It goes without saying that it is much cheaper to retain an existing customer than to gain a new one. This is also true for call centre employees. To have an aligned and productive team is, in the long term, much more cost-effective than hiring new employees due to staff turnover. Which, unfortunately, is usually high.

If you do everything you can to retain your team members and decrease staff turnover, it will directly affect the quality of customer service. Why? Well, for one thing, you will not lose your time on constant training of new employees; instead, you can use this time to develop the team you already have. Furthermore, as the quality of your customer service gets better, it will be easier for you to retain customers and prevent them from leaving or even offer them new products or services. Your costs of recruitment and introduction of new employees will decrease and you will achieve your sales goals at a lower cost.

We present 7 critical factors that will allow you to decrease staff turnover in call centres and various customer service departments.

Let’s start with the recruitment process

Recently we have been dealing with the so-called ‘employee market’. It means that it is getting more and more difficult to find a good employee as there are more job offers available than there are employees to fill them. As a result, employees are now becoming more demanding in terms of salary and working conditions. So, what can be done with that? Well, for starters, begin with creating a so-called ‘persona’, i.e. an ideal job candidate. Define the candidate’s education and experience, but try also to walk in his/her shoes for a while and think how much should the candidate earn in order to live with dignity and what kind of working conditions would be likely to make him/her stay in your company for a longer time.

Now it is time to compare the above with reality. Are the employees you have hired so far similar to your ideal candidate or have you been lowering your expectations towards your employees in order to, for example, pay them less? If you want to create and retain an aligned team, you cannot go on like that any longer, especially when there has been a shift to an ‘employee market’.

Review your organisational culture

If you have decided to start hiring suitable employees, you must ensure that your organisational culture is appropriate. A company’s organisational culture combines both factors affecting work environment as well as some technical aspects. Think what can be improved in terms of:

·       Working space

·       Appropriate lighting

·       Conditions allowing for comfortable work and focusing on performed tasks

·       Simple tricks that make work more pleasant, for example a fruit bowl or various beverages so that your employees do not have to drink only water, etc.

·       Employee benefits for use in free time, e.g. vouchers to cinemas or gym membership cards

Provide your employees with appropriate work tools

This point partly covers the technical aspect of the organisational culture. You must ensure that the overall quality level of your business is high, but also that each employee is provided with the right work tools. From a sufficiently large, ergonomic office desk and chair to appropriate contact centre software, your employees need these things in order to perform their tasks in an effective and ergonomic way. Take care of it!

Tailor training to the age group

Training of employees is a vital part of every company, be it initial or upskilling one. If you have created your ideal candidate’s profile, you have probably determined how old, more or less, they should be. Tailor the training to the needs of this age group. If your employees are 40+, they are probably used to traditional lecture-based training. Employees in their twenties are on the other hand more energetic and usually need more interactive classes.

Use gamification

The aim of gamification is to apply game principles in business tasks. Enhancing a so-called gamification factor is a simple way to increase employees’ satisfaction from their job, because they will be confronted with new tasks, challenges and goals, the accomplishment of which will result in a reward. As a rule, gamification differs from a contest in that game rules are designed to boost the work motivation of all employees willing to ‘play’ and not just the small group of top workers, as is usually the case in standard, goal-oriented contests.

Draw conclusions from employees leaving your company

If you have received a notice of termination from an employee and there is nothing you can do to retain them, try to turn this situation into an opportunity and talk to the employee about pros and cons of working in your company. Perhaps an outspoken employee will draw your attention to something you have not noticed before that needs to be improved.

And last but not least, remember that coaching is not a means for pillorying your employees and call playbacks are not a whip!

There is nothing that destroys work environment faster than a manager who ruins the employees’ morale instead of helping the employees to identify and improve their weak points through appropriate means. Unfortunately, as one can frequently read on various Internet forums, call playbacks that are typical for call centres are being used solely for the purpose of finding an excuse to punish employees for failing to achieve work results. Do not be like that. Help your employees to develop their abilities and prove that you are a true mentor to them.