Use Technology to Turn Around Your CSR Turnover Problem

employee-turnover_1-01_largeIf customer service is a big part of your business, CSR turnover can be a big problem. With turnover rates hovering around 33%, it’s no wonder this issue poses a constant worry for so many businesses. But what if you could turn the problem into an opportunity? Technology today is making it possible to do just that. Here are three ways you can use technology to minimize the negative effects of CSRs leaving their jobs – and even reduce your turnover rate, especially on the people you most want to keep.

1. Keep the knowledge good CSRs leave behind when they leave.

Turnover is tough enough, but it’s even tougher when good, long-term CSRs leave – and take all the knowledge they’ve accumulated over the years with them. When this happens, it just adds to the already-high cost of having to hire and train a replacement. (Estimates range from $8,800 to $15,000.) The cost of losing a seasoned CSR’s knowledge may not be as quantifiable as that, but anyone who’s experienced such a loss can tell you it’s no less painful.

Fortunately, there’s technology available today to help retain the knowledge that veteran CSRs acquire over time: a knowledgebase. When accumulated in a knowledgebase, information such as answers to common customer questions will remain available to help keep up the quality of customer service. So while you may lose a CSR whose experience and knowledge makes it easy to quickly size up and address a customer’s problem, you don’t have to lose the experience and knowledge itself. Rather, you can allow it to populate the knowledgebase, where it will be available for newer CSRs to refer to when they are helping a customer with a problem that may be new to them – but may not actually be new at all.

2. Dramatically reduce the investment you make in new employees.

There are two very important things that technology can accomplish for a company struggling with CSR turnover:

  • Reduced hiring requirements: As more customer service content gets posted online through knowledge bases, tutorials, articles and other tech-based channels, customers are more likely to be able to find the information they need without even making contact with a CSR (In fact, our own clients reduce their incoming inquiries by about 30% on average). Lower demand for CSR services means you may not need to fill all the vacant positions created by turnover, enabling you to reduce hiring and training costs – and achieve significant savings for your company.
  • Lower training burden: If you have established a good knowledgebase, CSRs will be able to use it as a source for much of the information they need to do their jobs. Therefore, you won’t need to provide as much training to the CSRs you do hire to replace those who leave. Access to good information to help get the job done can also help reduce CSRs’ stress – one of the factors that can drive them to quit.

3. Identify your best performers – and give them more reasons to stay.

Today’s digital world equips employers with more technology tools than ever to identify your top-performing CSRs and reduce turnover among them. If you have a knowledgebase that includes the ability for customers to rate answers received from CSRs, you can track individual performance over time. Add to that your data from post-interaction surveys and other sources of customer opinions, along with information from tools that measure CSR speed and efficiency, and it’s easy to tell exactly who’s consistently excelling overall. Then you can motivate them to stay – whether by rewarding them financially, supporting them in their professional goals or taking other positive steps. You can even use these same tools and analytics to identify underperforming CSRs and encourage them to leave when necessary. So when you do experience turnover, it’s more likely to be the poor performers that are moving along.

If you started this article thinking that CSR turnover is generally a bad thing, I hope by now you’ve come to the conclusion that doesn’t have to be the case. With the technology resources available to you today, you can respond to turnover more positively than ever before – and turn it to your advantage.