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Exit Interviews Can Help Lower Attrition for Call Centers


TMCnews Featured Article

April 18, 2008

Exit Interviews Can Help Lower Attrition for Call Centers

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Attrition within the call center is one of the biggest challenges that call center managers face today. Whether employees are not motivated by the pay or the incentives, had no intention of staying with the company in the first place, or saw a lack of future with the company, the loss of a call center agent creates significant problems for the call center.

Many call centers track their employee attrition numbers, but just as many do not track why the agent is leaving the company. As an employee, he or she may site personal reasons for leaving, but maybe the truth is that he or she felt inadequately trained to do the job well or maybe there was a conflict with a supervisor. Without investigating the reasons for leaving, the call center cannot improve their processes to lower attrition.

To gain a better picture as to why employees leave a company, some call centers are starting to implement a systematic method for determining departing or former employees’ attitudes about the organization and operations. As a customized solution, these methods can help the company accurately gauge problems in order to make corrections.

The argument for such solutions is that the more information that the organization can learn about how employees view their jobs and company, the better the organization can manage their business. Such a solution not only helps the company to determine why employees leave, it can also help the call center to evaluate what they have done to keep good performers.

Exit interviews can also help the call center to obtain information using an objective third party. Employees leaving a company may not be candid with a representative of the company when it comes to reasons for leaving. A third party could easily extract honest answers.

Such a solution is also a useful tool to help refine the recruiting and selection process, as well as to improve operations and enhance retention. After a certain number of exit interviews have been completed, the information can be tallied and put into reports that provide a clear picture of where problems exist and where improvements can be easily made.

FurstPerson, a provider of call center hiring solutions, offers exit interviews as well as other solutions that can lend significant value to the call center to improve operations. The company develops the interview guide, contacts a random sample of former employees who either voluntarily or involuntarily left the organization, conducts the interviews via phone or Internet and completes an analysis using statistical validity models. Conclusions and recommendations are then presented to the center for evaluation.

While such a system put in place cannot completely eradicate attrition for the call center, it can help the organization develop more effective methods for hiring and retaining quality employees who will strive for good performance.
For more, check out the Call Center Hiring channel on TMCnet.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.

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