Feeling Call Center Burnout
Being a call center agent is not for the faint of heart, hence why the attrition rate is around 45 percent. Often times, agents are on the receiving end of frustrated and disgruntled callers, wanting an immediate solution. With the holidays having come and gone, a lot of exchanges, lost gifts, and returns lead to an overload of calls and overwhelmed agents. The mental exhaustion of consistently having to appease consumers can lead to a level of burnout. So, how can call center managers and employers help combat this issue?
Callers can easily get frustrated with their agents prior to even engaging with them. Hold times and automated systems do not always pick up the proper information; the agent has no idea what they are in for once they get the actual customer on the line. And if an agent is less than charming, the caller becomes even more outraged.
Sadly, one call per day (or per shift) is with a hostile customer. Add to the hostility, workplace requirements such as efficiency and timeliness as some call centers have quotas for how many calls must be handled per shift. Realistically, these quotas can be quite overwhelming.
Call centers attempt to hire agents who have great customer service skills, are empathetic, and compassionate. However, those qualities are put to the test in the call center, referred to as the “cognitive load.” This refers to all of the mental effort that is being utilized at one particular moment when interacting with a customer, including writing, research, resolution; try having 50 of these calls in one shift. So, what can be done to help alleviate the burnout and stress?
There is new technology based on behavioral science which analyzes vocal tones in real-time. By doing so, it can let the agent know how the caller is feeling (sad, frustrated, angry) while letting the agent focus on the main goal: resolution.
How does your call center combat burnout?
Edited by Maurice Nagle