews can play the hidden role of agent retention.
Use their feedback to identify trends and areas for improvement in the organization. So you may not make the same mistake in the future.
What is attrition in a call center is simply the rate at which staff leave their present role. A high attrition rate can destroy a company’s image and result in an ultimate loss. So, it should be reduced and improved with the practical strategies we discussed today.
You can reduce the attrition rate by,
- Arranging pre-screening with proper hiring process,
- Ensuring competitive salary,
- Create a supportive management system,
- Flexible work environment,
- Prioritize employee engagement
Lastly, try to improve the areas such as providing continuous training, ensuring career development, and, most importantly, exit interviews. Now, you are good to go toward decreasing your call center attrition rate as much as possible.