Blog Post

Don’t Forget To Investigate Attrition In Your Contact Center

Attrition is a crucial measurement to managers interested in keeping costs down and customer satisfaction high. Customer satisfaction suffers when a steady stream of inexperienced CSRs handle calls, and the cost of replacing an agent can approach 150 percent of the employee’s annual salary. Other costs associated with attrition take the form of call escalations, repeat calls, and, potentially, customer attrition.

Employee morale can be difficult to quantify but attrition can be used as a good indicator. Poor morale has consequences for customer service levels, productivity, and overall performance.  It can also lead to higher attrition rates.

Attrition measurements depend on the contact center’s location, industry, and objectives. In order to measure attrition so that a contact center can properly plan replacements for those who leave and identify the cause of controllable attrition, the following should be considered:

  • State the percentage of the workforce that has left in the last month and last year
  • Separate monthly and yearly percentages by:
    • Work group
    • Reason (terminations, resignations, promotions, etc.)
    • Length of service (mostly under 1 year? 6 months?)
    • Part-time and full-time

It is important to separate ‘good’ and ‘bad’ attrition when doing your analysis. Examples of good attrition would be promotions or transfers. The call center is often the stepping stone to other careers in the company. Although you still have to deal with the loss of resource from this type of attrition, the causes are significantly different from bad attrition.

Reasons employees leave the company need to be investigated closely to gain insight into the underlying causes. High turnover rates in employee groups having less than six months of experience may signal a lack of sufficient training to handle calls.  High rates within a particular work group would also serve as a flag for further investigation as to potential causes.

The bottom line is that people leave for a reason. There are many reasons, to be sure, but understanding the differences between the reasons you can address and those that are external to your operation can result in significant cost savings.

 

About the author

Vicki Herrell serves as Executive Director of the Society of Workforce Planning Professionals (SWPP) and oversees the strategic direction and the day-to-day operations of the association. With over fifteen years of experience in the call center and workforce management industry, she served for many years in the area of client relations and events management for the former TCS Management Group. Vicki is a popular industry speaker, serving as an industry expert on best practices in workforce management. She is the editor of SWPP’s On Target newsletter and the Workforce Management Expert Solutions book.

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Comments (1)

  • ” the cost of replacing an agent can approach 150 percent of the employee’s annual salary.”

    Clearly it’s worth investing in the right employees and giving them the right training! One bad experience with a poor agent can ruin the customer experience forever and send them right into the hands of the competition.

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