Contact centers are losing much more money than they think from employee turnover – a helpful benchmark of employee engagement. It’s hard to imagine that attrition, already widely recognized as the bane of the call center bottom line, could ever be underestimated. Yet, here we are. The problem isn’t that companies don’t take the concept seriously enough to take action. It’s that they consistently undervalue the true financial toll that attrition takes, starting from the point that an agent leaves the company to the point that the resulting empty seat is filled and fully productive. If these companies knew how much money they were losing right out from under their noses, there is no doubt they would try much harder to fix the problem.
Common attempts to keep employees happy like potlucks, dress-up days, and other center-sponsored events are nothing more than temporary band-aids on a much larger wound and aren’t truly engaging. More important, there is no controlled measurement to show that any of these internal initiatives are actually effective. The first step to conquering attrition is understanding it, and the first step to understanding attrition is to keep reading. Let’s break down how these companies can take a fresh look at attrition, and actually take the necessary steps to address it without needing a desk lamp housing a magical call center genie.
In the interest of outlining a methodology for calculating a concrete operational dollar value per “attrit”, let’s take a look at each individual source of cost a contact center experiences when replacing a fully productive agent. First up: the hiring process. Often when speaking to call center executives, hiring and training costs are the only items they include in their tally of the costs of employee turnover. This is a bigger mistake than Colgate brand frozen dinners (yes, that actually happened). Still, it’s worth going over all the factors that should be accounted for.