Call centers and customer care centers have notoriously high turnover rates. Long hours, often unpredictable work schedules, difficult customers and high stress levels, leave many call centers struggling to attract and retain employees.
Whatever the reason, the numbers don’t lie: according to a study from the Quality Assurance and Training Connection, the average call center turnover rate is between 35 and 45 percent.
So how do you avoid the costs and low customer satisfaction that accompany a high call center turnover rate? Read on for 5 strategies to keep your call center fully staffed, according to experts in customer service staffing.
A Contact Center Staffing Agency Shares 5 Crucial Strategies on How to Retain Employees in a Call Center
The best way to keep your call center fully staffed is to hire great people—and then invest in their ongoing satisfaction and success in the workplace. We break this down below into five separate strategies.
Contact Center Staffing Professionals Advise to Promote a Strong Company Culture
While most businesses advertise a strong company culture, not all of them succeed in continually fostering one. Creating a strong company culture means implementing specific measures that ensure you’re providing your employees with a pleasant and positive workplace—and for industries with high turnover rates, it’s absolutely crucial. Below are a few ideas to build, maintain, and promote a healthy call center culture.
- Balance supportive management with independent ownership. Provide your call center employees with all the tools they need to do their jobs successfully (robust onboarding processes, regular training, easy access to scripts and other necessary tools, etc.) but resist the urge to micromanage. Instead, encourage your team members to take ownership of their roles and use their intuition in providing exceptional customer service—even if this means they sometimes need to deviate from phone scripts.
- Implement a professional development program. Few people are satisfied remaining stagnant in their roles for more than a few years. If you give your employees a clear path for growth within your organization, they’ll be less likely to search for it elsewhere. As an additional benefit, professional development will build your team’s skill sets, making them more productive and valuable employees.
- Provide up-to-date tools and technology. It’s not fair to evaluate your employees’ performance based on how many customers they assist if your company technology prevents them from working quickly. However, be sure to get input from your employees before investing in new technology to ensure the solutions will make their jobs easier, not more difficult.
- Offer a robust benefits package. Call centers have generally gained a reputation for intense working conditions that make it difficult to establish a healthy work-life balance. If your company can prove to be the exception to this rule, you’ll likely retain more employees. Encourage current employees and entice new candidates with perks like flexible hours, work from home options, and generous PTO.
Reward and Recognize Top Performing Call Center Agents
Nobody enjoys feeling like their hard work is going unrecognized or unappreciated. While it’s important to deliver constructive feedback to improve employee performance, it’s equally important to encourage your team with positive feedback on the things they’re doing well. If employees believe their efforts are genuinely appreciated, they’ll be more likely to remain satisfied with their jobs.
Consider giving regular formal awards, such as an Employee of the Month award, to team members who perform exceptionally well. You might also include more informal recognitions—many businesses have channels on their company chat software dedicated to giving “kudos” or “shout-outs” to team members.
Lastly, remember that while awards are nice, the best way to motivate your call center employees is with tangible rewards—and that monetary rewards have the highest chance of being successful motivators for your staff. So, in addition to a plaque on the office wall, consider offering your Employee of the Month a gift card, bonus, or extra day of PTO. While they may feel like unnecessary expenses, these types of rewards can go a long way in making your employees feel appreciated—and in encouraging them to perform well.
Maintain an Open Communication Policy Across Your Customer Care Center
In a workplace as stressful as a call center, it’s crucial that your employees feel supported by their supervisors. If your team members don’t believe they can come to you with problems, questions, or concerns, you won’t know the reality of their workplace experience—leaving you blindsided if they decide to leave.
Instead, clearly communicate and reiterate to your call center employees that they are always welcome to come to you for support. Make sure they know that no question or concern is too minor for you to hear about, whether it’s asking about a company process, suggesting a change in a call script, or raising the flag about a caller who is repeatedly and unnecessarily rude to employees.
Of course, no matter your efforts, not all employees will feel comfortable coming to you directly with all their concerns. To solve this, supplement your open-door policy with regular anonymous employee satisfaction surveys.
Remember as well that open communication is a two-way street. Make sure you and the rest of your company’s leadership are being proactive and transparent in your communications with your employees. Keeping your team members informed of any changes will help them to feel more comfortable and secure in their jobs.
Lastly, if employees do decide to leave, hold exit interviews—and learn from them. Ideally, you’ll reach a place where most of your exiting employees leave for purely practical reasons—a marriage, a move, an alternate job offer they couldn’t refuse—but in order to get to that point, you’ll need to implement the honest feedback you receive.
Contact Center Staffing Experts Recommend Measuring Performance on Quality vs. Quantity
While call center employees are mainly in their roles to provide customer service, and while scripts are certainly helpful for training and onboarding, few workers enjoy feeling like a chatbot. Your team members may feel bored, discouraged, or stressed if they feel their “soft skills” aren’t being adequately used and valued. Similarly, customers often contact call centers specifically because they want to have a conversation with a fellow human, and may not be satisfied if their service feels impersonal or rushed.
Because of these factors, contact center staffing agencies recommends that call center leaders measure employee performance on quality rather than quantity. Of course, your business will have certain quantitative metrics you’ll need to meet, but supplementing these with qualitative factors can boost both employee morale and customer satisfaction. For instance, rather than solely basing an employee’s performance on how many customers they assist, find ways to measure the quality of the service they’re providing. Open-response customer reviews and call recordings can be helpful in determining this.
Trust Customer Care Staffing Experts to Help You Hire the Right Candidates
While there are many things you can do to improve employee satisfaction and retention at your call center, the fact of the matter is that, as with all lines of work, not all candidates will be a good fit. Whether it’s because they lack adequate customer service experience, they don’t do well in fast-paced or high-stress work environments, or they simply don’t mesh with your unique company culture, it’s unavoidable that you’ll have employees who aren’t right for your call center.
The best strategy to reduce the number of employees who leave because they aren’t a good fit? Improve your hiring processes to weed out misaligned candidates and identify well aligned job seekers with potential to add value. That’s where customer service staffing agencies come in.
When you partner with a customer service temp agency, you’ll gain access to a team of experts who are highly skilled at identifying and recruiting workers who have both the skill set and the personal qualities to perform well at your call center. In addition, contact center staffing agencies typically already have access to a pool of qualified call center candidates, allowing you to staff your company quickly and efficiently. Whether you need temporary coverage or a full-time employee, customer service staffing agencies can help you keep your call center fully staffed, maintaining a high level of productivity and employee satisfaction.
Work with a Top Customer Service Staffing Agency in Florence to Keep your Call Center Fully Staffed
If you operate a contact center in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, partner with a customer service temp agency that knows the market inside and out. With over 40 years of expertise, Precision Staffing is a customer service staffing agency in Florence, and Cincinnati that delivers efficient and effective staffing services to call centers of all sizes. With a robust candidate vetting process that fits seamlessly with your company’s core metrics, Precision Staffing identifies the people who will be best suited for success at your call center.
Interested in accessing Precision Staffing’s temp-to-hire staffing, contract staffing, direct hire placement, or other services? Contact the team today to request employees who will keep your call center fully staffed.