Turning Over the Agent Turnover Rate

Turning Over the Agent Turnover Rate

Turning Over the Agent Turnover Rate

Annual turnover in the call center can be huge—as large is 60%. That’s nearly two thirds of your agents leaving each year. You’ve made a significant investment in them, including salary, training and benefits. A large part of that is wasted if you don’t retain staff for a long time. Granted, reducing agent turnover is definitely in the “easier said than done” category. But there are some very specific tactics you can use to significantly boost your employee retention rate.

I thought I’d share just a few.

Cross Training

Assigning an agent to handle the same type of call shift day-in and day-out brings motivation to a halt. Clearly, not every agent can be a Jack of all Trades. But you probably have more Masters of Some than you realize. As part of their call quality monitoring, call center managers should listen not just for how well an agent completed the call, but what other skills the agent showed during the call (problem solving and multilingual skills leap to mind). Incorporate that into your WFM system, and you’ll uncover new work opportunities for your agents.

Schedules Should Bend, Not Brake

Staff schedules set in stone can bring high staff retention to a screeching halt. It may seem that it goes with the territory: it’s just too hard to create flexible and staggered schedules. With an advanced WFM system, that’s not the case. When scheduling is done by algorithms instead of spreadsheet cells, it becomes a simple matter to create schedules that allow agents to integrate work lives more tightly with personal lives. When you do that, you create a more interesting work experience for your staff.


Kick your IVR into high gear. The fewer routine calls your agents have to handle, the more interesting their job will be. When integrated into the omnichannel, IVRs have access to a wealth of information, and can handle a much deeper and broader range of tasks. When you eliminate the routine, repetitive calls agents have to make, you make the job more challenging.

Reward Widely and Often

Continually rewarding achievement in the call center keeps energy and motivation levels high. An occasional pat on the back and a Call Center Hero award once a month are good ideas, but hardly enough. A never-ending cycle of competition-achievement-reward is a proven way to maintain a positive workforce dynamic. One of the best ways to do that is Gamification (which you can read more about here).

These just scratch the surface . . . and some might not be right for your operation. But I hope they point the way to an approach. Bringing the scope of the omnichannel, the power of Workforce Management Systems, and a highly integrated IVR together, you can slash turnover and create a dynamic, satisfying workplace for your staff.