Three Tips to Reduce Customer Service Turnover

Lauren Krause
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Employee turnover is a serious concern for all business owners, but it is a particularly big issue for the customer service industry. Studies show up to 70 percent of customer service workers will quit their jobs within the first year. Recruiting and training new employees to replace those workers is time-consuming, expensive and has negative effects on a company's level of customer service. Here are some ways to reduce and prevent excessive employee turnover.

1. Thorough Training

One reason employee turnover is so high in the customer service industry is that many customer service workers have not received the proper training to excel in their positions. Poorly trained employees have a harder time upholding good customer service practices, which leads to lower levels of customer service, which leads to feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction, which eventually leads to customer service turnover. To avoid this situation, consider implementing regular training sessions that reiterate good customer service practices and keep employees up-to-date on the latest technology.

2. Competitive Pay and Benefits

One of the most common reasons for employee turnover, especially in the customer service industry, is the pursuit of better pay and benefits. Customer service workers tend to be some of the lowest-paid employees in a company, with lackluster benefits. To reduce customer service turnover, businesses must provide competitive wages and benefits. For many small businesses, raising salaries is not an economical option. In this case, look into providing non-monetary yet highly desirable benefits, such as flexible schedules, more time off and the opportunity to work from home occasionally. One report from Stanford University states that remote employees not only quit less but also work longer hours and are generally more productive and happier than employees who have to commute every day.

3. Employee Encouragement and Feedback

Too often, customer service employees can become disengaged from their work due to a lack of communication and feedback from upper management. Disengagement leads to disinterest, which can lead to premature or excessive employee turnover. Employers can avoid this loss of interest by providing regular employee encouragement in several ways. "Employee of the Month" programs offer employees a chance to be recognized for their good work. Turning group projects into competitions or games is another way to motivate employees and provide encouragement. Offering incentives to employees through healthy competition is an effective way to encourage employees to accomplish more, be more creative and think outside the box, and winning prizes helps them feel appreciated and rewarded.

Employees quit for many valid reasons, so there will never be a foolproof solution to completely eliminate this phenomenon. However, businesses that take steps to learn how their practices affect employee turnover, improve those practices and increase employee satisfaction are more likely to succeed in retaining the best employees. Satisfied employees help sustain better customer service levels and therefore greater profits in the long run.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at



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