The order of the day for many large companies is scaling support. A company whose support team cannot keep pace with the rate of growth will soon see dips in its customer experience KPIs like customer satisfaction and customer effort score. A common obstacle that frequently prevents companies from scaling support is agent churn. The cost of agent turnover can have a significant effect on more than just the bottom line—it can diminish the customer experience considerably.

How to Calculate Agent Turnover

So, what is your turnover rate? Here is a simple equation to determine your rate of annual agent turnover:

Agent Turnover = # of agents who leave (voluntarily or involuntarily) / total # of agents

What Agent Turnover Can Cost You

Let’s say, for example, you require 150 agents to run your contact center, with an annual churn rate of 20% (not terribly far-fetched, by the way). Throughout the year, you’ll need to replace 30 agents. If it costs you—using an arbitrary number—$10,000 to replace an agent, your churn rate could cost you $300,000 a year. Maybe it costs you more. Maybe less. Either way, it shouldn’t take long to realize how expensive it can be to replace customer support agents.

Impact on Customer Experience (it’s about more than dollars and cents)

Yet, the impact of high agent churn extends far beyond your department’s balance sheet. First and foremost, high churn tends to diminish morale in the call center, placing added stress on agents who are already stretched quite thin. Why? Because it’s typically a less experienced agent that replaces the ones who’ve departed, agents less equipped to deal with customer issues in an efficient and timely manner. The new agents will be in over their heads, while the more experienced agents might be tasked with shouldering the load. This kind of cyclical stress and strain makes for low morale. And, as we know, unhappy agents usually translate into unhappy customers.

Herein lies the true cost of agent churn. It is one thing to be consistently hemorrhaging support agents (which is bad enough); but the poor customer experience that results often leads to churn of a different kind, one that can be just as costly to brand and bottom line (if not more so).

Additional categories: Customer Experience