by Admin August 19, 2008 03:49

One of the most interesting topics I see on RFP’s or I hear asked during the interview process between a client and a potential vendor is Turnover or Attrition.You will hear attrition percentages but rarely do you hear the calculations or the circumstances for it.What about an industry standard?Is there really an industry standard calculation for attrition?Does this mean that all call centers are alike?The 60 seat facility in Nebraska that provides services for 4 clients is like the 1500 seat facility in Orlando that is owned, operated and services its own product line?I hope not!!!!!

Believe it or not, most call centers use their own calculations for measuring turnover.Some start the calculation after 30 days of employment, some exclude part timers while others begin from the first paid hour.Does your turnover number include all employees or just agents?I believe most call center management and clients don’t understand turnover or its calculations.Want to have some fun? Once you have received a turnover number, ask how it is calculated and how the industry calculates this number.My guess – a lot of stuttering will begin to take place.

So as a client, what does the Attrition number mean to you?Is it the answer you were looking for?Will you make your decision based on a number you heard and may not really understand?I believe the answer is more than a number.

While internal issues, clients expectations, consistency of work flow and employee personal lives effect turnover, lets discuss the 3 areas that I believe should be discussed when addressing turnover.

Natural Attrition – People move, go back to school, find higher paying jobs, retire, die…

Controllable Attrition – Agents let go because of performance, attendance or behavioral issues.

Uncontrollable Attrition – client unexpectedly loses funding, changes the way they do business, facility lost to fire……forcing layoffs.

Turnover is important but should be based on the skill set of the agent needed and the complexity of the program.“So tell me, now that you know my program expectations and complexity, what type of turnover do you experience on such like applications?” A program that takes 8 weeks to train, and has a long sales cycle should have less turnover than a program that takes 2 hours to train and usually is a 1 call close.

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