Contact Center Attrition – Causes & How to Overcome

In order to have a complete overview and to be able to measure the efficiency of your company, you need to allocate time and attention to the way your employees fluctuate, plus the way they wear and tear. Let’s see what that means.

Attrition in Call Centers - What is, Types & Causes

Employee Attrition is the number one issue that Talent Teams in Contact Centers are challenging. But what is Employee Attrition?

A simple definition of employee wear sounds like this: the process by which employees leave the workforce. Either by resignation or retirement, but their replacement is not immediate. This occurs at a time when the size of the workforce is declining based on inevitable factors. Employees leave the workforce faster than they are employed, and this happens without the control of the company.

Source: Toolbox

There are 5 types of employee attrition:

1. Retirement

If a larger group of employees retire at the same time, Retirement Attrition occurs. You need to pay close attention to this type of attrition – seniors can choose early retirement, self-employment or any retirement activity regardless of age.

2. Voluntary

The most common type of Attrition is voluntary. So, employees simply have to quit their jobs. Transparent discussions with employees and constant feedback are needed to prevent it.

3. Involuntary

Involuntary Attrition involves the departure of employees but without them initiating it. The reasons? Cases of misconduct at work, structural reasons, merger.

4. Internal

Employees quit their current job to join another department within the same company. If the other types of attrition have a negative impact, here may be the opposite. Think that a group of employees can be directed to a more profitable project, an employee can be more efficient on another project or department.

5. Demographic-based

This is a kind of slightly sensitive Attrition. It assumes that a specific group of employees – women, ethnic minorities, veterans, seniors – are leaving the company by scores. In this case, it can be prevented through employee surveys.

How to Calculate Call Center Attrition

The calculation formula for Attrition is quite simple. Divide the attrition number by the average number of employees, then multiply by 10.

Attrition rate = number of attritions / average number of employees x 100

Attrition Overview

Replacing employees has a negative impact on company costs. With high call center turnover rates, employee replacement costs can increase rapidly. A study by Cornell estimates that replacing an agent is about 16% of their gross annual earnings.

Of course, attrition can vary greatly depending on the size of the business and the type of industry the call center is targeting. The bigger the business, the higher the turnover rate:

  • Small-sized call centers: 17%
  • Medium-sized call centers: 37%
  • Large-sized call centers: 44%

The average age of call center representatives varies by country and region. What is certain is that we are talking about a young generation.

  • The average age of the call center agent in all sectors is about 30 years, and the average age of the call center subcontractors is about 27 years.
  • Employees between the ages of 20 and 24 have an average of 1.1 years at call centers.
  • Employees aged 25 to 34 have an average age of 2.7 years at call centers.

Then, talking about absenteeism, call centers face a big problem. The lack of people at work leads to an increase in the volume of work distributed in the team, coming with pressure and stress.

Research conducted by Cornell University found that absenteeism at the call center on a typical day is on average 6%, with the highest rates being in outsourced call centers and retail (10% and 9.3%, respectively). Contact centers focus about 8.2 days a year, much longer than in other industries – about 7.4 days a year.


Obviously, the attrition rate varies by industry, role, and subsectors. The LinkedIn report points out that technology, retail and consumer products, and media and entertainment are the industries with the highest rates.

The Bottom Line

RepsMate team can help you prevent the attrition impact in your organization. How? We have built a solution that covers several needs of a contact center, including the problem of attrition. Using our solution:

  • It saves up to 80% of costs related to monitoring calls;
  • It automatically scores 100% of calls and eliminates random evaluations;
  • It helps officers to evaluate 9x faster;
  • It identifies Non-Compliance interactions to prevent complaints;
  • It identifies customers complaints based on customers interaction;
  • It identifies customer needs and preferences to assist business decisions;
  • It identifies representatives’ improving opportunities;
  • It helps managers to deliver high-quality feedback and boosts trust and transparency.

Do you have a great idea to improve the customer experience? Write to us and one of our colleagues can guide you to choose what suits your business!
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