The bane of call or contact center services and the businesses they serve is agent attrition. Ask any provider.
High turnover hurts business performance and customer satisfaction. Ask any client.
Call centers, in fact, have one of the highest turnover rates of any industry.
In a 2015 QATC (Quality Assurance & Training Connection) article, “Exploring Call Center Turnover Numbers,” Penny Reynolds writes: “Overall averages for the call center industry as a whole range between 30–45% monthly, with some centers having almost no turnover, and other centers having turnover in the triple digits.”
Reynolds notes that industry benchmarks are one thing. Turnover, and reducing it in your own operations, is quite another. She backs up her points with a rundown of hard costs for turnover.
ROA – Return on Agents
At most companies, ROA stands for return on assets. At Working Solutions, it means much more—return on agents.
Agents are our business. They serve our clients. Take care of their customers. Without the agent-customer connection, the business stops.
Agents make it go, helping customers:
In business, there are assets—and then there are agents.
At Working Solutions, we know the difference.
And our clients and their customers value it.
Working Solutions differs from standard call centers, with a virtual network of U.S. agents who all work from their home offices. As an on-demand contact service provider, our agent turnover runs about 70% less than an average call center a month.
To reduce it further, we assist agents by providing an abundance of essential communication to welcome them, and ensuring smooth transitions to their client programs.
“Immediate engagement, from hello to hand-off, is essential,” said Tracey Sloan, vice president of innovative solutions and support. “Often, it’s the small things, such as a personal call or quick text, that keeps agents connected.”
We believe our work-at-home model benefits clients and agents alike. For clients, low turnover means agents become more invested in the business.
Familiar with client products and services, they speak with confidence about offerings. This insight translates into increased customer satisfaction and sales.
As independent agents, on-demand talent thinks like business owners. Freed from the confines of brick-and-mortar call centers, they work where they like— with whom they like.
For them, the advantages are many—from no commute to flexible schedules to work-life balance.
Often, agents sign up for the year-end holiday ramp-up. Not counting them, our average agent tenure is several years. For travel agents, it’s longer—about 4.5 years. We even have agents celebrating 10- and 15-year service anniversaries with us.
To encourage longevity, we cultivate a caring culture and open communications through our online agent community, Vyne.
In addition, Working Solutions president and chief executive Kim Houlne broadcasts business updates to the field via YouTube, along with holding face-to-face agent regional meetings nationwide.
Surveys also are done to assess agent satisfaction. Results are compared with client net promotor service (NPS) scores, which gauge customer loyalty, to see how things sync up. The higher the level of agent engagement, the better the NPS scores.
We monitor agent comments on the workplace site Glassdoor. Candid comments, good and bad, keep reality in check. Issues are addressed and changes made as needed.
In our industry, where virtual voices carry great weight, it makes sense to treat agents the way we’d like them to care for a client’s customers. With respect.