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Great Coaches Help Prevent Attrition


CustomerQueueAccording to recent contact center surveys, the average attrition rate is 27% across all size centers.  For larger centers, the attrition rate rises to 41%.  Regardless of your own level of attrition, we all know that it certainly affects the bottom line as well as the day-to-day success of your center operation and customer experience.

Attrition occurs for a variety of reasons but many of those reasons relate to an agent’s level of job satisfaction. Surveyed agents tell us that they want to have opportunities to grow and learn, and to be shown appreciation for their work. Your supervisors and team leads who interact with your agents daily have a great impact on whether agents are happy working at your center or are ready to leave.

We preach the need for supervisors to have excellent team building skills but sometimes we forget that the team is made up of individuals with unique skill needs, communication styles and differing levels of motivation needed.  Our supervisors need to learn how to approach each agent as an individual and find the keys to help that agent feel valued and be successful in their job.

Effective coaching and training plays a key role in creating a positive atmosphere for agents to work in. Great coaches help agents to learn and grow skills they will use to create a wonderful experience for our customers.  They can also help agents to develop skills for their future career goals within the center and your company.  Agents who are recognized for efforts and achievements by a mentoring supervisor are more likely to enjoy working for us.

Money is motivating for many but agents will not stay or be effective on the job, regardless of the pay, if they dread going to work each day because there is negative coaching or apathetic leadership. Sadly, I’ve had some Agents tell me that their only one to one contact with a Supervisor is when they have done something wrong.  This coaching of errors only creates an atmosphere of coaching dread which spreads throughout the center.

Your contact center becomes a very negative place to work when front-line leaders are doing more telling than asking, more talking about what an agent did wrong rather than catching an agent doing something right.  On-going coaching and daily motivation from a supportive supervisor is a long-term investment in agent success and engagement that will help to make your center a positive place to work, drive higher job satisfaction, and in turn help keep your attrition level from rising.

This article was originally posted on Intradiem’s Blog where I’m featured as one of their Call Center Experts.

5 Responses

  1. This article definitely speaks to a long known truth. The challenge for organizations is to show these great coaches how their contribution is valued. All to often the expectation falls on the supervisors to fix the morale and motivation of employees when they themselves need to be valued and motivated. Great coaches are a great resource but they need to have their tanks refilled by their managers and leadership team.

  2. sadly there is too much emphais and time spent on “what went wrong” vs. ” what went right”….this is often times based on systemic issues, productivity pressure and the budgetary need for ‘continuous improvement’….when agents feel that the focus on the ‘stats and numbers’ is ultimately all that management may care about then you will see morale suffer and job satisfaction dwindle…so yes, effective and positive coaching can help offset some of the inherent issues that lurk in many larger call center environments..but we need a larger overhaul of the call center mindset to really fix the problem…is a call center a cost center or a profit center??? the answer to this question may solve the riddle.

    • Thanks for the excellent comments, John. I’m always happy when my posts create new questions to be answered and I think your ending one is an important one. Also, many centers still fail to see the link between employee engagement and results with customer experience. Center management needs to make sure that agents feel valued while balancing the need for business metrics and productivity.

  3. This is actually quite simple: if the teacher wasn’t effective in educating his/her student, how can the student ever learn. Well, an effective coach will definitely help in ensuring that “botched” calls and other mishandled customer service issues are avoided.

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