How to Overcome Low Employee-Retention Rates at Call Centers

October 04th, 2019

Turnover is an unpleasant inevitability that faces every workplace. People move on to different cities, opportunities, careers, and there’s little you can do to stop them. Well, most of the time.

Whatever the reason attributing to specific turnover cases, there are times when employers can have zero agency over an outcome, and times when changes to processes and habits can help to mitigate workplace attrition.

This is especially crucial to identify for call centers. Depending on which survey you happen to come across, or which hiring manager you’ve talked to most recently, turnover rates at call centers can easily range from 30-45% (for reference, the average turnover rate for most industries hovers around 15%).

Even for incredibly well-run businesses, this daunting statistic can be extremely challenging to contend with year after year.

Why Such an Insane Turnover Rate?

The factors can vary from workplace to workplace, but typically relate close to the following:

  • High-stress levels
    • Working in a call center means dealing with customers. And they’re usually not calling to talk about how happy they are. Many Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) find out quickly they aren’t cut out to constantly interact with disgruntled customers and promptly excuse themselves from the building.
  • High work volume
    • Depending on the workplace, CSRs usually stayed glued to the phone, often fielding 50-100 calls per day on average. This leaves little room for breaks in the action (or time-wasting) to break up the constant stream of work. Certain people love this kind of work-intensive environment, and many others think they do only to quickly find out they expected a lot more time available for checking their social media.
  • Unprepared employees
    • Because CSR positions are often on the entry-level side of experience requirements, many hires don’t have a wealth of work experience to help them properly gauge if the demands of the job are something they can adequately handle over time.

Now that we know we know a few of the reasons that lead to such high turnover rates at call centers, here are some of the ways you can slow it down:


This is first and foremost– it’s also the easiest.

Be honest with people during the candidate experience. Tell them exactly what they can expect on an average day working at your call center.

If they can expect to answer 70 calls a day, tell them that.

If they can expect to deal with upset customers several times a day, tell them that.

Don’t paint an unrealistic picture of a workday to try and “sell” the job to a potential hire. It may help get them in the door, but it won’t keep them from walking right back out of it once they find out things are a little different than advertised.

We’re not saying it’s all doom and gloom at call centers 100% of the time. Working as a CSR is an incredible start to many long, successful careers as it allows a person to develop a valuable set of skills in a pressure-rich environment.

But you still need to be real with candidates about what they can expect so you attract the ones that can and will stick around.

Gather Feedback (And Then Apply It)

This is a crucial process for all work environments regardless of the industry, but it’s particularly critical for fields with high turnover.

Learn from your employees who have been able to navigate the challenges of the job and thrive in spite of them. Listen to what they have discovered works well and apply that when you train new employees.

Better yet, interview the hires that quit to identify specific pain points that you can work on as a team to address and boost morale.

There is much value in understanding how your staff feels about their job; you just have to put in the time to gather that information and develop solutions that make a better workplace.

Highlight a Path of Progression

Many people end up quitting their jobs as CSR’s because they don’t see any clear path to a promotion within the company. Because CSR roles are usually entry-level, the salaries aren’t typically enough to keep everyone sticking around.

If there is a plan in place for their career growth, make certain that each and every individual is aware of it as they begin working. Identify individuals that display management skills or leadership qualities and put in some time to chart out a career path that to incentivize employees who show potential to keep investing their time with you.

Develop your Culture

Does your company take time to recognize employee achievements? Do you organize fun activities outside of the office to promote healthy relationships? Do you offer your employees strong quality-of-life benefits?

All of these questions (and much more) help to define a sense of culture and employer brand. This is incredibly important in the modern workplace—especially for younger generations.

People aren’t just working solely for a paycheck anymore. They want to belong to a company with a strong culture that promotes teamwork, work-life balance, personal and professional growth, and respects them as individuals.

Take time to identify and reinforce what your unique company values in a work culture, and make serious efforts to apply that to all aspects of your organization.

Bear Staffing

Looking for workforce solutions that work for you? Bear Staffing is here to help. Our team of dedicated, experienced staffing professionals has a proven track record helping great companies find great talent. Call us today to learn how we can help you overcome any hiring challenge you may face.