Agent turnover is a crucial challenge faced by most organizations. According to the 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the overall agent turnover rate is 57.3%. What are the causes of such a high percentage? Monotonous jobs, frustration with agent technology and tools, stress dealing with clients, misalignment of tasks and skills, lack of professional progression and training, or strict work environment are some of the factors.
“A fulfilling job experience is a significant part of employee motivation.” – Shep Hyken
To prevent agent turnover, directors and managers of customer service and contact center operations should invest in improving staff experiences.
Employee motivation and other activities must be a part of the plan to enhance the agent turnover rate.
Ways to Prevent Agent Turnover
1. From the Start, Clarify Job Requirements and Motivate Agents
Ensure that job descriptions are comprehensive enough during the hiring process so that there are no surprises when your agents come for their first day of work. This in turn ensures that agent turnover does not happen.
A day-in-the-life scenario can help agents understand that their job entails much more than merely replying to clients by phone, email, or chat. While this may appear frivolous, it is critical to communicate the seriousness of the work to new support agents.
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Your agents are not only ambassadors for your company. They are also repositories of important customer data that can be used in a variety of business areas, including marketing, customer insights, and sales. Hence, your staff will feel more significant in their roles if they believe they can benefit a client or the company as a whole.
2. Assign the Appropriate Customer to the Appropriate Agent
Agent satisfaction skyrockets when they believe they can be useful to clients and can handle consumer calls. Your agents may feel burnt-out, frustrated, and helpless if they are linked to consumers who have queries or difficulties that are outside of their expertise, which can ultimately lead to agent turnover.
Remember that updating your routing, whether for efficiency or to better consumer experiences, will also improve the agent’s experience & help prevent agent turnover. Customers will have a more favorable experience and are more likely to be pleasant to deal with if they believe they were directed to the proper agent the first time, thanks to intelligent routing, and that individual can help them without being passed off to someone else.
Customers are generally willing to wait a bit longer to reach the appropriate person, but only a little longer. The expectation nowadays is that anybody I speak with will be able to manage my request.
Transferring client calls is considered a strike against a corporation, although it still occurs frequently. Routing presents a general difficulty in terms of gathering sufficient information about the consumer as well as any context or personalization.
3. Centralized Customer Data
It is incredibly inefficient for agents to waste time searching for customer information across several systems and screens. The process of addressing consumer inquiries is made difficult by a maze of old systems.
The average representative spends 15% of his or her time seeking information across these separate systems to answer client inquiries. CRM, billing, and payment systems, as well as knowledge management system, are all available.
Agent turnover can be caused by the frustration of trying to traverse all of these systems efficiently. Agents that have easy-to-use, unified technology are more effective and efficient, which boosts morale and improves the employee experience.
Using a unified agent desktop solution, you may consolidate all of your information and data from many platforms into a single view or screen. This can provide agents with a complete image of the consumer and eliminate the need for them to switch between several applications.
4. Repeated Processes Can be Automated
Attrition rates are high when there is a lot of monotony. As a result, empowerment is the most potent generator of organizational loyalty. As a result, some businesses are turning to automation to free up employees to do more satisfying work and reduce their agent turnover rate.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machines are increasingly capable of handling ordinary corporate procedures. This can result in increased efficiency and faster resolution times which further results in reduced support agent turnover.
This way, agents can focus on tasks that provide tailored experiences for consumers by minimizing routine calls, data entry, report preparation, transaction details, system navigation, logs, and documentation.
5. Agents Should Be Able to Work Together to Complete Tasks
It is unrealistic to expect each agent to have all of the answers when it comes to resolving consumer difficulties. There’s nothing wrong with your agents working together to present your customers with the most useful information possible. Therefore, implementing effective communication tools can help with this.
Invest in systems that focus on streamlining and integrating the workplace by seamlessly combining procedures, tasks, work management, and social collaboration.
6. Allow for More Flexibility and Work-Life Balance to Avoid Agent Turnover
Allowing agents to choose their schedules, take small breaks throughout the day, or work from home would drastically improve their productivity and reduce their stress levels.
While we are sitting in the back office, it’s easy to forget how demanding customer support work can be. Giving staff this independence demonstrates your faith in them. This can help boost long-term agent productivity and job happiness, both of which help to prevent agent turnover.
7. Mentor your Agents and Provide the Opportunity to Advance
Assisting and motivating your agents in pursuing a successful career path will improve their job handling abilities, knowledge, and overall job happiness. Create all-encompassing training guides or programs, and spend time with your agents to learn about their career objectives, motivations, dreams, and ambitions. These best practices can assist a contact center head in reducing his agent turnover rate.
Agents who believe they are respected and cared for by their employer are less likely to quit than those who believe they are unimportant. So, don’t simply provide your agents with the tools they need to accomplish their jobs. Have open discussions with them about where they see themselves in the organization, offer suggestions on how to advance, and create opportunities to advance within their contact center role.
Related article: How to Motivate Contact Center Agents: Lessons From Kindergarten
8. Value Your Employees
It is true that if you truly want your team to perform well, it must begin from the top. It is, therefore, the responsibility of management to create a secure working environment with open communication in which employees feel valued.
Employees that feel valued are more likely to make decisions that benefit the organization and its consumers. They say it is the people they leave behind in a job and not the job. Hence, one way to prevent agent turnover is to be the leader your agents look up to. Be responsible for creating a safe, toxic-free work environment from the start.
9. Recognized and Rewarded High Performing Agents
Despite the natural desire for recognition, it is significantly less prevalent in contact centers than you may imagine. You don’t have to go out of your way to recognize your agents.
Top achiever awards, experiences (such as tickets to a sporting event or concert), lunches outside the office with top-performing people or teams, simple discussions with staff to say thank you, and so on are all simple ways to acknowledge your contact center agents.
Also, get feedback from your employees. Listening to your agents will boost their engagement and job satisfaction, which will help you reduce the agent turnover rate.
10. Inquire About Agents’ Job Experiences Directly
Asking employees directly or through an anonymous survey is the greatest approach to learn how to improve their experiences. When your agents are not face-to-face, they are more inclined to be candid about their experiences. Improving your work and engaging your employees is a long-term process, not a one-time event. As a result, total employee satisfaction will rise which ultimately will help in managing agent turnover.
Reduce Agent Turnover by Keeping Support Agents Happy
A strong focus on agent satisfaction not only saves money, but it’s also essential for running a successful call center. Motivated agents who enjoy their jobs and have access to cutting-edge call center software like knowledge base software are more likely to improve customer happiness and contribute to the company’s objectives.
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Therefore, it’s essential to devise strategies for keeping agents pleased and satisfied with the work they do and reduce the agent turnover rate. These ten strategies will make a huge difference in your company.