Studies have shown that 74% of call center agents are at risk of burnout than workers in other industries. This is because they are required to provide customers with quick and accurate responses while maintaining in-depth process knowledge, which has resulted in an increase in the level of pressure among most agents.
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Despite increases in digital services and support channels such as Facebook, Whatsapp, and chatbot, the number of people working in the call center industry is increasing because over 50% of consumers still prefer to contact a customer support agent via phone calls, email, challenging or live chat over any other channel.
Unfortunately, contact centers are widely seen as stressful places to work. Call agents must work flexibly, answering consumers’ questions in real-time. This requires ongoing problem solving, comprehension, and patience, all of these show why the stress of working in a call center cannot be overemphasized.
SOME FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR CALL CENTER STRESS
Managing a High Volume of Calls
According to a recent survey, the main cause of job stress, in general, is workload. Having to manage a large volume of calls is a major contributor to contact center stress.
Workloads that are persistent and targets depending on the number of calls received can leave agents feeling overwhelmed and psychologically and emotionally tired.
Agents have to deal with a variety of issues, including requests, complaints, inquiries, and even their customers’ emotions. Employees are subjected to a great deal of stress as a result of this.
Insufficient technology and equipment.
Call center agents are stressed as a result of obsolete technology and inadequate equipment. Many agents believe that their employer does not offer them all of the technologies they require. Because of obsolete software and technologies, both staff and consumers find it difficult to handle each phone contact.
When the client has to wait for a sluggish system or for the agent to transfer between systems, tension might build.
Dealing with Difficult Customers
Some customers, unfortunately, transfer aggression and speak rudely to agents leaving the agents emotionally exhausted. Dealing with angry people is not an easy task and call center agents are usually hired based on their ability to handle difficult customers. There will always be disgruntled, dissatisfied consumers, no matter how wonderful a product or service is.
Having to perform the same task over and over again can result in feeling under-stimulated and unmotivated in a job and call center agents are faced with this.
People like having a sense of control in their jobs, but these constraints limit their ability to contribute. It produces a boring atmosphere free of any challenges.
WAYS TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR AGENTS DURING STRESSFUL CALL CENTRE PERIODS
Although stress is an inevitable occurrence, Call center stress can be managed in various ways. The level of attention given to call center agents will undoubtedly reflect on the quality of their work. Here are some ideas for how to look after your call center agents during difficult times:
Encourage Call center Agents
It’s critical to encourage your agents to show adaptability, initiative, teamwork, empathy, honesty, problem-solving, communication skills, and emotional intelligence when it comes to customer service soft skills. The best markers of success and pleasure in the call center, especially during a call center, are these talents, which are difficult to assess and teach.
Showing Supports by Managers
Naturally, people feel cared for when shown support. HR managers can take up the responsibility of being easily accessible and easy to communicate with during challenging times.
During assessments, managers should also stress what agents have done well and where their strengths are so they don’t feel like their efforts are not seen. It leads to better employee-employer relationships, retention, and satisfaction, all of which can help minimize burnout.
Training On How to handle Challenges
Investing in employees through training is a way that shows care for them. Some agents desire to do better at their jobs and face challenges better. The idea is to incorporate creativity into the call center training in a way that promotes engagement, teamwork, and learning. Call center training games might be ideal for this purpose as they are associated with improved agent communication, problem-solving, professionalism, and customer service.
Provide Incentives For Employees
Creating a staff incentive and reward system is a great way to support the call center agents. The call center agents are the first encounter customers have and can contribute to their overall experience of the organization.
The key to a successful incentive program is identifying the behaviors that have the greatest influence and then devising a method to reward top performers. The good thing is that it does not have to be monetary. Match the reward to the agent instead.
An employee who enjoys watching TV may appreciate a few months of free subscription to a streaming network, whilst another employee may appreciate a gift certificate for takeout from a fine restaurant or a voucher for groceries. Making staff feel valued and appreciated can go a long way most especially during rough times like in a pandemic and can boost the morale of staff.