For an overwhelming amount of businesses, the call center churn is real. According to a study by The Quality Assurance and Training Connection, the average rate for turnover in call centers is between 30 and 45 percent, which is higher than double the average turnover rate for other industries.
This astounding statistic is proof that in order to maintain consistent and reliable service to customers, call centers must put employee retention systems in place as part of their overall business strategy.
Many call center employees see their job as an entry-level position that pays more than retail, a way to get a foot in the door of a company they’d like to grow in, or gap-filler that enables them to earn money in between jobs. Others consider their role as a way to gain valuable skills, from the ability to engage customers to the chance to learn sought-out product knowledge.
Call Center Metrics Can Make a Difference
When managing a call center, there are important numbers you’re tasked with keeping tabs on, but these numbers can do more than just show your company leadership that you’ve got a close eye on daily operations. There are several ways you can leverage this data to improve the lives of your call center employees.
Metrics like call volume, calls closed, average wait time, average call time, and individual employee performance data can justify the implementation of the revenue-boosting ideas you’ll read about below. These numbers can help you make data-backed decisions when it comes to:
- Documenting the need for additional staff
- Recognizing high-performing employees
- Pinpointing areas for process improvement
- Influencing high-impact product enhancements
Each of these actions has a positive impact on your employees and your business as a whole because employee satisfaction is directly related to productivity and profitability. Right now, there are individuals sitting in your call center providing your customers with above-and-beyond service in a timely and efficient matter. There’s also a real possibility that their wages are on par with the wages of other employees who do the bare minimum. Now, how long do you expect those unicorn employees to give their all day in and day out without rewards, raises, or opportunities to influence positive change and growth in your company?
As you think about how to create or enhance your call center employee retention system, consider these 7 morale-boosting moves you can make to ensure the people on the front line of your business feel heard, supported, and appreciated.
Develop a Call Center Employee Rewards Program
Create a call center rewards program that enables employees who exceed benchmarks for average call time, call volume, and wait time to receive special recognition and rewards. Incentives can vary based upon the duration of time an employee achieves a new milestone. For example, one month ahead of the game can earn a $10 gift card, while 6 months on top can earn a $100 gift card. Order custom gift cards with your company’s logo as a first step to launching your rewards program.
Publicly Share Call-Center Kudos
An all-team meeting is the perfect time to let your top employees shine by announcing the accomplishments they achieved. Public praise and recognition not only elevates your top performers, it also inspires others to aspire to their level of excellence and dedication on the job.
In addition to real-time shout outs, you can dedicate a decorative wall display that’s reserved for compliments from managers, customers, and peers. Keep content fresh by regularly encouraging team members to post shout-out notes to one another for a job well done. And any time a customer writes in about a stellar experience with an employee, hang it up so they can feel good about their work every time they see it.
Ask Call Center Employees for Feedback
Don’t assume that you know all of the challenges your call center employees face in their job, nor what changes might serve as an improvement to their work environment. Instead, ask them!
There are several ways you can conduct feedback, but the best way to ensure that everyone is heard is to provide multiple avenues to submit suggestions, concerns, and requests. That way, those who don’t feel comfortable speaking publicly are still able to contribute to progress within their department and your company overall. Feedback collection methods can include:
- A Town Hall style portion of your monthly meeting
- Anonymous email surveys via Google Forms
- A good old-fashioned suggestion box
- An HR-organized reverse mentoring program
Hold Regular One-on-One Check-in Meetings
When it comes to keeping your finger on the pulse of those who handle difficult situations with your customers, a routine annual review just isn’t going to cut it. Establish an open line of communication between managers and call center employees with frequent and informal check-ins. That way, you can correct issues, reward high performers, and gauge an employee’s satisfaction in real time. To help you choose the check-in format that’s best for your company, check out these alternatives to annual performance reviews.
Offer Unique, Stand Out Benefits
What makes your call center better than the one in the sprawling complex down the road? Because call center jobs are a dime a dozen, your ability to retain employees heavily relies on the factors that set your call center apart from the rest in a good way.
Consider the demographics of your call center employees and think about the applicants you interview regularly. What would appeal to them? From dog-friendly offices to fully stocked kitchens with free snacks, company perks can be the deciding factor for applicants with options and a reason to stay for current employees. Not sure what to offer? Ask your employees for feedback as mentioned above.
Create Professional Development Opportunities
Most of your employees don’t aim to stay in their jobs for decades, but they can certainly hang in past the average duration of a call center employee, especially if they see a future beyond the phone. The key is to communicate with your call center employees as people and professionals.
Take the time to get to know them, their interests, and experience beyond their resume. Many of your call center employees have college degrees, special talents, and useful skills that would enable them to grow into new roles in management, marketing, or other areas of your business. When call center employees see their high-performing peers move forward in their careers as a result of their hard work, many of them will aim to achieve their goals by investing their focus and dedication to your company’s success.
Make Employee Rewards Part of Your Culture
Rewards are the main drivers of any successful employee retention system and staying consistent is easier than you think. Giftogram gift cards equip call center managers with easy ways to thank, praise, and recognize call center employees. Available in physical or digital gift formats, Giftogram gift cards are a top-choice for their employers because they can be spent at hundreds of retailers nationwide. Best of all, you can brand your Giftogram gift cards to reflect your company’s logo and remind recipients that your company appreciates everything they do. Learn more.