When you’re evaluating answering services and deciding which one will suit you best, you’ll often hear the same set of questions being asked:
- Where are your agents located?
- Do agents speak English as their first language?
- How much does the service cost?
But there is one more question that you should ask if quality and consistency are important to you.
What is your agent or employee turnover rate?
Deeper knowledge of the workforce that will be servicing your account will give you better insight into the level of service and consistency you can expect. A high turnover rate can signal a problem with company culture that will result in constant retraining of employees. The more “lifers” you see the better. Think about your own organization and personal experiences. The people who deliver the best customer service experiences are often the ones who know the company like the back of their hand. They are comfortable, confident, and have a demeanour that says I got this.
What is an acceptable call centre turnover rate?
The average turnover rate for a call centre is about 30-40%. When you evaluate answering services, strive to find a partner that has a lower turnover rate than the average.
Start by eliminating the centres that are above 30% turnover. Once you are below that 30% turnover threshold you can begin asking questions like how many employees have been here for 5+ years, and 10+ years. If there is nobody it does not necessarily mean trouble, but it does mean there is some missing element to the company culture that causes people to leave.
When you begin to hear that multiple employees have been around 5+ years, a handful for 10+ and even a few who have been with the company for 20+ years – you know there’s something special cooking.
The importance of turnover rate
Think of turnover rate as the counter measure to consistency. The less turnover, the more consistent the service provided will be. More turnover means more retraining, more hiccups, deterioration of internal company knowledge and best practices, and fewer standout performers.
The impact of retraining goes beyond basic comprehension and the ability to do a given job; there are subtle inconsistencies as well. Even if a new person reads the same call script the same way as their predecessor, they will not have the same tone, inflection, and empathy that your previous customer service representative has built up with your customers.
Customers get to know the people they speak with on the phone, and vice versa; customer service representatives get to know your customers. When you disrupt that connection by replacing reps over and over, the bond breaks down and the relationship built is chipped away.
When the same customer service representatives answer your account over time, they truly become an extension of your brand.
Other considerations for choosing an answering service
For a comprehensive list of questions to ask your next answering service, check out this article where we outline 11 considerations for choosing a call centre.
About Telelink Answering
Telelink has been answering for organizations across Canada for over 57 years. We have a strong team filled with lifers and valued contributors who are eager to help you grow your business.
Located in Newfoundland, Canada, our award-winning response centre offers services such as virtual reception, message taking, help desk & technical support, as well as business process outsourcing.
Get in touch with us today to see how we can make your organization even stronger.