Reducing Small Business Customer Service Turnover

02/20/2015 06:03 pm ET | Updated Apr 22, 2015

Customer service employees tend to have the largest turnover versus other departments. This should be a concern among all business owners, especially small businesses, since every company needs to have some form of customer service department. High employee turnover is not only inconvenient but costly -- expenses involved in recruiting new employees can be quite high. Fortunately, there are a few steps small business owners can take to help decrease employee turnover in the customer service department.

Offer More Customer Service Training

One of the main reasons turnover is so high among customer service departments is that these workers simply don't receive the level of training they need to be successful and confident in their job performance. Poorly trained employees are more likely to receive customer complaints and have a harder time following standard operating procedures.

As a result, they're less content with their jobs and ultimately decide to seek a job elsewhere, outside the world of customer service.

Provide Competitive Pay and Benefits

Another all-too-common reason for high customer service employee turnover is a lack of competitive pay and benefits. Too often, customer service workers are viewed as being located at the bottom of the rung. As such, they tend to have lower hourly pay rates and less desirable benefits than employees in other positions within the company.

In order to reduce customer service turnover rates, then, business owners must acknowledge the value that these workers bring to the table and better reflect that in their salaries and benefits.

Encourage Employees & Give Feedback

Finally, customer service employees often feel a sense of disconnect from their supervisors and management teams. As a result, they lack engagement in their daily work and grow disinterested, which eventually leads them to seek other employment opportunities.

Business owners can avoid this problem by going out of their way to provide feedback and encouragement to their customer service teams. This can include implementing an "employee of the month" system or even encouraging supervisors to single out hard-working customer service employees for praise. A little bit goes a long way in this regard, after all.

Dealing with the effects of high turnover in your customer service department can be a struggle. The good news is that by implementing some or all of these tips, you can take the necessary steps to combat high turnover and ensure a greater level of satisfaction from your hard-working employees.