What Really Matters in Your Contact Center? Headcount Turnover vs. Service Level

Many people fret over contact center data like average speed to answer, service level, and time to abandon. While these are very important statistics to keep in mind, perhaps they are not the ones you should focus on the most. The quality of contact center performance has a great impact on the success of an organization, and it is important to be conscious of employee efficiency and customer satisfaction while considering contact center statistics. The Cost of Turnover


The costs associated with agent turnover can be astronomical. It is crucial to keep your employees productive yet also happy and motivated. The cost of turnover and cost to train a new contact center employee are equally as significant as other statistics. Call centers replace about 26% of agents annually. In hiring new workers, a typical call center spends about $4,000, and an additional $4,800 in training. This does not even cover the indirect costs of employee turnover, including money spent on supervisors holding meetings to manage new work loads, HR managers updating payroll records, and potential overtime hours for current employees.


Upon reading this quote, it made me think about how so many companies worry about measuring the wrong statistics:


“If you are measuring anything, measure your headcount turnover and try to get it down, and try to measure your employee satisfaction and try to get it up. If you get those two things right, then the people that work in your organization know how to do it!”

- Paul Cooper - Business Development Director, ICCS


If a company’s average call pickup time is 6 seconds, that sounds great in theory, but it isn’t always necessarily as impressive as it sounds. Perhaps the statistic on its own is correct, but it is not always a realistic representation of the company’s performance if it happens to be operating with twice the average number of employees.


Questions to Ask


What will have a positive impact on your organization? How can you keep agents happy, reduce employee turnover, and maintain a smaller headcount? These things are important to consider for an overall positive impact and total cost of the organization.


-       Training – Make the agents you already have more efficient with available resources. The number of agents should not increase in order to decrease call pickup time, because that doesn’t improve overall productivity.


-       Room for Growth – Promote from within the company. Give your employees responsibility and encourage participation in order to prevent worker withdrawal and resistance.


-       Positive Environment – Determine your company’s goals and values, and channel that into the workplace environment. Develop a sense of respect and community within the office to make employees feel like part of a team.


Quality Over Quantity


The relationship between the company and its employees is lot more important than people sometimes make it out to be. If you can form and maintain positive relationships within an organization, improved performance and productivity will be a natural result. Reward loyalty and set yourself apart from other organizations. Quantitative statistics like service level, abandon rate, and average wait time are important to call centers, but the quality of service cannot be overlooked. Employee satisfaction will lead to a lower turnover rate and increased customer satisfaction.