The secret weapon to retaining customer service staff. Hint: It's not what you think.

by Sirius People

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Securing reliable staff who are loyal and will stay is one of the biggest challenges Contact Centre managers face. With staff turnover costing contact centres over $11,500 per staff member, it’s no wonder managers are scratching their heads about how to address this costly problem.

According to ACA Research, 40% of contact centre employees had been in their current role for less than one year. But a third of those surveyed had been working in a similar contact centre role for more than four years. These numbers show employees were happy with the nature of their work – just not the company they were working for.


Why are customer service staff leaving jobs?

Although you can chalk this up to many issues (a disconnect on expectations, poor management, negative team culture), early turnover is usually a result of multiple negative experiences.

Research from the Australian Council of Trade Unions found the reasons for leaving call centre jobs were varied but some of the major ones included:

  • Inadequate resources (both technological & informational) to be able to perform their job
  • Poor training
  • No career path

Shockingly, research shows that 33 per cent of employees know within their first week whether they will stay with a company.

That’s right, within their first 5 days on the job, one-third of new employees have already decided if the company is the right fit for them. That first week is critical for making a positive impression on new employees and for setting them up for future success.


What is the secret to retaining staff?

An often overlooked component of managing, successful onboarding of new staff actually leads to many positive business outcomes:

So while as a manager it’s tempting to gloss over onboarding or skip steps, it is in yours and the company’s best interest to make onboarding a priority.

This is particularly true for contact centre managers. Customer service staff face a steep learning curve when they start a new job. There are lots of new systems to master, KPIs can be intimidating and there may be a large team to get to know. Employees frequently face irate customers, are often on low salaries and at times it can feel like a thankless job.

There are simple things you can do as part of your new hires onboarding to make sure they feel supported throughout their initial training, integrate socially with their team and have the resources they need for ongoing success.  


Key benefits of good onboarding 

If done in the right way, the onboarding process is an essential employee engagement tool. 

It can improve your:

  • New hire retention rate
  • New hire performance
  • Overall team culture, and
  • Customer satisfaction

Happy Employees =  Happy Customers = An Improved Bottom Line

Ready to get serious about improving how you onboard staff? 

Download our free 7-step guide to onboarding contact centre staff. It’s 16 pages packed full of detailed information and advice to help you fix your retention problems and create a stable and successful customer service team.


If you’d like some more help in this area or want to discuss your contact centre staffing needs, please get in touch with us at Sirius People. We’d love to talk to you about how we can assist.

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