Thursday, September 18, 2008

How to reduce attrition in call centers

The points that I've mentioned here are the issues that my colleagues and I were facing, it may be different for different call centers depending on their geographic location, process etc.
Transportation - The most important of all. I live in Bangalore, known for its IT firms and for its traffic. It would take two hours for me to travel from one end of the city to the other end during peak hours. This is how my day is spent= 8 hours of login+an average of 3 hours of travelling+1 hour of briefing at the beginning of the shift and debriefing after the shift. Sometimes you are forced to extend an hour if the call flow is high. Totally I used to spend more than 12 hours on this, sometimes 14 hours, trust me I am not exaggerating.
Solution - People working in the transport team(admin), sorry if I'm being rude, are the most incompetent people you'll find in the industry. The HR team should look into this, they must appoint people who are dynamic. They should devise a system that makes the time spent travelling not exceed more than 1 hour. There shouldn't be too many people in a cab which is coming from a very long distance. I think the spider web overlapped on the city map would give them an idea to plan the routes properly. People should discuss the routes and road condition with the drivers as the person who plans these routes would have hardly travelled around the city.
High call flow - I know people in the management may not agree with this point, but this again is a very important factor which leads to attrition. As you all know call center job is one of the most stressful jobs, you are working in the graveyard shift. We cannot change the shift but we can definitely reduce the call flow. I used to work for a technical process, working for a technical process is very difficult and if you have no time to relax after a call it becomes very stressful.
Solution - Reduce the call flow. I strongly feel a minimum of 1 minutes time should be given between calls.
Where an agent is placed - The process for which you're recruiting should be told, a complete analysis should be done by the HR before placing the agent in a particular process. I've seen people who are not technically sound working in a technical process, they work for sometime, dont cope and quit the company.
Solution - Things to consider while placing the agent in a particular process - distance between the agent's residence and the company(if there are more than one office in the city), ladies prefer a day shift or the first shift(specially the married women), their education(major/branch), men can be placed in technical process, women in finance etc.
Other reasons : Agents immediate manager are also one of the reasons why people leave an organization. Managers/Team leaders in call centers should really understand their agents well and make them feel that they are not working for a company, but its their company, their process.
HR's should speak to the agents or do a small survey to find out what are the issues the agents are facing. Well they do take the feedback but only once and that happens in the 'exit interview', by then the agent would have made up his mind to leave the company, probably would have got a job elsewhere. It is very difficult to retain an agent at that time. HRs of a particular process should really be close and friendly with the agents to know what exactly is the problem.
Please share with us the reason why you quit your company in the comments section.