The Great Resignation: How to retain your customer support team
Updated: Feb 9
The past two years have been challenging for customer support teams. On top of increased customer demand, they’ve also had to navigate remote processes, manage growing workloads, and battle burnout. This new reality has pushed customer support agents to the edge, causing many to throw in the towel and join the Great Resignation.
What is the Great Resignation?
The Great Resignation, or “the big quit,” refers to the nearly 40 million American workers who have resigned from their jobs since last spring. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3.8 million people quit their jobs in April 2021. That number jumped to 4.3 million in September and then hit a record high of 4.5 million in November. What’s worse is many are leaving with no intention of seeking new employment, leaving teams understaffed and overwhelmed.
Why are customer support agents quitting?
Customer support agents between the ages of 20 and 34 typically only hold a job for just over a year, resulting in turnover rates as high as 45% – that’s twice as high as other departments. Aside from the usual turnover, here are some other reasons your agents might be quitting and joining the Great Resignation:
Heavier workloads: According to HubSpot’s Industry Data, there’s been a significant uptick in support tickets since the beginning of the pandemic. It went from 6% in March 2020 to 89% in December 2021. These extremely high ticket volumes are taking a toll and causing many agents to look for new opportunities sooner rather than later.
Lack of recognition: Recognizing employees is important no matter what industry you’re in – everyone wants to feel appreciated and valued. Your top-performing agents might be browsing job boards if their work continuously goes unrecognized.
Poor company culture: Many customer support agents want to work for companies that align with their values and goals. So if they’re not excited by your company or in love with your culture, they’ll likely head for the door. And with an increase in remote roles, they have more options than ever before.
Burnout: Customer support agents take on a lot, and their bandwidth has been stretched thin the past few years. The combination of longer ticket queues, higher customer expectations, and poor remote work-life balance is taxing. Many agents don’t want their mindset or productivity to suffer and end up quitting to take a mental break.
Bottom line: Support leaders need to prioritize the agent experience. Developing an agent-centric customer service environment will not only result in happier employees but also in more satisfied customers. So what can support leaders do to keep agents happy and retain a five-star customer support team?
Creating a winning employee retention strategy
The success of your customer support agents begins with a solid employee retention strategy. Start creating your strategy by identifying issues that you can control to increase agent happiness. Let’s break it down into some simple steps.
1. Prioritize onboarding
The employee experience starts on Day 1, so having a good process for bringing new agents onto your team it’s absolutely crucial. In fact, research has proven that organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82%.
It’s no secret that remote work is here to stay, so we put together this quick checklist to help you optimize or create an effective remote onboarding process. Here’s a sneak peek:
✅ Organize all paperwork, gear, and accounts for your new hire before day 1
✅ Create a schedule for day 1, including introductions and training
✅ Map out their first week, including product demos and tools they’ll be using
✅ Establish goals for their first month, including first projects and security training
Looking for a little more info? Download the full checklist to prep for a successful remote onboarding now.
2. Create an internal knowledge hub
Your agents won’t become pros on your product overnight, but they’ll catch on quicker if they start sharing knowledge. That’s why it’s essential to equip them with an internal knowledge hub, granting them easy access to accurate info.
Creating a knowledge base for your customer support team not only simplifies onboarding by letting agents educate themselves but also helps keep their customer replies consistent. By using help articles to form accurate and fast responses, your agents can feel competent, independent, and effective with little to no hands-on training.
On a larger scale, creating an internal knowledge hub can help bridge knowledge gaps across departments and keep all employees in the know with company announcements, product updates, HR documents, and IT guides. Even better, by reducing response times and levels of frustration for your agents, you’re sure to start seeing happier customers too.
3. Ask for feedback, and act on it
One of the best ways to improve the agent experience and retain employees is through feedback. Whether you host weekly check-in meetings or send out a quarterly survey, it’s important to regularly collect employee feedback.
If this is a new practice for your company, it may take some getting used to, but listening to your agents will pay off in the long run. They are more likely to stick around when they feel heard and valued. So the sooner you address their concerns, the better and more engaged your team will be.
4. Empower your team with efficient tools
A team is only as good as the tools it’s given, that’s just a fact. Even the best customer support agent will struggle if they’re stuck using siloed tools and inefficient processes. Luckily, Wix Answers offers cutting-edge customer service tools, so your agents and customers can find solutions with ease.
So, how can Wix Answers help increase employee retention? Let’s take a closer look:
Avoid agent burnout with our state-of-the-art AI support engine, Spotter. It operates behind the scenes 24/7, tracking and learning every touchpoint of your customer experience. Spotter proactively spots support inefficiencies and acts in real-time so your agents don’t have to worry and can focus on higher priority tasks.
Simplify support requests with a single timeline view of a customer’s current issue, all previous conversations, and ticket info – no more time wasted switching tabs.
Keep agent workloads manageable with self-service solutions. A help center makes it easy for customers to find answers on their own, which in turn, minimizes one-touch tickets and reduces the overall ticket volume your team has to deal with.
Monitor your agents’ workloads and identify bandwidth issues with our live dashboard. It allows support managers to have better team visibility so they can jump in if one of their agents is struggling.
With the right strategy and tools in place, you can avoid losing agents to the Great Resignation. Request a live demo today to see how Wix Answers can help improve agent satisfaction and empower your customer support team to be more efficient than ever.