Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Research Shows Attrition Still a Problem in Contact Center Industry

November 26, 2007

Employee turnover in the contact center industry has been an ongoing problem for years. Experts point to low pay, frustrating customers, lack of motivation and opportunities as driving individuals from contact center positions to equal jobs in other fields. While some companies have found ways to combat this trend, the industry overall still has a long way to go.

According to ContactBabel’s fifth annual UK Contact Centre Operational Review, contact center staff attrition is actually rising and has been for a few years. At 32 percent for 2007, this is the fifth consecutive year the UK industry has seen a rise in attrition for contact center staff.

For the UK contact center industry, this means that 185,920 new agents have to be recruited each year to ensure staff levels are kept constant. Some experts believe that forecasts for IP infrastructures and the belief that they will be commonplace in many UK centers by 2009 will provide the necessary flexibility to combat contact center staff attrition.

Rex Dorricott, CEO of Exony, a contact center interaction intelligence software specialist, believes that the massive increase in fully IP-architected contact centers – which are projected to be up to 41 percent within two years from today’s 17 percent – will allow the industry to battle attrition rates through the utilization of more home based agents in a virtual contact center (VCC).

"The new research from ContactBabel highlights how the contact centre industry continues to be plagued by attrition, but it also gives cause for hope. With 41 per cent of contact centre managers stating they will be running their centres on IP infrastructure within the next two years, it looks like we have reached a watershed moment," said
Dorricott in a statement.

"The move towards IP-based contact centres will make it very easy for organizations to adopt Virtual Contact Centres. VCCs allow companies to be truly effective and efficient in managing agent resources in line with demand, by enabling additional agents from multiple sources to be brought on board in real-time as required.”

Dorricott also noted that VCCs offer an inherent flexibility that allows organizations to implement the home-based agent platform. Tapping into this talent pool of skilled workers can help the organization to deliver best practice customer service. By increasing the opportunities for home-based agents, Dorricott believes that more organizations will be able to tackle their attrition problem.

While it is true that not every organization or contact center is set up to effectively implement a home-based agent platform, the benefits that it can provide are at least worth investigation. After all, anything that has been proven to increase customer service, lower costs and lower attrition is worth consideration.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC and has also written for To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.