Customer service turnover should be a concern for all business owners -- especially small businesses. High employee turnover is not only inconvenient but also financially costly, as expenses involved in recruiting new employees can be quite large.
Studies indicate that the typical customer service team will spend $4,000 on a new-hire, and more than $4,800 for training. In addition, 70 percent of customer service workers will quit their jobs within one year.
Dealing with the effects of high turnover in your customer service department can be a struggle, but businesses that can leverage training, incentives and competitive pay with benefits will find their employees remain on board much longer, saving time and money, while also boosting engagement, loyalty and output. Here, a few important steps to make all that happen.
1. Offer measured customer service training
One of the main reasons turnover is so high among customer service departments is that these workers simply don’t receive the level of training they need to be successful and confident in their job performance. Further, when and if the training is complete, managers are required to spend time manually tracking who did what, when and how well -- all in the name of gathering insight.
While in training, employers should engage new employees and socialize them as part of the team. Poorly trained employees are more likely to receive customer complaints and have a harder time following standard operating procedures. As a result, they’re less content with their jobs and ultimately decide to seek a position elsewhere, outside the world of customer service.
To combat this, consider consistent training practices that bring employees up-to-speed on the newest technology or other professional development courses to help them feel secure in their positions. Set clear expectations for training practices and revisit those expectations each quarter.
Finally, the most valuable, time-saving action a manager can take when training their customer service team is to implement customer service training software.
With today’s training software, managers can know, in real time, which employees are understanding (or bewildered by) core concepts; they can even tie this data to revenue in their CRM of choice (e.g. Salesforce). Beyond this, managers know instantly when training content is being taken and how well it's understood.
2. Provide competitive pay and benefits
Another all-too-common reason for high customer service employee turnover is a lack of competitive pay and benefits. Customer service workers tend to have lower hourly pay rates and less-desirable benefits than employees in other positions within the company.
Consider allowing support teams to work at home or from a remote location. Not only will this increase the company’s potential talent pool for recruitment, but Stanford University reports that remote workers are more productive, work longer hours and quit less than those who commute to the office. Businesses that employ remote workers save an average of $2,000 per employee.
In order to reduce customer service turnover rates, business owners must acknowledge the value these workers bring to the table and reflect this in their salaries and benefits.
3. Encourage employees and give feedback
Customer service employees often feel disconnected from their supervisors and management teams. As a result, they may not be engaged in their work and can grow disinterested easily, which eventually leads them to seek other employment opportunities.
Business owners can avoid this problem by going out of their way to provide feedback and encouragement. This can include implementing an “employee of the month” system or even encouraging supervisors to single out hard-working customer service employees for praise. Don't discount the importance of employee feedback.