How to Retain Agents During the Great Resignation

The Great Resignation aka the Great Reshuffle is a current economic trend where employees are resigning from their positions more often than previous periods. Many workers across the United States refuse to stay at jobs where they aren’t satisfied with their working conditions (such as lack of remote work and struggles with work-life balance), career projections, and/or treatment. Customer service representatives are a segment of workers who have notoriously delivered  higher than average turnover rates, and right now is no exception. According to Isaac Lee, attrition rates for contact center agents are around 2-3 times higher than the U.S. average for all industries, and it is very expensive to replace these employees. Avoxi found that it typically costs between $5,000 - $7,500 to hire and onboard new call center agents, which can add up to a tremendous amount of money over time. 

Why are so many workers quitting their jobs, especially in a contact center environment? Agents may be disengaged from the start due to preconceived ideas that contact center agents are often on the receiving end of the frustrations of disgruntled customers. They may struggle to understand how this job could lead to a fulfilling career path, and often find that they aren’t provided with the education and knowledge to make it one. Many agents report being micromanaged by bosses who nit-pick while listening to their calls and provide them with strict scripting and talking points that may limit their ability to connect with customers. Agents need to be trained and trusted to reach their full potential, with a career projection worth working for. 

Ironically enough, when there is a high turnover rate, contact centers often limit employee training and education as it is very costly to educate new employees only to have them leave months later. This cycle in turn leads to more turnover as agents feel unprepared, uneducated, and struggle to find ways to grow in their position. In this situation, the solution to the problem is the same for both contact center managers and agents alike. Once contact centers provide agents with more training and education, they will be far more inclined to stay in their position. The education of agents improves the contact center as a whole, leading to less rehiring/training costs, more trust and less need to micromanage, more efficient and well-equipped agents, and ultimately happier customers and shorter calls.




How do contact centers move in this direction? At Centerfirst, we recently created the CX Framework, which outlines the key components to an optimal customer experience with the contact center. What’s interesting though, is that the same components that deliver an ideal customer experience can also be applied to employee communication and engagement to help ensure you retain your best agents. The five components to the CX Framework are: 

  • Be Heard 
  • Needs Addressed 
  • Feel Included 
  • Be Informed 
  • Feel Confident 

When agents are trained on these components and put them into practice on their calls, they will be significantly closer to providing the most value with their contact center interactions. We found that, most importantly, customers want their needs to be acknowledged and validated, want to know that the agent will take ownership in supporting them, want to feel secure and supported, want information tailored for them, and want a frictionless and positive brand experience. 

The agents themselves also desire these things, which will support them along their journey at the company and beyond. Being respectful and transparent is key to any interaction, whether between managers and agents or agents and customers. Prioritize honesty and openness throughout all conversations, which will build trust between everyone involved. Regarding employees, be sure to check in often and know their goals and intentions, and what education or engagement they need to reach those goals by scheduling time to check in. Allow them to help with decision making to get the most out of their jobs and make sure they understand how important and valued they are to the company. Ultimately, people want to be treated with empathy and provided with the tools and information they need to grow.


It isn’t always easy to know where to start when it comes to monitoring your call center and training your agents for success. This is where companies such as Centerfirst come in. At Centerfirst, we discuss your contact center goals and develop a program tailored to you. We then analyze your interactions, utilizing our advanced AI technology and monitoring staff with years of pharma-specific quality monitoring experience. As a third party, we provide unbiased transparency into your contact center that allows your agents to be trained for success. If you would like to learn more about how Centerfirst can help you improve your pharma contact center, please contact us. Learn more about the Centerfirst CX Framework here. 

Back to Blog