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Understanding the link between employee turnover and poor customer experiences


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It’s no secret that turnover in the contact center industry is unusually high. In fact, the average call center turnover rate in 2015 was 30-45%, meaning many businesses lose nearly half their agents on a regular basis. And since it costs, on average, $10,000 to 15,000 to replace every agent you lose, a contact center with a 30% turnover rate can incur $300,000 in turnover-related costs every year.




Though contact centers have traditionally been focused solely on customer service, we are now understanding the value of using employee engagement to drive an exceptional customer experience. In this blog, we’re discussing four ways your employee turnover may be affecting your customer satisfaction and keeping your contact center from growth and success.

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4 ways agent turnover is hurting your customer experience

1. Agents don’t feel empowered to succeed

In a contact center, an agent’s results depend heavily on the resources they have to meet customer needs. According to surveyed agents, however, companies aren’t providing the tools they need, with 60% of agents saying their companies don’t offer the technology needed to solve customer problems. 


If agents have to jump between multiple applications and ask customers to repeat their problems, there’s a slim chance they’ll be able to consistently meet management’s expectations. Tools that are constantly glitching or unable to meet agent needs can also contribute to frustration, stress, and overall dissatisfaction. As employees continue to feel a lack of support from leadership, they are more likely to look for other employment opportunities.

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2. Customer interactions reflect workplace satisfaction

Moods tend to spread. When contact center agents are unhappy in their jobs and frustrated with their work, these feelings often bleed into the interactions they have with customers. They may be less willing to go the extra mile for customers, quicker to lose patience with callers, and less invested in the customer’s success. It only takes one negative experience to lose business with 51% of consumers, so one unhappy agent can quickly create significant losses.

3. Customer service departments have a never-ending learning curve

If a contact center has a 30% turnover rate, customers have a one in three chance of connecting with an agent who is new to the job. Like any new employee, these agents are still learning about their tools, the company’s policies, and the expectations of their new workplace. While they have the potential to provide a great experience, there’s a good chance their unfamiliarity will lead to longer handle times and annoying mistakes during interactions. Even with great training and technology, an endless stream of new employees will limit and mar your customer service potential.

4. Poor internal communication

Today, customer service needs to be a company-wide pursuit. If a customer has a question about a technical issue, for example, agents should have the ability to quickly reach someone in that department for the answer. Without an effective internal communication tool, however, agents struggle to meet customer expectations. Leaving agents to search for information can also create excessive agent downtime. In companies lacking adequate internal communication, the average employee can spend 2.5 hours looking for information every day. As this struggle keeps agents from meeting goals and satisfying customers, your customer satisfaction, growth, and revenue can suffer.


Struggling to keep agents and customers satisfied? Use our EX+CX guide to learn how you can use employee engagement to create happy customers and excellent service.

Originally published Aug 27, 2020, updated Dec 30, 2022

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