In line with the celebration of the Customer Service Week in 2021, the CXM team received much information about the current status and trends in the world of CX. We decided to share with you some of the most intriguing data from the new Calabrio report that revealed the reasons behind the high contact centre agent turnover this year.

The report was unveiled on the first day of the Calabrio Customer Connect (C3) event, digging deep into agent sentiment and wellbeing. What struck us most is that agent stress is building up, and it seems not many organizations are addressing this issue. Following the mental health awareness week, we highlight why talking about employee wellbeing should be a never-ending practice in the world.

The Great Resignation is still taking its toll

The Great Resignation, also known as the Big Quit, is the trend that started in the spring of 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It refers to the employee inclination to leave their jobs due to a number of reasons, from low pay to poor workplace culture.

The Calabrio report focuses on the impacts The Great Resignation has had on contact centres and the importance of employee-centric practices. Both US and UK contact centre agents were surveyed to uncover the pain points and transformational opportunities. The gathered responses make a huge red flag for businesses – over a third of surveyed agents are considering leaving their jobs within one year, and half of them plan to do it in the next two or three years.

Recognizing the challenges of contact centre agents

It was revealed in the report that most agents suffer tremendous stress from modern workforce challenges, especially when it comes to rising customer expectations, growing call volume, and a shaky work-life balance. In fact, one-third of surveyed agents reported feeling stressed multiple times per week, which is 25% higher from 2017.

What’s even more shocking in the gathered data – most agents stated their companies are not doing enough to address this stress. A cycle of disengagement and stress seems to be never-ending, as agents noticed very little efforts from their employees to support them in the time of crisis. Yet, this year’s findings reveal that contact centres must prioritise agent retention and engagement or face a dangerous cycle of attrition.

“Agents are a brand’s only defenders and key ambassadors during this pandemic, and they continue to face one of the most difficult customer service eras in recent memory. This report illustrates that now is the time for contact centres to prioritise the creation of a targeted agent engagement and retention plan,” said Tom Goodmanson, president and CEO at Calabrio.

What we learned from agents’ feedback?

The key takeaways extracted from the report come as follows:

  • There is a disconnection between the things agents ask for and the top reasons for leaving. For example, the majority of agents ask for higher pay but leave because they are unhappy in the job. Higher pay is the number three reason for leaving.
  • While most agents report that they are now working in their preferred environment, more flexibility is still the second most common agent request.
  • More agents in this year’s study feel they have the correct technology to handle challenges compared to the 2017 study, but “lack of tools” and “lack of data” are still the top two reasons for agents to fail to solve customer issues. 

At CXM, we constantly receive articles around employee well-being topics. This report is just another call to stop ignoring the conditions customer support agents are often forced to work in. We want this message to be spread across customer support managers, people operation officers, and leaders. The quality of your service is measured by the quality of your employees’ work life.

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