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The average employee attrition rate (ie. the number of people leaving their job) in the UK across all industries is approximately 15%.  According to a recent report from contact babel, employee turnover in the contact centre industry can rise to a whopping 40%.   What is it that makes agents want to leave their jobs? And how can managers encourage great employees not to walk out the door?

The impact of Salary on attrition

If we look at the first statistic to arise, we can see that salary pays a big role with higher paid workers less likely to leave the job within the first 6 months of starting their job.  It’s possible that those on lesser salaries are more easily attracted to other firms with the promise of a pay rise.  Considering the added recruitment costs of replacing a good contact centre agent, it sometimes pays to pay more!

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The report also highlighted that Housing, manufacturing and the public sector pay the highest agent starting salaries, with retail & distribution and outsourcing the lowest.

Type of Contact Centre vs Attrition Rates

When it comes to contact centres, size matters.  The survey showed that bigger operations had higher employee turnover rates compared to smaller centres.   Possible reasons for this could be a better workplace culture, better management or more flexibility.

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Also, employee churn is greatly affected by the type of calls that are being handled.  Customer Service agents are more likely to stay in their current role than Sales agents.   Sales agents are more closely bound by targets and can encounter negative customer interactions (especially in outbound roles) which might explain the higher figure.

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What are agents looking for in a Contact Centre role?

In the majority of jobs, a good salary will encourage employees to stay longer.  The promise of higher pay elsewhere can be enough for agents to jump ship so attrition can be prevented by paying employees well from the start of their careers.

Another factor in employee happiness is training and on-going support.  By coaching inexperienced agents, empowering agents to make decisions within the call and supporting their decisions afterwards, management will see less agent churn and hopefully a more productive employee.

Opportunities for career progression also featured in the report.  As people tend not to see entry-level customer agent jobs as a career for life, giving employees a clear path to progression will motivate more people to stay within the industry and increase the incentive to perform well.

For more information on Contact Centre Recruitment, feel free to contact BrightStar’s Danuta Charubin on 028 90 325325 or email d.charubin@brightstar-recruitment.com .

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