Horrifying thought, right?  Summertime includes lots of outdoor activity like hiking and grilling.  But one ubiquitous pest invades all summertime retreats:  MOSQUITOS!  They are annoying,  buzzing around and harassing at every turn.  There’s a variety of methods to control them, but none will eradicate them.  Using deet-based formulas, citronella, Off, etc., we try to keep them away for a while, but there is no guarantee.  

If a mosquito lands on you, what do you do?  Well, one remedy is to immediately swat it and hope it’s caught  soon enough.  Since the buggers usually are not alone, and as their concentration increases, it becomes harder and harder to avoid their landing and biting.  On another level, mosquitos kill. (The number one cause of death in the world stems from mosquito-borne diseases.)

 Attrition is like a mosquito.  It is annoying, every business faces it, and each company has its own form of repellent.  But no one can eradicate attrition entirely.  If an organization does nothing about employee turnover, it will find itself chasing useless but temporarily satisfying swatting at the problem at best.

Imagine if the mosquito, like a bee, had a stinger.  Now when swatting the mosquito, the victim also gets stung!  If you are allergic to insect stings, you could go into anaphylactic shock and die!  When the pests gang up, there results a much more serious outcome.

Attrition in a call center needs to be combatted as a mosquito with a stinger.  A company needs to have well-developed processes to control attrition (think Deet) and needs to imagine that attrition might also have a stinger as evidenced by KPI, churn rate, hiring, vacancy rates, etc.  Sometimes the effect of short-term mitigation masks the longer-term danger.  A holistic approach to churn should include Detection, Mitigation, Socialization, and Evaluation.  

  • Proactive Detection-   It is always easier to head off a problem that you know in advance is coming.  Adopting tools that are dynamic and can Predict agent churn is invaluable in helping to slow attrition.
  • Mitigation –  Can you identify the root causes of attrition?  Remember,  like our winged friends,  these can change and your strategies become less effective.  Develop an approach that allows you to discern what’s advancing in order to help mitigate attrition.
  • Socialization –  Make sure your approach includes a social component.  Detection and Socialization are integrated; talk to the agents, recording their likes and dislikes in a neutral, anonymous setting.
  • Evaluation –  Changing the course of a boat while still in the water is different than doing so on land.  Bigger boats take longer than smaller boats to change course.  Create a dynamic strategy and stick with it for at least 12-24 months.  You should soon see indications of a new atmosphere developing in your call center.  We believe you need to be adaptive and experimental:  try new strategic remedies.

Answeron’s attrition-reduction approach tries to treat the attrition issue like the mosquito with the stinger.  We find that as the above steps are followed,  the health of our customers’ personnel teams gets better and better. 

Note regarding actual mosquitoes:  There seem to be no actual mosquitos with stingers (thank goodness!)