What Was the Average Cost and Rate of Contact Center Attrition in 2009?

In an earlier posting, we revealed information about the top reasons for employee turnover in 2009.  Now we’ll look at another key finding from our 2009 Contact Center Recruiting and Compensation Survey:  the average cost and rate of attrition in 2009.

The average cost of attrition was $4,284.73 in North America (see Table 3), which is roughly a 22% decrease from 2008 figures (Note. The 2008 figures included participants from Manufacturing, which skewed the overall cost.). As expected, the average cost of attrition was lower for contact centers outside the United States ($3,119.50/agent) than for those within the United States ($4,423.26/agent).

Also outlined in Table 3, the average monthly attrition rate reported by center leaders over the previous six months was 9.8%, an increase of 36.1% over 2008 results (7.2% to 9.8%). This result may reflect a trend in which many people who accepted call center work in lieu of other job opportunities are beginning to take advantage of a slowly improving job market.

Attrition rates and costs differed by industry (see Table 3). Organizations in the Financial Services industry reported the highest average attrition cost ($9,500.00/agent) – roughly 27% more than that of the second highest, which is Technology ($7,500.00/agent). Moreover, Telecommunications reported the highest average monthly attrition rates (13.6%), followed by Outsourcing companies (11.9%), which both were rated highest in 2008. Organizations in the Healthcare and Technology industries reported the lowest attrition rates (roughly 1% and 3%, respectively), while the Service and Outsourcing industries reported the lowest attrition costs, on average ($2500.00/agent and $3,543.64/agent, respectively).

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