Call centres should allow staff more time to develop a rapport with the
customer if they want to reduce high staff turnover, according to a two-year
The research shows employer expectations of staff delivering a uniform
standard of customer service was demoralising for staff, who were chosen for
their lively personalities.
It suggested that by cutting call quotas and allowing staff more time with
each customer would help to improve job satisfaction.
The Economic and Social Research Council study focused on a major call
centre in Scotland, with an annual staff turnover of 20 per cent and a poor
absence record. Only seven out of each 100 call centre job applicants went on
to complete the six-week training course. Once new recruits were in the
workplace, they were expected to deal with around 120 calls a day.
Dr George Callaghan, author of the report and Open University academic,
said, "Staff who have been selected for their personality end up having to
conform and become emotion managers. Part of the answer lies in humanising the
process, automating the repetitive elements and giving call centre staff more
skills and time to spend with customers."