How to improve agent retention and reduce hiring needs

Five lightbulbs hanging from strings

Hiring and retention is tough right now, especially for call center agents.

That's not surprising - the job is tough and stressful. And agents who work in consumer finance have it even tougher.

They're taking incoming calls, meeting outgoing call quotas, learning scripts, managing accounts. They're therapists, compliance experts, savvy communicators, household budgeters, and more.

They have to navigate new and changing regulations, consumer hardships, issue resolution, and the dialer and CRM all at once. 

But attrition is a vicious cycle. It causes managerial time sinks as leaders constantly recruit, hire, onboard, and train new agents to keep up. It gives the remaining agents harder jobs, low morale, and missed opportunities for proactive improvements.

So how can ops leaders mitigate attrition and its impact on their goals? 

Improve your agents' workdays

The good news is there is an answer: Make your agents' jobs easier.

Start by evaluating time. What takes a lot of time, but isn’t that fruitful? What eats into the workday but doesn’t make it into their paychecks and commission? All of that makes their jobs worse — less fun, less productive, less fulfilling — and keeps you from reaching your goals. 

As an example, let’s say you found that you had two minutes of note-taking time per call and 20 calls a day per agent. With 30 agents, that’s 6000 minutes of wrap-time per week that could be time spent as talk time.

Boom. Automate call notes and you've relieved your agents of hours of administrative drudgery and regained revenue opportunities.

The more time your agents spend on calls, the more opportunities they have to be effective, and the more effective they are, the better their jobs get.

Not only could that result in improved retention over time, but it also reduces your hiring need right now, while keeping your goals and outcomes at the forefront of your operations. 

Support agent effectiveness

If you could sit by every one of your agents on every call, you'd show them how to capitalize on each opportunity to achieve a key outcome, such as experience scores and payments. 

You can't be there all the time. But you can use technology to coach your agents through calls so they experience less stress and more success.

A real-time agent assistant can increase effectiveness without adding managerial time. In fact, it can save ops leaders time in several areas: 

  • Improve outcomes with existing agents
  • Reduce ramp time
  • Proactively address training needs
  • Automate compliance adherence

All of these changes create opportunities for agent effectiveness, helping you achieve key outcomes in the same amount of time or less. 

Bottom line: Agent attrition is normal, but by improving productivity and effectiveness, you can do more with the talented workforce you have right now and reduce your hiring needs in the future.