Friday, June 9, 2017

Address the Stress in Your Contact Center

By: Sean Hawkins

Let's face it, customers rarely call in to praise your service or product. Most likely they need help, or there was a service and/or product failure. Add in ineffective processes and bad policies, and the issue is compounded.

Do this daily for a period of time, and the stress level increases. This results in low energy, scattered thinking, loss of your sense of humor, increased negativity and ultimately high turnover. Obviously, none of these make a world class contact center. Even worse, it's damaging to the individual!

Workplace stress, and particularly call center stress, is a serious issue. A part of successful customer service includes suppressing one's natural emotions. Over time, this lack of an emotional outlet can have damage results. Have you wondered why your agents aren't their normal selves?

While this sensitive issue ultimately requires executive leadership, there are some ways to immediately address this in the contact center apart from a larger corporate program. 

Have Fun
  • Toys
  • Games
  • Off-site events
  • Team building activities
  • Stress balls

Channel Change 
  • Time off phone & other live channels
  • Impromptu training
  • Special projects

  • Ergonomic equipment 
  • Relaxed dress code
  • Massage day

  • Work from home 
  • Flexible schedule

  • Time in motion study
  • Reduce technology stack
  • Provide the right tools
  • Automate and streamline processes
  • Adjust metrics (AHT, TSF, ASF, Utilization)

  • Be a leader
  • Champion the work, accomplishments and contributions
  • Work with HR to provide counseling program
  • Reduce workloads and demands
  • Ensure adequate staffing 
  • Train and develop
  • Competitive pay

Currently the Director, Contact Center and Customer Service, I have over 15 years of progressive call center leadership and experience in the public, private and government sectors.

I have led or consulted contact centers of various sizes across numerous industries. Additionally, I’ve implemented new technology and products, while maintaining award-winning contact centers.

Connect with me on
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