business operations

How to minimize agent turnover so you aren’t stuck onboarding and training

Photo of Mikayla Fuller
by   Mikayla Fuller
August 12, 2022

According to Contact Babel, agent attrition rates have been on the rise since 2013, when the mean rate had been steady for three years at 27%. It rose to 29% in 2015 and 2016 and then jumped to 34% in 2019. There was a slight decrease in call center attrition in 2020 that may have been due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There are many reasons why agents leave their roles and some may have nothing at all to do with your business. However, if you begin to notice an uptick in resignations, there could be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Keep reading to explore some of the reasons why agents resign and a few tips to retain them. 

Why do support agents leave a company? 

Besides outside motives such as a change of career or factors related to personal life, a handful of things can influence a support agent’s desire to leave a company. Below are some common reasons why agents quit their jobs:

  • Low pay
  • Inflexible schedules
  • Inadequate training
  • Rigid management 
  • Lack of career advancement
  • Stressful work environments that lead to burnout 
  • Workload mismatch
  • Lack of a challenge 
  • Failure of acknowledgment 

It’s crucial to evaluate working conditions, managerial procedures, training opportunities, and company culture to implement appropriate adjustments when needed. This helps to sustain employees who can continue to give their best work. 

The costs of agent turnover 

When an agent resigns, not only do you lose them and their unique skillset, but you must also put in money and valuable time to hire, train, and onboard new recruits. The Society of Workforce Planning Professionals estimates that replacing a frontline agent will cost between $10,000 and $15,000, or around 20% of their yearly income. When you multiply any of those percentages by the annual replacement rate of 80, 90, or 100%, the cost of acquiring employees soars into the stratosphere. 

Agent turnover can damage team morale, affect productivity, and impact performance if it happens too frequently. After evaluating the cause, there are a few things you can do to help retain agents and keep them happy in your company. 

7 tips to reduce agent attrition 

1. Hire the right people and do your best to keep them happy 

We’ve all heard the phrase that’s been going around for years…“No one wants to work.” But that simply isn’t true. Creating a growing and thriving environment is something that people want to be a part of and will work to maintain. Working in a fulfilling role is rewarding and provides a sense of accomplishment. 

Finding the right fit for a role can be a lengthy, time-consuming process, but knowing what you expect from candidates is half the battle. What skills do you prioritize and how can you shape your interview questions to determine if a candidate is right for the job and the company? Hiring the right people and building a strong team means hand-selecting individuals that you can put full confidence in to bring success. When employees find success in a role (along with other things), it keeps them satisfied with their work - and when employees are happy, they won’t want to leave. 

2. Create a community feeling among agents 

Part of the reason people leave anything is when they feel ostracized. A resistant work environment can amplify these negative feelings. Creating a healthy community where agents feel supported to flourish and can confidently turn to fellow employees or management will help reduce agent attrition. 

It can be easy to get caught up in priorities and forget about checking in on agents, especially if they work remotely. The intention to connect and engage employees even in small things will go a long way. 

3. Empower agents so they have a say in how calls are handled

Being on the frontlines of customer communication, agents should notice patterns or frequent obstacles that could be optimized to improve the conversation flow. If a certain method works, great, but there is always room for improvement and empowering your agents to share their voice shows them that you care. Plus, it could save time, resources, and increase customer satisfaction! 

4. Recognize effort and achievements 

According to Quantum Workplace…

Employees are 2.7x more likely to be highly engaged when they know they will be recognized for their work. 

Agents who feel that their performance at work isn’t appreciated or rewarded will be less likely to gain a sense of enjoyment from work. Highlighting top achievers and using rewards as an incentive for agents to strive for creates a challenge and something additional for them to accomplish. Another way to reward agents is to consider them for internal promotions. Agents will be more invested in their job and your business if they believe that excellence leads to advancement in their careers and better prospects.

5. Provide feedback to help agents grow 

Feedback should be given in the right way at the right time. Consider these three critical things: (1) It should be delivered in a timely fashion. (2) It should be phrased correctly. (3) It should match non-verbal cues such as tone and body language. If you see something positive, immediately praise it. Give the agent a thumbs up and a smile even if they are still on a call to let them know how good they are doing. When you compliment agents, you put them in a good mood, which enhances their performance.

6. Offer support and training for agents

Training and feedback go hand in hand. If all of your criticism focuses on their shortcomings without provide them with any training to make those improvements, you are merely pointing out problems and are not aiding them with solutions. In order for them to own the solutions, coaching and training allow them to independently discover the resolution for themselves. 

7. Consider outsourcing 

Recruitment, training, and onboarding require a preexisting team who is capable of finding the right agents and empowering them with the information they need to successfully do their job. This means more money and resources out of your own pocket. If you’re considering outsourcing, read more about questions to ask an outsourcing agency before beginning a partnership. 

How Influx eliminates the cost of agent attrition

​​Here are a few ways Influx handles the recruitment, ongoing training, supervision, and management of a global workforce to eliminate the costs of agent turnover: 

  • We recruit top-notch customer experience agents.
  • We train and onboard in days, not weeks.
  • We manage your team so you can focus on growth.
  • We handle ongoing training and communication.
  • We improve customer satisfaction scores.

Influx provides an extra layer of support for your existing team. We help businesses scale by providing top-tier sales, lead development, and perfectly executed customer support in your brand voice. We can get you up and running in a week. Scale your business with support on demand!

About the author

Photo of Mikayla Fuller

Mikayla Fuller

Mikayla is an avid copywriter. If she’s not out on an adventure, you can find her somewhere with a book in hand.