Home Agent Trend Key to Reducing Attrition

Oct 01, 2008 7:55 PM  By

Everyone knows that call center attrition rates are high. Employee turnover in call centers averages 25% — but for some unfortunate centers it may be as high as 90%-100%.

In some cases, the performance of the outgoing agents is so poor that the managers are actually happy to seem them leave.

But when the agent is a top performer, you want to do whatever you can to hold onto them. And in some cases that means letting them work from home.

Establishing an at-home agent program enables you to keep your high performing reps in the event they still want the job, but have a conflict with actually getting to work, such as a spouse’s job change or a long commute that makes the job impractical.

But with this type of program, you have to be diligent. Here are some things to keep in mind:

–The individual must be a self-starter and fully capable of high production with minimal supervision.

–Remote agents have to have a home environment (ideally one that includes a quiet home office) that’s conducive to the job.

–At-home reps must already know your business and products inside out.

–You need to determine whether these at-home agents are considered contractors or employees, as defined by state law, and whether they are eligible for any paid benefits.

If you want to be able to selectively retain your very best reps, decrease your call center space and reduce administrative overhead, you might consider the remote agent option.

Curt Barry is president of F. Curtis Barry & Co. (www.fcbco.com), a multichannel operations and fulfillment consulting firm with expertise in systems, warehouse, call center, inventory and benchmarking.