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Agent Churn – The Costs of Losing Agents and How To Stop It


Like any workplace, support centers lose employees every now and then, whether they find another job or move up in the company. Unfortunately, customer service attrition goes beyond those reasons — a report from Cresta Insights shows that contact center attrition is 1.3x the national average. This unnaturally high agent churn is a consistently unsustainable issue within the service industry.

This churn negatively impacts the customer experience as well. As a joint report from Salesforce and the Harvard Business Review notes, 55% of CX leaders agree that great CX is impossible without an equally great employee experience. In other words, unhappy agents lead to ineffective CX, driving customers away.

By identifying early signs and preventing attrition, brands will save money, maintain a strong customer experience, and give their staff a rewarding role in company growth.

Obvious and Hidden Costs of Agent Churn

Any business leader that deals with high rates of employee churn knows the expenses of turnover, hiring, and onboarding. Fewer workers means less overall productivity, while the Society for Human Resource Management estimates that the cost for a new hire starts at $4,700.

The hidden costs of customer service burnout and employee churn are the physical and emotional depletion of a support center. Fewer employees means work increases across the board for the rest of your staff. Plus, seeing consistent turnover deeply hurts morale and makes agents feel like they’re not in the best environment for their career growth. As a leader, you can curb that pessimism by creating a workspace your employees feel proud to be a part of.

Cutting Off Agent Churn at the Root

Preventing agent churn is an ongoing process that requires keeping a close eye on employee morale while practicing three proactive approaches to make your support center agent-friendly.

1. Improve communication and performance reviews

The employee-manager relationship is everything to a young agent. When you fail to lay out expectations or provide a consistent channel of communication to support this relationship, employees feel undervalued and agent churn is inevitable. Pew Research Center found that 57% of people that quit in 2021 listed “feeling disrespected at work” as a reason.

Being available for your agents can make a difference. Conduct regular one-on-ones and actionable performance reviews that focus on opportunity areas and potential for growth in the company. Knowing that you’re considering their interests and long-term goals is crucial for making agents feel like part of the team, while reducing workplace apathy in the form of quiet-quitting from agents who feel undervalued.

Our advice: In an era of remote work, inter-team communication is more challenging than ever. Check out our tips for managing remote teams through better engagement, strong culture, and more collaborative technology.

2. Make a more holistic onboarding process

Starting off on the wrong foot is detrimental to the long-term potential of a new hire. Onboarding is a major area of improvement for businesses and departments of all stripes, with Gallup analytics finding one in five employees say their most recent new hire experience was subpar.

Invest time and resources in your onboarding and training, giving agents full transparency to the scope of your support center and ensuring they can master all the channels and tools at their disposal. Focus on the skills that serve agents’ long-term goals, including valuable transferable skills that can turn their positions into a launchpad for greater career opportunities in support. Lastly, explore and invest in customer service technology that’s easy to use to limit their barriers to entry.

Our advice: Gladly is renowned for its ease of use and simple onboarding. Ranked by G2 as one of the top ten support software programs for implementation and ease of use. Our accessible and expertly designed interface makes any new hire instantly feel like an expert in customer service and gives every employee tons of support capabilities right out of the gate.

3. Invest in impactful resources

Burnout is often exasperated by agents forced to deal with repetitive tasks that clog their workflows and steer them away from more pressing assignments. It’s frequently cited as a top three reason for leaving a job.

If your support technology is outdated, you don’t have the ability to automate many of those routine tasks that speed up operations. Invest in a solution that streamlines your daily customer service processes and makes agents more autonomous.

Our advice: The more you can take off your agents’ plates, the better. Bolster your self-service to make each person feel more in control — letting customers tackle simple tasks on their own while letting agents focus on more important challenges. Make the most of technology and learn more benefits of self-service implementation.

Empower Agent Satisfaction and Retention

Gladly is an all-in-one solution for preventing agent churn and keeping employees happy and in house. Our technology helps agents make a tangible impact on your growth, helping them contribute to customer-obsession while integrating them with your company’s overall progress so they can be proud to be the faces of your brand.

Want to learn more about being an effective CX leader and helping influence successful agent performance? Take a look at our leader’s guide for making service your business in 2023.