How Contact Centers Can Emerge Unscathed from the Great Resignation

September 26, 2022

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With one in five global workers planning to quit their current job and switch to a new employer over the next few months, the Great Resignation is far from over.

This workforce trend could spell trouble for contact centers, which tend to have high attrition rates. In 2021, customer service managers reported average attrition rates of 42 percent, which is the high-end of pre-pandemic levels.

The problem is, if companies don’t invest in retention prevention, they could lose more talent – which will translate into both financial losses and reputation damage.

But with modern technology and employee-centered workplace best practices, contact centers don’t need to experience an increase in turnover. In fact, with the tools available today, you can address most of the pain points that contact center agents are having, boost employee engagement, and help your contact center emerge unscathed from the Great Resignation.

Let’s look at why workers are quitting in 2022 and what contact centers can do to help customer service agents thrive at work.

The State of the Great Resignation Today

The Great Resignation is an over-arching term that describes the workforce trend that took off in 2021 – voluntary resignation.

In numbers never seen before, employees chose to leave their jobs and seek a new employer or career path or simply leave the workforce. In 2021, 47 million Americans quit their jobs.

The pace hasn’t slowed much in 2022. In July alone, 4.2 million people, or 2.7 percent of the workforce, quit. This isn’t a dramatic change when you look at the historical share of workers voluntarily leaving their jobs – even pre-pandemic, close to 2.4 percent were quitting each month.

However, it does represent a clear shift that employers and managers need to respond to. The fact is that attrition rates are going in the wrong direction. And even after the Great Resignation trend subsides, there’s nothing to indicate that rates will reverse.

But average rates are just that: averages. They don’t have to reflect your company.

Attrition rates may be high and creeping higher, but instead of being resigned to accept the Great Resignation, managers and employers can look at this as a wake-up call. It’s an opportunity to pay attention, identify problems, and implement solutions. And fortunately, in the contact center space, technology has introduced plenty of solutions.

So why are employees quitting? And what can contact centers do to support contact center agents?

What Surveys Say About Why Employees Are Quitting

Reasons for quitting range from low pay and poor benefits to a lack of flexible schedules. Here’s a look at what some of the most recent surveys say about why people have been quitting during the Great Resignation.

  • According to a Pew Research Center poll, about one-third of workers in the U.S. are quitting because of low pay, few opportunities for advancement, and a sense that they are not respected in the workplace.
  • A FlexJobs survey found that the number-one driver for quitting is a toxic company culture. After that, top reasons include lack of remote work options, poor management, burnout, and a lack of a healthy work-life balance.
  • In a PwC survey, 71 percent of employees thinking of quitting are motivated by pay, 69 percent want a fulfilling job, and nearly half want to be able to choose where they work.

While there are a variety of drivers behind employee turnover, there are some key trends to draw from this data:

  1. People want to feel valued at work – and that value should be reflected in their income.
  2. They are willing to leave if the culture or management is poor.
  3. Flexibility is a big deal – people want more control over their schedules and location, which means offering remote work is an important part of attracting and retaining talent.

Contact centers can – and should – address all of these issues.

How Contact Centers Can Better Support Agents

The modern contact center looks different than the call center of a few years ago. It’s these differences that can help contact centers increase employee engagement and boost retention.

With cloud-based contact center software, managers have access to advanced analytics and reporting.

How this helps: Real-time analytics empower managers to address issues as they emerge, and AI-powered interaction analytics reveal what type of training agents need to be more successful. Managers can use this data to streamline workflows and improve the employee experience.

Instead of being limited to calls, with contact center as a service (CCaaS) that integrates with unified communications as a service (UCaaS), agents can meet customers on their preferred channels.

How this helps:  This can reduce interaction times and frustrations and boost customer experience. It also puts more tools in the hands of your customer service agents, empowering them to provide more meaningful services.

Because a CCaaS is cloud-based, agents can work from anywhere.

How this helps: You can operate a fully functional remote contact center, hire from around the world, and save on operational costs, freeing up more resources for pay increases. Agents also have the ability to work more flexible schedules and gain more control over work-life balance. They can also live where they want.

Empower Your Agents with a Modern Contact Center

With a modern contact center powered by cloud-based software, your contact center agents have more tools, more streamlined workflows, and more flexibility. Additionally, managers have better insights and data, which they can use to make better-informed decisions.

Technology isn’t the only solution to the contact center Great Resignation. But it does play a huge role in improving experiences and making work more meaningful for your agents. Learn more about what cloud contact center software can do for your organization today.

Mariel Santos

Mariel Santos is the Director of Marketing Communications at Intermedia

September 26, 2022

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