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How to prevent agent churn in your contact center

Ring Central Blog

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5 min read

Highlights:


It’s a fact of running a contact center: agents don’t tend to stay at their jobs for very long. There are a number of reasons for this: low job satisfaction, poor training, and poor hiring practices all affect how long an agent stays on the job.

Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. With better training and collaborative tools, you can reduce agent churn within your contact center – read on to learn more.

The state of contact center agent turnover today

To understand the issue more clearly, let’s look at some statistics:

What we see from these statistics is that companies are spending a great deal of money on agents, yet they’re not investing in employee retention, nor are they giving agents the tools they need to succeed.

As an agent, how would you feel if you were in a situation where you routinely didn’t have the tools you needed to effectively help customers? Customers would be unhappy with you, and you’d feel like you weren’t positioned for success in your role.

Remote agents and the possibility for increased churn

There’s another complicating factor: the increase in remote agents.

In the wake of the global pandemic, thousands of agents began working from home as their contact centers were closed down. In addition to the fear and stress they faced in their personal lives, they had to handle a 20% increase in the volume of customer interactions.

Supervisors also contended with a difficult situation: they could no longer walk through the contact center to monitor agents, or hold one-on-one sessions with them to provide feedback. Training new hires in-person became an impossibility.

(Find out more about supervisor challenges in the age of remote contact center workers here.)

What steps can contact center management take to reduce agent churn?

There are two main steps contact center management can take to reduce agent churn. They can provide better training and provide collaborative communication tools to agents. Let’s unpack those two steps a bit.

Provide better training to agents to reduce churn

Why is training critical to reduce churn? Training provides agents with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively serve customers. When you take shortcuts with training, customers deal with agents who don’t know what steps to take, and who can’t provide an excellent customer experience.

That inevitably leads to negative customer interactions, which increases the pressure agents feel on the job and raises the likelihood of churn. Even in cases where customers do not respond negatively to agents that fail to provide good customer experiences, agents who discern that they are not well-trained for the job may feel inadequate and dissatisfied with their own job performance, which leads to churn.

Beautiful smiling call center worker in headphones is working at modern office.

Provide collaborative communication tools to agents

Even if an agent has excellent training, they still might encounter a situation that requires the assistance of a more experienced colleague.

Yet, traditional call centers weren’t set up that way – they were silos in which agents couldn’t easily turn to their colleagues (especially not those in other departments) for help. As a result, they couldn’t get the information customers needed, which led to low customer satisfaction and frustrated agents.

That’s where collaborative communication tools come in. These tools enable agents to work with their colleagues outside of the contact center, so they can deliver an excellent customer experience.

How can you provide better training and collaborative communication tools?

There’s one step you can take which will allow you to provide better training as well as collaborative communication tools: move to cloud-based contact center solutions.

Cloud-based contact center solutions allow you to train agents remotely; here’s how:

Cloud-based contact center solutions also incorporate collaborative communication tools, such as:

Additionally, agents can liaise between customers and internal experts and share files and other information that would solve customer problems (and increase their satisfaction).

Cloud-based contact center solutions reduce agent churn and increase flexibility

Thanks to cloud-based contact center solutions, agents receive the training they need in an effective manner. Moreover, once they start working in earnest, they can connect to resources that make them more effective and able to deliver a better customer experience.

Cloud-based contact center solutions can also reduce churn because they increase agent satisfaction. Research shows that the employee retention rate for remote agents is 80%; contrast that with a 25% retention rate of on-site agents.

The option of working from where they want empowers agents, and workforce management tools give agents increased flexibility over their schedules. It’s easy for a supervisor to switch a shift, so agents don’t have to worry about missing important appointments or life events.

The flexibility of working from home, as well as the option for flex time, attracts candidates with the right education and skill sets. A Frost and Sullivan study revealed 80% of remote agents have a college education and management experience, whereas only 35% of on-site agents have that background.

RingCentral’s cloud-based contact center solutions lay the foundation for higher agent retention

RingCentral’s cloud-based contact center solutions feature built-in collaborative communication tools and make it simple to deliver effective remote training. Once agents start working, they have the tools they need at their fingertips to make a customer’s experience amazing. To learn more about how you can reduce churn with cloud-based contact center solutions, get a demo.

 

Originally published Apr 21, 2021, updated Apr 29, 2021

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