Working at call centers can be more stressful than one would anticipate. It is not uncommon for customer service agents to experience burnout on a daily basis. This can be partly attributed to the struggle these agents face when striving to provide good customer service. What makes it crucial to identify and address burnout in customer service agents is that replacing an employee who decides to leave can be expensive. Not only is it time-consuming to look for potential candidates but it also costs companies significantly more money.
While call center stress is a common issue, certain steps can be taken to ensure agents don't encounter severe distress. With that said, here are some of the common factors that lead to call center stress and ways to deal with them.
Employees find it easier to fulfil their work responsibilities when they have complete idea as to what they are required to do. Therefore, much of the stress experienced by employees can be from unclear expectations. For instance, there are two types of issues that need to be resolved in a timely manner— high priority tickets and those that approach the SLA deadline. Employees might have a hard time determining which ticket to prioritize. Therefore, it is crucial that employees find help when needed. For this reason, having a dedicated helpdesk to clarify the doubts of employees can help resolve such confusions.
People, in general, feel anxious and stressful right after they have had a heated conversation— both in person and over a call. For customer service agents, it is more of an everyday task to deal with customers who might not be satisfied with certain services and may vent out and express their complaints by lashing out. Another problem when communicating with customers is that these agents deal with situations that are not in their control. Having to deal with angry customers and not being able to provide solutions may cause emotional exhaustion. This can, to some extent, be resolved by implementing certain self-service options for customers so that some of the problems are resolved before they escalate and cause the customers to lash out at agents.
Lack of Incentives
Dealing with customers with complaints can be difficult, and customer service agents would be more motivated to take up this responsibility when they are rewarded for their job. However, most companies only offer their employees a pay upon meeting their KPIs. Generally, the only motivating factor for these agents to do well is the fear of poor evaluation, which also results in stress. Therefore, if you plan incentives based on the performance of your employees, it might help bring down their stress levels and make them feel valued.
With too many calls to take in a day, especially when the call volumes are high, employees feel extremely burdened to meet their targets. Oftentimes, they are also forced to work overtime to do so. This is one of the common stressors that not only leads to physical and mental exhaustion but also affects an employee's productivity. One of the best ways to solve this problem is by hiring more customer service agents when call volumes are high and equipping them with necessary technology to streamline their work and ease their burden.
Lack of Expertise
When being hired, customer service agents are handed a list of responsibilities and KPIs and are expected to understand their job role. However, what makes an employee do well and deliver exceptional services? It all comes down to how well they are trained. So many people who are hired are completely new to taking calls and providing customer support services. When not trained well, they might not be very clear about how to approach customers with complaints. Being given tasks with little expertise can lead to these agents encountering unanticipated situations, thus adding to their stress. Therefore, a little bit of training and providing the right resources goes a long way, ensuring employees know exactly what to do.
Many tasks that customer service agents undertake can be repetitive. When mundane tasks are performed over and over, it causes boredom and results in lack of motivation. This lack of motivation also causes great levels of stress. One way to make work less monotonous for customer service agents is by automating mundane tasks and assigning tasks of varying levels of complexity to keep them motivated to do better.
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Call center stress, despite being a commonly encountered problem, is not inevitable. Call centers can take effective steps that reduce stress levels in employees and create motivation in them to do better. Additionally, investing in technology and providing adequate resources to employees not only helps reduce their burden but also helps call centers offer better help to customers with queries and issues.
As a premier call center company, we have invested in streamlined workflows and the latest technologies to provide an ideal environment for our agents. Reach out to us and we will be glad to assist you with your call center requirements.
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