When you hear the words “call center,” does it immediately bring to mind endless rows of people chattering away on headsets? Then you have a pretty accurate idea of what a call center is like. Did you know that many call centers experience an extremely high turnover rate? As a matter of fact, the average time a U.S. call center representative remains at one job is about 3 years.
Keeping good employees in a potentially monotonous job can be challenging for some businesses. If you’re considering hiring a call center, you may want to understand more about the employees you’ll be hiring to represent your company.
Why They Leave
There can be a number of reasons why employees leave their call center jobs. The age of the call center employee seems to be a deciding factor in their tenure with a company, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The statistics show that the younger the employee, the shorter their stay.
- Age 20 – 24: average tenure 1.1 years
- Age 25 – 34: average tenure 2.7 years
Other factors of call center employee turnover are:
- Wages and benefits – which vary by area of the country and company
- Lack of career opportunities
- Poor match for the job
- Training and performance challenges
- Supervisory issues
- Low morale or burnout
Employee turnover tends to be higher in routine positions whereas, in more specialized trained positions, employees stayed with the company longer.
The Cost of Turnover
There are many costs associated with hiring a new call center employee. If an employee doesn’t stick around for long, these costs can be doubled or sometimes tripled in a single year. Some costs may also cause collateral damage to your business.
The costs associated with hiring and turnover include:
- Recruitment and hiring – advertising, job fairs, human resources time and salary
- Training time – getting paid when the employee isn’t actively taking calls
- Training materials and resources – including the trainer’s time and salary but low productivity
- Possible poor customer service due to low staffing
- Lower morale for other employees who may be overworked
- Lower productivity
- Risk for more employee turnover
Source: Exploring Call Center Turnover Numbers
Retention of employees may take more effort on the part of the call center but will soon pay off when examining the cost of turnover. Let’s consider each step of the process and tweaks that may keep employees around longer.
A well examined hiring process may go far in correcting the challenges with poor job match. Assessing the personality traits and current skills of an applicant may help determine if the person is a good fit for the job.
Wages and Benefits
Retaining quality employees means offering a salary that is competitive with other businesses in your market. Benefits can be expensive to offer employees but compared to the cost of employee turnover, they are worth considering.
Staff Training and Career Opportunities
A documented training plan, legacy employees and opportunities for advancement go a long way in impressing a new employee. If the employee can be ramped up quickly, they are going to feel as if they are valuable - contributing to the company sooner rather than later.
Little perks including breaks, snacks, and downtime help keep employees from suffering burnout. Creating a great place to work allows employees to decrease stress and love their job.
With more call centers moving back to the United States, there may be even greater risk for employee turnover as they move to find a job that suits them. Keeping high quality and trained professional staff in a call center may take extra effort but those efforts are valuable. Excellent customer service and a strong trusting relationship can be available to those businesses that seek out a call center with a great track record of keeping its best employees happy.
A Better Answer Has the Best Answer in the Call Center Industry
A Better Answer is very proud of the experience we offer. Collectively, ABA’s managers have 116 years of experience in call center management. ABA’s Telephone Service Representatives combined experience represents over 359 years of taking and delivering messages. In an average day, ABA passes over 10,300 messages to our clients and their customers. We believe we do this better than anyone else. We do everything we can to retain our quality employees so you have continuity of service and the peace of mind that comes from knowing who is answering your phone.