The Hidden Costs In Your Call Center


Have you taken a good look at the hidden costs that could be eating away at your bottom line? Labor costs are the biggest consideration for a call center, yet these are some of the most difficult costs to control.

The Hidden Costs In Your Call Center

Agent attrition is always an issue for a call center: we know this, yet somehow most contact centers are losing more money than they realize in turnover. Here’s how you can best assess these hidden costs.

Calculating attrition costs

HR roles: Start with the HR department’s time to process an outgoing employee, which can include everything from closing out payroll to revoking access codes. Figure the time it takes and the extra costs to do all these tasks, and talk to HR if you’re not sure.

Now you’ll need to figure for HR’s second role in this whole situation, which is adding a new person to your software system and getting them into the building, onto payroll, and equipped with the tools and ID they need to work. Don’t forget compliance and tax issues.

Finding a new hire: When you fill a position, you either pay a recruiter or you spend time and money on internal advertising, checking applications, and conducting interviews.

Make sure you’ve calculated for all these expenses, and don’t forget that putting salaried employees on these tasks doesn’t save you anything. It just means you’re paying them to do something other than their regular job.

Training and supervision: Now you get to the training costs. What are you paying instructors? Do you have to set aside a room for training? Are you paying for software? If you run regular classes, divide these costs up over the year and the number of agents you have going in and out.

Salary issues: Don’t forget to also figure in lost salary for those who go through the training and never come onboard in the end. Even for those who do, you need to factor in that they won’t be taking calls at anything like the normal rate for weeks. In fact, you’ll need to adjust for a diminished rate for the first six months.

How to minimize attrition

It all starts with fully accounting for the hidden costs of attrition. Nothing motivates you to make the employee experience better than seeing the true cost of replacing a productive agent.

Improve the experience: A plant here or there and the occasional free food is nice; but that’s not what will really keep people with you. The right call center software might, though. Call center software companies can provide your agents with an omnichannel, integrated experience that improves the things that matter to morale and productivity.

With the right software, supervisors can be right there with agents on the screen, helping on the difficult calls. Agents can have access to communication histories with anyone on the phone, to get context that makes each call easier. Best of all, agents have more power to make split-second decisions that can resolve a call and keep everyone happy: including themselves.

Offer the right perks: Once you have the basics taken care of, what will make the difference are the little things. Gamification techniques keep people motivated and interested. Clear communication between you and your people will assure them of your support.

Reward programs build motivation and morale, while skill development programs help agents feel their job and future are secure. Finally, don’t forget promotions and raises, because a small team of well-paid agents who know their job and love it are worth twice as many new hires.


Lucy Bennett

Lucy Bennett is a Contributing Editor at iLounge. She has been writing about Apple and technology for over six years. Prior to joining iLounge, Lucy worked as a writer for several online publications.