Keeping Your Team: 5 Tips for Retaining Support Agents


Tina Arnoldi


Although the exact dollar amounts vary, it a significant expense to hire and train new employees. Businesses are better off investing in current employees. And having the right employees on your customer support team is crucial since they are often the face of your brand. Interaction with your customer support agents can influence the opinion a company has of your brand.

When you lose an employee, whether it’s a resignation or firing, there are direct replacement costs such as severance pay, hiring a temp, search fees, and initial training. Indirect costs are the burden on remaining employees, lost institutional knowledge, and even reduced morale depending on the circumstances surrounding a departure. These are costs businesses should try to avoid, except of course, when there is a toxic employee that needs to go. But assuming the majority of your customer support agents are good ones, here are five ways to improve the employee retention rates in your customer support team.

Offer ongoing training

Outside training on leadership skills, time management, and other general business topics are clearly beneficial. But do you also offering internal training? By this, I mean training on your offerings. It isn’t enough to announce a new feature to your customer support team. You need to also walk them through exactly how it works just as you would with an external customer.

Provide performance bonuses

Does your support team close cases quickly, while still ensuring customers feel they received enough attention? Do employees come up with innovative ways to solve problems? Whether it’s a percentage of base pay or some other type of reward, you need to recognize employees that go above and beyond the call of duty.

Include them in product development meetings

“But they work in customer support, why would I include them in a product development meeting?” Include them because they know your customers better than employees in any other department. Customer support employees can provide input in planning sessions that can be very valuable in the next release of your offering. And they learn about how and why decisions are made about the products and services you provide.

Quarterly evaluations

A lot can happen in a year so an annual review is generally not enough to support real change. Your one-on-one evaluations are not only about how they performed but should include an opportunity for them to tell you how their work-life can more enjoyable. Ensure it’s a two-way dialogue and not a one-way lecture.

Keep your door open

When you’re an executive in the corner office with a door shut, that sends a message – loud and clear – that you are not open to interruptions. Of course, everyone needs uninterrupted time to concentrate, but employees should have access to management beyond the weekly team meetings or annual performance review. It can be a set period of time, such as 2 pm – 4 pm, when your door is open. You can still work on your tasks, such as responding to email, while being available to employees who need your assistance.

Good help is hard to find. But good help shouldn’t be hard to keep if you recognize the value of retaining employees. Decide what you can do in your company to hold on to good employees, making your company a better place to work which has a positive impact on the bottom line – bringing in revenue.

Once you’ve put these into place, think about adding a great new feature to your support team like HappyFox Chat! Learn more about this fantastic live chat solution and start your 14-day free trial today.

Tina Arnoldi

Tina Arnoldi, the founder of 360 Internet Strategy, is qualified in both Google Analytics and Google AdWords, and part of the Google Partners program. She helps clients develop and manage their internet strategy. Tina is also an experienced presenter, offering instruction on topics including Google tools and social media.

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