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The Importance of Employee Retention in Customer Care Centers - RDI Corporation - Blog

The Importance of Employee Retention in Customer Care Centers

You don't want an empty call center. Preventing employee attrition will save you time, money, and show your customers you value them. 

Everyone has had a first day on the job. You go in, not totally sure where you’ll be sitting, or what the protocol is for lunch. Can you just put something in the fridge, or is that presumptuous? You don’t know if you should go to that 9:30 meeting or if you should be doing something else. You aren’t totally sure where to get pens. And is there a bathroom key? Who do I ask?

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But the worst part is not being sure of what to do. Sure, you’re good at your job, but there are always quirks and tricks about your new gig that force you to ask questions. There’s a learning curve. And that’s fine. What makes it difficult is when you’re the one who is being asked questions. That’s where inexperience really shows.

That’s the problem with customer care. It is a job where the representative is being asked questions at all times, and is tasked with solving problems. And no matter how much they are trained, there is always a first real day, a first sink or swim moment. That’s why the most crucial part of any customer care team is agent retention. You want to minimize those first real days.

Customer care agent retention is the difference between successful customer service and PR disasters. It’s the difference between good buzz and going viral for all the wrong reasons. So when contracting with a third-party customer care partner, make sure you look for someone who combines technology, training, and retention. Otherwise, you’ll have people constantly looking for the fridge instead of helping customers.

The Cost of Call Center Turnover

Quality Assurance and Training Connection recently went over some of the numbers when it came to call center turnover. They are pretty shocking.

  • It costs $10-15000 to replace a frontline employee.
  • It costs $6000 to replace an employee making $12 an hour
  • It costs $36,000 to replace a management-level employee.

This comes from the costs of recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and training people. Every time you need a new person, you have to do background checks, which cost money. You have to spend time training them. You have to move resources that could be spent elsewhere.

That’s why hiring right matters, and part of that comes with age. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a pretty clear breakdown when it comes to retention and average job duration.

  • Ages 20-24: 1.1 Years
  • Age 25-37: 2.7 Years

What this means, roughly, is that if your call center employees people mostly on the first job, young people under 24, you’ll be replacing the entire staff every year or so. And as we saw above, that adds up. A company could spend literally tens or hundreds of thousands of dollar a year hiring, training, and replacing.

But it isn’t just about the numbers. It is about continuity.

Planks on a Boat: The Importance of Continuity

There’s an old philosophical question--one of the earliest recorded, actually-- about replacing planks on a boat. If you replace half of them one year, and the other half the next, is it still the same boat? Or is it a completely different boat?

I don’t have a really good answer to that, but I do know that constant turnover and call center attrition means worse customer care, because it isn’t the same staff. You lose experience. You lose continuity. You lose the sort of institutional knowledge and break-room wisdom that comes from having longtime staff members.

That means worse service, by definition. It means more people having to say “I don’t know--let me check”, which drives customers crazy. Why? Because they think it means you don’t value them. 70% of customers say that customer service is the true test of whether or not a company values them. So despite your best intentions, you could be turning people away because a new employee doesn’t know how to handle a tricky question. 77% say the most important test of that is whether the company values their time. Endlessly being placed on hold is a great way of being told that your time doesn’t matter.

Poor customer service leads to $41 billion in losses per year. Think about that. Think about your share of that, combined with the costs spent training and hiring. How much money are you losing?

That’s why so many companies are turning to third-party customer care specialists. The right company has a track record of employee retention that combines with excellent training and cutting-edge technology. They create the right atmosphere for a difficult job, rewarding employees and promoting from within.

But most importantly, the right company gives them a chance to succeed. The biggest cause of attrition is demoralization. But by truly partnering with a company, and learning everything about them, and turning that into industry-leading training, they can avoid attrition. They can give them a chance to succeed, by making it more about getting it right than about avoiding mistakes.

Everyone has a first day. The trick is to never let the customer know it. The best call centers are where everyone can locate the frid


RDI-Connect is your full-service call center and customer care partner. We combine cutting-edge technology with superior hiring and training procedures to give your organization the support it needs. Your success is ours. To learn more about how we can partner with you, please connect with us today.


Publish Date: July 6, 2017 5:00 AM

2021 Buyers Guide Automation


Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.


EVA Voice Biometrics
Powered by Auraya's patented ArmorVox engine, EVA is a voice biometric extension that provides secure and seamless identification & verification capabilities for Amazon Connect. EVA provides delightful customer experience by removing the friction of providing PINs, passwords or secret information in order to prove caller identity. EVA comes standard with active and passive modes and a simple yet powerful agent interface. This allows for personalised self-service and a more friendly and efficient experience when interacting with an agent.

Outdated security methods such as PINs, passwords and security questions have become insecure and unreliable. Forgetting passwords and security answers o...
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Consilium Software

Consilium UniCloud™
UniCloud™ is an intuitive platform that allows Enterprises to deploy and manage their Unified Communication (UC) and Contact Center (CC) services with ease and entire provisioning can be completed in seconds using this comprehensive tool supporting digital transformation. The latest release 7.0 of UniCloud™ is a multi-tenant platform that transforms the delivery, management, and integration of collaboration and contact center solutions, for both Cloud and On-Premise deployment models.
With its single-pane-of-glass views and quick provisioning tool, UniCloud™ is instrumental in reducing the time to provision an entire multi-cluster Cisco collaboration platform, including contact centers (C...
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eGain Corporation

eGain Solve
Proven, Easy, and Guided Journey to Automate Customer Engagement in a Digital+AI World


Automated Language Testing
Emmersion offers automated assessments to quickly and accurately test speaking, writing, and grammar fluency in 9 languages and counting. We help contact centers improve CSAT scores by screening for top talent and retaining top performers.

OpsTel Services

The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Perfor...
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Recent Blog Posts:
Superior Customer Care Creates True Customer LoyaltySeptember 19, 2017 5:00 AM
Great Customer Care Creates New Customers Through Word of MouthSeptember 12, 2017 5:00 AM
Using Social Media, Bots, and Well-Trained Reps To Create A Customer-Care-as-a-Service PlatformAugust 1, 2017 5:00 AM
Become a Service Maester: 5 Customer Care Lessons From Game of ThronesJuly 11, 2017 5:00 AM
The Importance of Employee Retention in Customer Care CentersJuly 6, 2017 5:00 AM
The Emotional Intuition Factor: Why Humans are More Important Than AI in Customer CareJune 29, 2017 5:00 AM
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Using  Customer Speech Analysis  With AI To Improve Call Center PerformanceJune 16, 2017 5:00 AM
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