3 Steps To Reduce Call Center Attrition

By admin | Call Center

Call Center attrition Hurts!

It’s costly, and call center attrition has the tendency to hold your call center’s performance stagnant.

It just makes sense controlling it and managing attrition to sensible levels. As a consultant, it is one of the first areas I tackle, it has the greatest positive effect on cost and call center performance.

In this article, I’m going to share the 3 steps I take to diagnose the extent of the problem and the approach I take to build an attrition reduction plan that works!

3 Steps to Reducing Call Center Attrition 

Step One: Know Your Call Center Attrition Statistics

What is your annualized rate? Meaning what is the number of people falling out during the month extrapolated for the year.

Ex. let’s say I lose 5 people a month for the first three months, my headcount is 140 for that month. That means I ran 3.5% of attrition. Granted some of this may have been forced but normally that is not the case. Just as important, is to know what the tenure of people that are leaving.

For instance, on my last consulting project I noticed that 74% of the total attrition was happening in less than 3 months on the job. This is important to know when developing a call center attrition reduction plan.

Step Two: Know Your Call Center Attrition Costs

One of the first things I do when I go into a new call center is establish the cost of attrition.

Normally I do this as a consultant and only focus on direct costs. But there is a component if you have sales called “lost sales” and there is a productivity loss as well. Why do I normally leave this out? Because the call center leadership will argue to no end to refute these. And rather than miss the point we focus on the direct costs that everybody can agree on.

What are these costs?

  • The salary for the new hires while in training
  • Anybody associated with supporting these new hires get trained and transition to the floor, i.e. trainers, recruiters, QA etc
  • Any additional benefits that they will receive

Step Three: Develop a Call Center Attrition Reduction Plan

What is your annualized rate? Meaning what is the number of people falling out during the month extrapolated for the year.

When developing a plan for attrition reduction you will need to refer to step one. Know where the agents are falling out is important in building an effective plan.

For instance, in my past assignment, we noticed that most of the attrition was happening within the 1 – 3 month time period. So basically what this said to me was that the transition from training to the call center production was a major contributing factor.

As a result, when we built the attrition reduction plan, we took this into account and build a transition process to allow the new hires to work in group with greater resources to support them. This allowed them to get questions answered, and have greater support as they made this transition. We called this process T-Bay.

An effective plan should include every department that touches the agents. Essentially when I build a plan to reduce call center attrition I look at the following areas:

  • Recruiting – Are you profiling the correct agent type for your call center?
  • Training - How effective is the training in preparing new hires on the call center systems and policies?
  • Team Lead ratios – Is the span of control appropriate?
  • Team Lead – How effective is coaching? How effective are the Team Leads working with agents? Is there a need for Leadership Development?
  • Call Center Leadership – is there a relationship between the agents and the call center leadership? How do they interact? Is there an open door policy?
  • Workforce Administration – How is the schedule adherence managed? How is scheduling handled? Are agents given ample time when a schedule changes?
  • Quality Assurance – How does the QA team interact with the agents and the Team Leads? Do they try to catch people doing things right rather catching them doing things wrong?
  • Key Performance Indicators – Are KPI’s aligned properly? Are they achievable for the agents? Is the Call Center measuring one thing but expecting something different?

As you can see an effective call center attrition reduction plan consists of many components. However setting up a plan can have a direct effect on performance and your costs.

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To your success,​

Greg Meares on reducing call center attrition
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About the Author

Greg is a seasoned Customer Experience and Call Center Efficiency Senior Consultant that has had an impact in the industry for the past 20+ years.  He has developed products to help Call Center Leaders improve performance.  If you want to motivate your teams to consistently achieve goals then Call Center Games is for you.  If you want to increase employee engagement and hit amazing milestones in your call center then PRIDE Teams is for you.  You can always visit our Call Center Resources to learn more about tools that will help you become a rockstar!

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