Working in a call center isn’t always easy. Customers often call when they are upset or dissatisfied, and agents sometimes listen to one complaint after another. Call center agents are tasked with quickly resolving the issues or irate customers, which can create a stressful working environment. Luckily, at Customer Elation, we employ several strategies to help our call center agents stay cool, calm and collected even in the most hectic situations. Agents have to find ways to recover quickly in order to move on to the next call. The following methods keep productivity up and agents’ stress levels down:
1. Taking a Breath
Taking a moment to breathe and de-stress before moving onto the next call is a necessary piece of working through a transaction that occured, and mentally prepare for the next task. After a particularly taxing customer interaction, taking a deep breath and counting to ten can be the difference between an agent approaching the next customer with a good attitude and a clean slate, or carrying over the stress from the previous call to the current customer.
2. Taking a Break
It’s also important to schedule time for multiple breaks throughout the day; this gives agents a chance to unwind, and think about wha tthey could have done differently. Breaks can turn an overwhelming day into a manageable one.
3. Rewarding a Job Well Done
We understand how difficult some calls can be, and try to reward good agent performance as often as possible. Something as simple as verbal recognition (“good job!”) or even a piece of candy can soothe and agent’s nerves after a challenging phone call. Call center agents have a difficult job, and it’s extremely important to make them feel appreciated.
Directing agents to take a moment and think about why a call was challenging can be very enlightening. A moment of reflection can often illuminate what went wrong, which can help agents better handle future difficult situations.
Occasionally, all you can do after a crazy situation is laugh and move on. Encouraging agents to let out the bad feelings with a chuckle can be a major source of stress relief for agents. It’s important to encourage agents not to dwell too long on a bad interaction.
Although every day in a call center does not go as planned, these tips help agents cope with stress, which in turn helps them provide better customer service overall. Encouraging self-care and appreciating agents’ hard work keeps our agents happy and productive.