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5 Reasons Why Your Customer Service Reps are Leaving (& What to Do About it)


To put it bluntly, it sucks when your Customer Service Representatives leave.  The startling truth is that employee turnover is the number one challenge contact centers face today. 

In fact, the average call center has a turnover rate of between 30% and 45%.  By comparison, the average employee turnover rate across all industries in the U.S. is roughly 15%.  Call center employees leave their jobs frequently, and we interviewed several customer service managers and HR professionals to find out why.

Here are five reasons why CSRs quit and what you, as a manager, can do about it: 

1.  Demanding Goals & Work-Induced Stress – CSRs are almost always measured against a set of standards predetermined by management.  Measurable performance is great for tracking progress and goal-setting, but can also become a major stressor for CSRs.

As a call center manager, it’s important to set goals that motivate your employees rather than intimidate them. Instead of only discussing their numbers during your one-on-one meetings, incorporate other metrics of success, like overall customer satisfaction and service level (the time it takes for a rep to answer an incoming call).

2.  Lack of Compensation – Finding a job that pays better isn’t a reason for leaving that’s unique to CSRs, but it sure is common.  Having a conservative salary model isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is a problem when your employees don’t foresee ever getting a raise.

Whether they’re just starting out in their career or a seasoned professional, it’s safe to say that no professional wants to stagnate. Build a positive incentive program that includes sales competitions and non-cash incentives that make work (and exceeding their goals) exciting.

3.  No Growth – The repetitive and demanding nature of customer service can begin to feel like a drag for employees. You’re in danger of losing your most valuable employees when they feel as though they’ll be doing the exact same job in five years.  When no one in your department is promoted or entrusted with more responsibilities, your employees see a dead end.

Invest in your employees’ growth. Set up quarterly trainings, offer a career mentoring program, and revamp your continued education program. Not only will these initiatives pay for themselves by developing your staff’s skills, but they will also help deepen the connection between your organization and CSRs. 

4.  Issues with Management – The saying, “People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their managers,” rings true for call centers.  Managers who lack empathy and are inflexible in their management style will almost always lose their employees.

Call center managers should take an interest in their employees as a whole and allow some level of flexibility in their schedules to accommodate for occasional personal appointments.  Encourage employees to make appointments during times with lower call volumes and keep the lines of communication open to show you’re available to help when their personal and professional lives collide.  Encourage employees to make appointments during times with lower call volumes and let them know you’re available to help when their personal and professional lives collide.

5.  Lack of Recognition: Interacting with irate customers and high call volumes is demanding work. Add feeling unappreciated on top of that, and you’ll end up with extremely discouraged employees.  Far too many companies file employee recognition under “soft HR concepts” that don’t make a difference to their bottom line. But a shocking two out of three employees say they would quit their job if they don’t receive enough recognition.

It’s time to make recognition a part of your company culture. When you see employees going above and beyond the call of duty, recognize it in a timely and specific manner, and watch morale soar.

Does your organization pride itself on its stellar retention rate? Tell us your secrets to success in the comments below! Think you could use some work in the CSR Satisfaction department? Download our free eBook: Winning Ways to Retain Your Customer Service Staff.