Why Do Contact Center Agents Stay?


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Regardless of the economic cycle, turnover can be a problem for a lot of contact centers. Whether it’s just retaining any person to be in your contact center or just those high performers. Turnover is something that all of us need to do a better job of managing, but how do you do that?

One of the ways that you can do that is by focusing in on what’s causing agent to stay. It’s too easy to focus in on why they’re actually leaving and you may have more opportunity to retain more by focusing in on why they’re staying.

If a contact center focuses on understanding why their contact center agents stay, then they can act to reinforce the right reasons, nurture and develop the right reasons and stop reinforcing the wrong reasons. In other words, they can take a positive approach to managing retention, which is most definitely more effective over the long run than the typical and common negative approach of simply focusing in on why agents are leaving and “reducing turnover”. It’s significantly healthier to focus on “increase retention”.

That’s one of the things that Penny Reynolds, master trainer in call centers talked about on the webinar, “How Do You Call Center Supervisors Measure Up?” So, let’s see what penny had to say.

Edited transcript

Penny Reynolds: I think it’s also interesting to look at why people stay. We don’t always want to look at the negative side. So, when you do similar studies of people that are in this position, they’re in the job and they’re doing it well and they’re happy, they come to work every day and things just work. Why are they staying?

If you look at this list:

  • Motivation/job fit
  • Empowerment
  • Training
  • Career path
  • Recognition/rewards

you’re not seeing compensation on the list. Many people that are finding fulfillment and they like working in contact centers. In many cases it’s not because, oh my God they’re making so much money they couldn’t possibly dream of doing anything else.

So, money is there but it’s not the most rewarding thing about why I like this job – why I’m staying. Why they stay? It’s I’m just good doing this kind of work. I like doing this. Motivation and job fit, the number one reason people leave and the number one reason they stay. So, that’s one reason.

It’s really important that we also spend a lot of time getting the right people in the role in the first place. We can save ourselves a lot of time and money and everything down the road if we get that part right. And that’s true for the frontline agents, it’s also true for supervisors.

Why they stay? They feel empowered – they’re getting trained – they’re getting developed – there’s a career path – they’re being recognized for their work.

Look at that list. Who’s responsible for doing these things? The frontline supervisor (Call Center Supervisor Success Path).

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jim Rembach
Jim Rembach is recognized as a Top 50 Thought Leader and CX Influencer. He's a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner and host of the Fast Leader Show podcast and president of Call Center Coach, the world's only virtual blended learning academy for contact center supervisors and emerging supervisors. He’s a founding member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association’s CX Expert Panel, Advisory Board Member for Customer Value Creation International (CVCI), and Advisory Board Member for CX University.


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