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Agent Churn: How to avoid it in your contact center?

  • Sweta Chakraborty
  • 01 September 2021

https://www.c-zentrix.com/blog/how-to-avoid-agent-churn

agent churn

Agent churn is one of the most common problems of contact centers. Most agents don’t stick around for more than a year. The turnover rate is always more than the average, costing the company money and time.

Why do agents leave? What causes them to always move on from an existing company?

It is no lie that the job of a call center agent is extremely tough and mentally taxing. Spending hours glued to a phone and talking to emotional strangers is harder than one can realize. But this is not the only reason. Let’s discuss in depth the different reasons for contact center churn and how to avoid it.

 

What causes agent churn?

Before dwelling into how to avoid agent churn, let us first focus on the problem that causes it. There are various reasons that can cause this including poor work environment, under-equipped status, low salary and more. Here is a list of reasons that encourages an agent to look for a different working opportunity.

  • Under-equipped Agents:
    When agents are forced to work without proper types of equipment and tools, they get overworked and frustrated. They eventually don’t feel comfortable and decide to quit.
     
  • Low Salary:
    For a high-paced industry, an agent’s position doesn’t have an extremely high salary. The incentives don’t always make up for the salary gap, encouraging agents to move off to a better paying job.
     
  • Lack of Appreciation:
    Contact centers are often so focused on metrics and KPIs, that the human behind it gets overlooked. Lack of appreciation is a big catalyst for many agents to feel demotivated and switch careers as well.
     
  • Poor Training:
    New employees who don’t receive proper training feel overwhelmed by the pace of a contact center. These agents struggle at their jobs, fail to meet their leads and are under a lot of pressure. Eventually, switching jobs seems like a better option to them.

 

How to avoid agent churn?

Most of the issues that cause agent churn can be controlled by the enterprise and its management team. It is essential to take necessary steps cause losing out on agents causes disruption to the operational flow. It also costs the company a lot of time and effort to continuously host a hiring drive to fill up the seats. The ideal solution is to treat the root causes of agent churn. Let us discuss how to do so.

 

Equip Your Agents With The Right Tools:

You must empower your agents with all kinds of technology to ensure they can deal with customer’s problems. Under-equipping your agents also reflects poorly on your customer service quality and might lead to loss of the customers. This being said, there are a variety of products that you can invest in to make your agents more productive. From autodialers to CRMs, agents can utilize these to efficiently do their tasks without feeling fatigued or lost.

 

Offer Agent Coaching:

New agents are bound to feel lost and overwhelmed. They do not realize where to start and how to manage customers. Speaking to customers is much different that casual conversations. To ensure that there are no mistakes, they need to have product information, knowledge of company policies and more. With adequate training and support, agents can feel more confident and comfortable in their jobs. This will prevent them from quitting and feeling motivated to improve on their job at hand. Providing coaching in an ongoing call or conversation is a very good approach as it helps the agent to understand how to manage the real time challenges. However, using proper quality assurance processes and tools are equally important in creating a trained workforce.

 

Improved Agent Engagement:

Agent engagement is another activity that must be considered by companies. Agents are humans too. Considering their job makes them sit at a place and stay glued to the screen, it is important to host activities to make them relaxed. One of the popular way of engaging agents is by gamification of their activities.

Gamification will motivate your agents to thrive at their jobs. This means creating a healthy competition amongst the agents and rewarding them for their daily performance. However, managers or team leaders must ensure that this doesn’t demotivate for under-performing agents.

 

Recognize Effort and Provide Feedback:

Agents are the cogs of the big wheel. In a contact center, agents are usually neglected despite their efforts being the reason for growth. They are bound to mindlessly perform their duties without any distractions. It is better to recognize their efforts and appreciate them for it. Offering kindness and appreciation will lead to a positive workspace where people will love to stay and grow.

Apart from recognition, offering feedback is more essential for agent’s growth. Team leaders must always offer feedback, positive and negative alike so they can improve accordingly. Share reports with them and be transparent. This will harness positivity and dependability.

 

Take Away the Mundane Tasks:

An agent’s work may become very repetitive – answering the similar requests on and on. This takes away the excitement of the job. Applying proper automation like Voicebots and chatbots for the repetitive tasks and offering self-service tools like Knowledge Base or Visual IVRs can take away the mundane tasks from the agents. This will free up the agent to resolve more complex tasks and they will find it more gratifying. However, occasionally routing some simpler tasks can provide some relaxation as well. This will control the contact center churn.

 

Conclusion:

Contact center churn must be contained or else it will lead to constant depletion of resources. Once agents join your company, ensure you train them and onboard them with utmost care. Nurturing them initially until they settle in, will lead to a good employee relationship. As they proceed into their career, guide them and equip them so they can perform and generate revenue for your company. As it is said, instead of Customer First approach, companies should strive for Employee First approach. A motivated agent will create happier customers.

 



Author Bio:  Sweta is a passionate technical writer with an experience in digital marketing. Outside work, she is a devoted Esports advocate.



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