Leading reasons for call centre agent attrition

The leading reasons for CALL CENTRE AGENT ATTRITION
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The leading reasons for call centre agent attrition

A recent overseas study has revealed the leading reasons for call centre agent attrition. Amongst the top 10 reasons one stood out significantly above the others and despite common perceptions, it wasn’t directly about salary.

According to the survey conducted by Deloitte’s for Ireland’s Customer Contact Sector a “Lack of career advancement” is the leading reason for attrition: Creating opportunities for advancement in the organisation has emerged as key initiative for many of Ireland’s customer contact organisations.

What’s driving attrition?

It would appear call centre agent attrition is being driven by two key factors:

  1. As stated in Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report, “a new social contract is developing between companies and workers…the days when a majority of workers could expect to spend a career moving up the ladder at one company are over. Young people anticipate working for many employers and demand an enriching experience at every stage.” An Irish executive describes their internal development efforts—“ we need to help talent on two fronts. Help them plan their career and help them realise that they own their career.”
  2. The traditional view of working in a contact centre is starting to change. People are starting to see it as a viable career choice. For organisations where a clear career path isn’t apparent or advancement opportunities are limited, it’s common for employees to seek alternative employment options or return to studies to help develop or change their career.  In the report one CEO describes the organisation’s hiring point of view “if you’re looking for a job go somewhere else, if you’re looking for a career, come to us.”

Perhaps symbolic of a different jobs market, attrition rates in Ireland appear to be very different to those previously reported on in Australian where attrition rates of >40% are not uncommon. Ireland reported the 2015 attrition rates top three groups as:

  • Attrition less than 10% – 56% of respondents
  • Attrition between 10% and 29% – 27% of respondents
  • Attrition above 30% – 20% of respondents

Another key element in reducing employee attrition is culture. Having a distinctive culture is now a key selling point and tool for retention: This new social contract between employers and employees leads to expectations for rapid career growth, an exciting and flexible workplace, and a sense of purpose in the workplace. This is driving many organisations to modify their HR practices, culture, or leadership support to manage this new workforce.

So whilst salary/wages is still important (it was ranked number 2) providing a supportive workplace with some clear career paths should at the top of your priority list. And thats a good thing for everyone.

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Justin Tippett
Chief Editor & Founder | CX Central
I've been working in the contact centre/CX industry for close to 30 years and I unashamedly still love it.

As well as founding CX Central, my other businesses include CX Connect - the smart sourcing solution for businesses, CX Consult - the call centre health check specialists, CX Skills - contact centre training specialists and FlexibleJobs.com.au - A new website that helps you find the perfect job to suit your lifestyle.

You can also catch me on my CX Hustle Podcast on iTunes where I cover CX & Contact Centres for businesses and CX professionals.