GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

Put agents first to reduce call centre attrition

Increase chartThe call centre industry has a notoriously high attrition rate. In fact, a survey conducted by Avaya and ICMI reported that 25 per cent of agents actually plan to leave their role in the coming year. With the true cost of employee loss estimated at £30,000 per agent, it is crucial to retain staff members if a business wants to be successful.

Many telephone answering services struggle when it comes to retaining staff. It is industry expert Mike Greatwood’s belief that this is because companies continue to use traditional methods to boost engagement. Team-building activities and having agents buy into business strategy work in the short term, but modern employees want “whole life satisfaction”. Financial remuneration no longer works as well as it once did, which means that call centres must find new ways to engage employees.

One useful way of accomplishing this is by switching from short-term agent focus to recognising an individual’s dreams within a company and helping each person reach these aspirations. To engage with agents, companies have to engage in someone’s life and this means putting staff members first, listening and connecting with them, and doing everything possible to help them meet personal goals. This is significantly different from trying to guide agents towards a company’s goals.

To retain agents, companies should conduct individual coaching that focuses on a range of life aspects including personality, communication, finances and emotions. CIPD has shown a 50 per cent increase in discretionary effort when workers are treated this way, whilst Avaya revealed that a 1 per cent increase in agent engagement results in customer engagement rising by 0.53 per cent. By using this method, companies have a good chance of reducing attrition rates.

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