‘Stress’ Season is Here for Call Center Operators

November 25, 2015

Like winter follows fall, Cyber Monday (NewsAlert), that online shopping day right after the long Thanksgiving weekend, will soon be here. Along with it will come a flood of calls into contact centers, mostly consisting of complaints. No one calls a contact center to say what a good job everyone is doing.

It’s a given that contact center work is stressful, but there are steps that savvy managers can take to improve both working conditions and staffer happiness. Addressing that issue, technology writer Bre Smith, writing for TechCo.com, took a bird’s eye view and offered some suggestions to keep everyone on point. Her ideas are worth sharing:

Improve the Work Environment: This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s really Work 101: Happy employees are productive employees. “When your employees dread coming to work because of negativity, gossip, poor management, or even an unpleasant workspace, they aren’t going to be productive while they are there,” Smith notes. Identify problems, and fix them.

Offer Incentives: “Develop a reward and recognition program that not only encourages employees to perform at their highest levels, but also motivates them to find ways to support their own growth and development,” she suggests. “When employees are recognized for their hard work, they are more likely to be satisfied.”

Improve the Knowledge Base (NewsAlert): “Implementing a solution like knowledge base software allows employees to find all of the information they need within seconds,” Smith says. “Agents aren’t wasting time asking clarifying questions, searching through endless codes, or putting customers on hold while they search for someone who has the answer. Everything is right where they need it.”

Investigate the Sources of Calls: Identifying the biggest drivers of calls provides insight that you can use to develop other solutions for managing the majority of those calls, freeing up your agents to handle other calls, she suggests.

Improve Self-Service: Multiple studies have shown that the majority of people would rather self-service using online or automated options than call an actual person. “By improving your self-service options, meaning offering email, online chat, interactive voice response, and self-service options, you’re not only giving your customers flexibility in how they contact you, but you are improving the productivity of the agents who are taking calls, since they are dealing with fewer calls,” Smith notes.

These are by no means all the solutions you can implement, but adding some now could help save an employee’s sanity – and presence at work – later.

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