From Stay Interviews to Burnout Prevention: How Your Contact Center Can Invest in Agent Retention

In today’s labor market, retaining agents is more difficult than ever.

Because agents have so many options, contact center leaders need to start understanding what qualities make for a good call center agent job—and learn how to deliver.

So how can you invest in agent retention today?

Keep your best talent.

When you find agents who are knowledgeable, empathetic, and great at their job overall, you want to keep them. And one of the best ways to do so is through stay interviews.

The process starts with anticipating when your top performers might be looking for new opportunities. That’s the right time to schedule stay interviews and learn how you can help your best agents stay.

The main goal of a stay interview is to evaluate what’s working for the agent and what’s not. The focus isn’t on performance or metrics; it’s all about employee experience. Are there feasible changes you can make to keep an agent or are they committed to leaving?

Stay interviews offer actionable agent feedback, helping you take an active role in improving retention. And when you keep your best talent, you foster a core group of successful agents who can mentor new employees, boost morale, and keep performance high.

But the key to utilizing a stay interview properly is to follow through and update agents as you make improvements to policies and procedures, work culture, or other factors. Without consistent follow-through, your agents won’t trust you—and they’ll be just as likely to leave as they were before.

Invest in your team.

To make your contact center a great place for agents to work, you need to invest in your team.

It starts with focusing on the agent. While it’s important to update agents on your contact center’s goals and target metrics to help them maintain performance, it’s equally as necessary to talk about the agent’s perspective.

You need to inform agents:

  1. How they benefit by being a part of your team
  2. What opportunities for career advancement you offer
  3. What the expectations are for raises and promotions
  4. How you will support agents throughout their time at your company

Agents want to see that they’re valued. And they want to know that you prioritize their career goals. Otherwise, they’ll find another contact center or company that aligns better with their future.

“There’s high turnover because the agent is not prioritized. They’re not invested in. Companies seldom have a road map when a new agent comes onto the organization. They don’t tell the agent, ‘Here’s what you’re hired for, but these are all the other available positions. In three months, you can get trained to qualify for those.’”

Idris Said, Director at Xtendico

Recognize a job well done.

Job satisfaction is a critical factor that can be overlooked in contact centers. Agent satisfaction depends on agents receiving positive feedback and knowing the impact of their work.

So, share success stories with your team. Highlight specific agents and their impactful contributions. Let agents know when clients praise their work.

Although it doesn’t take much to vocalize your contact center’s successes, it affects how your employees see themselves and their work. When agents feel like they’re on a winning team, it motivates them to stay and see what more they can accomplish instead of seeking out a new role.

Prevent agent overwork.

With high turnover affecting contact centers, it’s easy for the agents who stay to get bogged down with former agents’ work. But you don’t want agents picking up too much of the slack while you hire more employees because that makes them more likely to quit.

To prevent this snowballing effect, you need to evaluate the workload left behind by former agents and divide it fairly. But this can be a difficult process.

Implementing a system or tool that takes care of labor division is the best solution. This way, agents can clearly understand what needs to be done without feeling confused, overwhelmed, or unsupported.

Amidst turnover, it’s critical that you don’t abandon the agents who have stuck by you. Allocating work appropriately and hearing out your agents’ concerns is the right method to prevent burnout—and stop the cycle of turnover.

Improving retention isn’t a one-step process.

It takes more than one or two changes to see real improvement.

To turn the tide on turnover, you need to be actively involved in making your contact center a better workplace for agents. And considering agent feedback along the way is crucial to ensure that you’re creating an environment agents want to be a part of.

See how Vistio’s AgentHub can help you retain more agents.

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