Call centers are renowned for having some of the highest turnover and attrition rates of any industry. Research from Chris Bracken of Call Me! IQ suggest that globally, agent turnover in large call centers can be as high as 49% annually. Those call centers which focus on outbound calling suffer from a turnover of more than 60%. The study showed that the situation is even worse in the United States, where call centers with more than 1,000 agents average 70% turnover annually.
As a comparison, turnover in the hospitality services industry averages 35%, the retail and wholesale trade industry suffers from 22% average annual staff turnover, and the health and social services sector averages 20% employee turnover.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has collected data that shows that employees aged 25 to 34 stay with an organization for an average of 2.7 years. This compares with 20 to 24-year-olds who only remain in employment with a company for an average of 1.1 years. It is therefore not surprising that call centers try to employ older workers if possible.
Every new employee comes at a cost to a call center. Every time somebody leaves, the company has to go through the recruitment process. No matter what method they use, either recruiting using an internal team or contracting an employment agency, the recruiting process will cost time and money.
Once the company makes what it believes is a successful recruit, then it needs to go through the process of onboarding the employee. This is one step that they should not avoid. If they place insufficient effort into onboarding a new employee, it is very likely that it will not be long before the frustrated recruit leaves, joining the swelling ranks of the firm’s departed, and forces the recruiting process to start all over again.
There are clear monetary costs of recruiting and onboarding. These include:
- Any payments to recruiting agencies and advertising
- Any interview costs
- Any bonuses that they may have agreed for the new hire
- The HR costs of people involved in recruiting within the firm
- Any costs directly related to training the employee how to do their job the way this firm likes it done
There are of course intangible non-monetary costs of regular recruiting and onboarding:
- Low staff morale if this becomes too regular an exercise
- An initial lack of skills until the new hire is up to speed
- Possible dissatisfied and lost customers, due to a new employee not being able to handle any problems as well as a seasoned agent
- Lost institutional knowledge
There is evidence that call centers that treat their staff well and give their agents some degree of autonomy (avoiding the ever-hovering supervisor) have less agent turnover. These firms, therefore, face reduced costs of onboarding new staff.
Rank Miner’s products can help make the life of your agents, and their supervisors easier. They help provide a smoother day for all involved. If agents know and can react suitably to callers’ emotions, calls are likely to be far more successful. Similarly, if supervisors have early warning about any agent issues, either as a result of their emotional state, or difficulties they may have following their scripts, then there is plenty of time for calm advice and suitable professional development before small issues become large crises.