When it comes to operating call center services, managing call center stress is actually one of the most important tasks. Call center agents speak directly with angry, dissatisfied, and aggressive customers. Your call center agent’s job is to resolve complaints, solve issues, and keep customers satisfied, and this is no easy task. When call centers do not use the right stress management techniques for employees, the service they provide to customers suffers. Furthermore, they can have a high employee turnover.
Common Causes of Stress in Call Centers
Call center agent stress management is essential, as there are many potential causes. Here are some of the top five causes of stress for call center employees.
Lack of Power:
The role of customer service or tech support is to resolve problems and solve complaints. However, if a call center agent doesn’t have the power to resolve an issue, it can quickly become frustrating for them. Some call centers force their agents to follow very strict guidelines (such as sticking to scripts, no matter what) that affect their ability to provide good service.
Lack of Resources:
Call center agents need to have the right resources to complete their job. This means having the right technology (computers, software, headsets, etc.) and other resources to escalate issues, resolve complaints, and perform their work effectively.
Sometimes, call center agents are given goals or objectives that conflict. For instance, they may be pressured to resolve calls quickly, but are also expected to satisfy customers fully. Sometimes, these two goals can conflict and cause stress for employees who are trying to satisfy both.
Dealing with Customers:
When customers are angry, they can take out their dissatisfaction on call center employees. Yelling, insults, and rude behavior are common. While this part of the job, call centers can take steps to minimize their employees stress. Otherwise, employees can become burned out.
Lack of Training:
Good customer service requires training. It takes a lot of skill and technique to turn a displeased person back into a paying customer. When employees are not given the tools to do an effective job, it is easy to become stressed out.
Stress Management Techniques for Call Center Agents
There are many causes of stress in call centers, and some—like angry customers—will always be present. However, by following some stress management tips at work, call centers can reduce stress among their employees. Here are the top five stress-reducing, “working in a call center” tips.
Fix Inconsistencies in Job Expectations:
Call centers need to evaluate the expectations for each employee. Call center agents should never have to struggle between conflicting objectives. Set out clear goals, objectives, and priorities that will allow agents to understand the best course of action for each situation.
Give Agents More Power:
Agents cannot resolve calls if they do not have the right power and freedom. Don’t tie your agent to strict scripts or place too many limitations upon them. Good customer service requires an individual approach for each customer, and your agents need some freedom and power to do a good job.
Reward Good Work:
Dealing with angry customers can be thankless work. It’s important to reward employees when they do a good job, letting them know that they are appreciated and recognized. When you reward employees, they will continue to do their best job.
Offer Training and Skill-Building Opportunities:
When you give employees the tools and skills that they need to perform their job with ease, you can drastically reduce stress and frustration. Always offer professional training for your employees, as well as ongoing, skill-building opportunities.
Keep Customers in Perspective:
It can be easy for call center agents to take customers’ words personally. However, call centers should create an environment where angry or dissatisfied customers are used as a learning experience. When something goes wrong or an employee is stressed, work with them to determine what can be learned and improved on.
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