Contact center BPOs consistently face high agent attrition rates, which can cost a host of problems, from productivity to customer service to financial related issues. According to a recent ContactBabel study, agent attrition in the BPO industry is around 49%, more than double the rate for all occupations in the U.S.
High agent attrition can lead to “skyrocketing recruiting and training costs, as well as ripple effects associated with lower productivity, understaffing, missing service levels, subpar customer experiences, and financial impacts (CustomerServ.com).
What’s more, it takes upwards of six weeks and costs on average $7500 to train a new agent (LOMA).
There are various reasons for agent turnover, and one of the primary ones is a lack of agent recognition for high achievements (dailypay.com). Agents who are not recognized (whether publicly or privately) will have lower morale and higher job dissatisfaction, leading to their ultimate departure.
Strategies for Reducing Attrition
Keeping your agents happy and motivated should always be a primary objective of every contact center BPO. However, customer service teams can lose sight of and overlook this important factor if it is not front and center on everyone’s mind.
There are various strategies for creating a culture around employee motivation and recognition, which will increase morale and reduce agent churn. These include:
- Empowerment: Provide agents with continuous visibility into their own performance compared to their peers. This often leads to self-improvement and self-motivation, both of which increase job satisfaction.
- Recognition: Team leaders and QA analysts ought to make it a practice to publicly recognize high-performers at least once per shift. This can mean a simple Post-it note or through a more formal means such as through the company intranet or via a company-wide email.
- Motivation: Agents who can interact with other agents at least once per shift are proven to achieve higher job satisfaction levels. Enable your staff to motivate and communicate with one another through an online social community wall. You can also offer Karma Points for a job well done, which can then be exchanged for exciting gifts in your company’s online store.
- Training: Agent training can go a long way toward reducing job frustration. When your staff has the skills they need to succeed in their job roles, they will feel better about themselves and their performance. Therefore, it is important to offer formal, standardized, ongoing training programs as well as provide personalized courses/modules to address specific skill deficiencies or issues.
- Career Track: Agents, like all employees, want to move up the ranks to team leader or manager, for example. Be sure to create a career plan/path for your top achievers so they recognize the clear opportunity to rise in the ranks and increase their salary.
- Work flexibility: Rewarding high-performing agents with the ability to periodically work from home is a great way to inspire your employees to deliver stellar service. You can also offer shift-selection preferences to your best agents.
Agent attrition is a constant concern for BPOs, but with the right motivation, recognition and training programs in place, lower turnover rates can be achieved. It all starts with creating a culture focused on agent success.