Agent Retention

How to Reduce Employee Turnover in Customer Service

Wondering how to reduce employee turnover in customer service at your organization? If so, your company is not alone. Contact center agent attrition is a challenge across industries, with the average annual contact center churn rate ranging between 30 to 45%—double the national average for all other types of employment. 

And, when asked what the top “operational pain points” affecting the contact center in 2022 are, one in three leaders (33%) from across the contact center, customer experience, operations, marketing, digital strategy, and IT listed “high agent turnover” as one of their top challenges. This finding comes from the November 2021 Customer Contact Week (CCW) Digital Market Study,  “Future of the Contact Center: A Forecast,” sponsored by our team here at Stella Connect by Medallia.

As part of this research, these same leaders shared the steps they’re taking to reduce employee turnover in customer service. Here are five strategies you can put into place at your organization right away to improve agent retention ASAP. 

5 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover in Customer Service

Offering greater work flexibility and improving training and coaching are among two of the top tactics business leaders are using to strengthen agent retention, according to CCW Digital’s research. In fact, more than 40% of individuals surveyed say they already are or are planning to embrace these strategies. Other approaches that more than one in three leaders they they’re using or plan to use include:

  • Upgrading contact center technology offerings
  • Boosting team building and social functions
  • Improving career options
  • Expanding on employee perks, rewards, and incentives
  • Optimizing metrics, customer service scorecards, performance reviews, and more
Call Center Turnover

Source: CCW Digital, Market Study: Future of the Contact Center: a Forecast

#1: Meet customer service agent preferences

Nearly half of the CCW Digital survey takers say they plan to hang onto their customer service team members by making remote customer service work arrangements available as well as by offering more flexibility with scheduling, in line with agent expectations. 

If you’re considering giving your agents the ability to work in a virtual environment, be sure to check out our resources on how to successfully manage remote teams and ways to help remote customer service teams thrive

#2: Improve your customer service coaching, training, metrics, scorecards, and performance reviews

Customer service training is integral to agent engagement and long-term retention. That’s why nearly 44% of business leaders say they plan to invest in this area and another 35% are focused on improving customer service metrics, customer service scorecards, and performance reviews, according to CCW Digital.

#3: Upgrade your customer service technology

According to CCW Digital, more than half of contact center leaders find fault with their systems and tools. Here are some of the top pain points they experience with their tech stacks:

  • Systems and tools are too fragmented and disconnected (51%)
  • Technology isn’t designed to support remote workers (31%)
  • Not enough actionable customer data (27%)
  • Systems and tools aren’t compatible with important devices, like mobile (22%)
  • Tools are too difficult to use (17%)

Nearly just as many of the leaders CCW Digital surveyed (41%) say they want to get better contact center tools and systems in place to help reduce employee turnover in customer service. 

#4: Increase team building, perks, rewards, and incentives

About an equal percent of contact center leaders believe investing in team building efforts (38%) and customer service rewards and incentives (37%) will help improve agent retention, according to CCW Digital’s findings. 

Looking for advice on how your brand can improve team morale through group activities and team and individual perks? Discover these lessons from ezCater on how to minimize agent attrition through fun team-building favorites like:

  • Decorating shared workspaces
  • Going snowmobiling
  • Hosting movie nights and happy hours

Plus, check out our 12 rewards and recognition ideas for customer service teams, packed with free, low-cost, and splurge suggestions. 

#5: Make clear career paths and growth opportunities available for agents

Increasing employee compensation isn’t the only way to boost engagement and retention. In fact, only 21% of leaders say they plan to take that approach to reduce turnover, according to CCW Digital’s survey.

This, compared to 37% who plan to improve career paths and growth opportunities for their people. 

Get our guide to Creating a Customer Service Career Path for Your Team and find out meaningful opportunities you can make available within your organization.

How Stella Connects Helps Top Brands Reduce Employee Turnover in Customer Service

Stella Connect’s leading customer service technology tools empower brands like Lemonade and Walmart to manage remote teams, offer more effective coaching and training, deliver agent rewards and recognition that drive engagement, and more.

Request your demo today to see how we can enable your team to reduce employee turnover in customer service, helping you not only strengthen employee satisfaction but also save on the cost of hiring and onboarding new agents, which can add up to an average of $15,000 per employee.