Five Ways to Reduce Call Center Attrition

Call centers play an integral role in the credit union paradigm


Call centers play an integral role in the credit union paradigm. They enhance member experience, provide essential information, and are frequently the “face” of the credit union. Despite the strategic importance of call centers, it is not unusual for a credit union to struggle to retain its best call agents. Fortunately, the co-operative nature of the industry is such that credit unions with successful programs or strategies are happy to share their experiences in addressing this dilemma

With a contact center turnover rate of nearly 40%, Wings Financial Credit Union ($2.3B, Apple Valley, MN) knew it needed to make several changes. Its Board suggested it look closely at efficiency, sales, and service, three components its anchor SEG – employees of air travel and related industries – knows all about. After implementing a Pay for Performance initiative, Wings reduced its turnover rate to less than 15%. Here are a few of the program’s highlights.

  • Measure Performance: Decide if you want to hold your agents to standards based on calls per day basis, calls per hour, a mixture of both, or something else entirely. Then let your agents know what that standard is.
  • Train: Wings uses testing software to determine how well-versed agents are in topics ranging from basic transactions to IRAs. Identify weaknesses, and help your agents improve.
  • Cross-Sell: Monitor calls and use measurement tools to gauge how effective agents are at identifying member needs and engaging in sales opportunities For agents resistant to cross-selling, monitoring tools also help measure agent attitude and professionalism.
  • Benchmark: Have agents note items such as loan applications generated, new member packets sent, and new services generated per member to keep track of their current performance. Then have set them set goals based on their performance. Use the cross-sell tools to help agents identify where they are successful and where they should work on skill development.
  • Incentivize: Giving your call center agents the tools they need to succeed is imperative; therefore, always provide adequate training and direction. From there, help call center agents want to succeed. Retaining good agents with recognition perks such as pizza parties and gift certificates is more cost efficient than finding replacements representatives.

To hear about Wings’ Call Center Retention Strategy, watch this CUtv short.