Stress is commonly observed among call center agents. Its widely acknowledged as a significant issue.
Based on an industry study, a percentage possibly around 74% of contact center agents are at a high risk of experiencing burnout. This high prevalence has raised concerns about whether workplace stress has become the normal.
However we believe that despite the presence of stress in call centers and similar environments it is not an unavoidable situation.
In a discussion we thoroughly examined the negative impacts of call center burnout and offered practical strategies and solutions that managers can implement to tackle stress within their organizations. Building upon this we now delve into an exploration of the causes of stress among call center agents and provide various effective techniques they can use to manage stress and overcome anxiety in their work environment.
Continue reading to discover seven methods designed specifically for call center stress management. It’s crucial that you share these insights and strategies, with your team members.
What’s behind the stress of being a call center agent or salesperson?
The prevalence of stress among call center representatives has implications for sales teams (including virtual ones) in various industries. However when we explore the root causes of these stress levels we find several prominent factors that contribute to call center agents stress:
- High call volume and performance expectations: The heavy workload is a source of stress in the workplace and this holds true in the call center environment as well. Agents often face the pressure of handling calls achieving sales targets and meeting other expectations.
- Excessive monitoring: Call center quality assurance (QA) tools are meant to enhance accountability and improve outcomes. However excessive or intrusive call monitoring practices have been shown to increase anxiety and stress among call center agents.
- Repetitive and monotonous tasks: Call center agents often experience routines while dealing with common challenges found in outbound call centers today such as encountering blocked calls flagged calls or difficulties with voicemail detection.
- Unclear opportunities for advancement: The absence of a path, for personal growth and career progression leaves agents without a defined direction forward. Consequently they may struggle to stay engaged and committed to their roles.
Outdated technology infrastructure poses a challenge for call center agents. It’s no surprise that 60% of agents express dissatisfaction with the technology provided by their companies to address customer concerns. This lack of up to date software not makes even simple tasks difficult but also fails to fully support agent tasks as intended. Consequently stress levels among agents are on the rise.
To summarize call center operations face stressors originating from multiple sources. Recognizing these stressors is crucial in understanding their impact and exploring strategies to ease the burden, on call center agents.
7 call center stress relievers for your agents
Understanding how to effectively handle stress in sales or customer service positions is just as crucial as mastering communication with customers. Unfortunately the techniques and tips for managing stress in call center roles are often. Disregarded. Lets delve into some of the effective stress relieving strategies, for call center agents that can help alleviate the pressures mentioned earlier.
Number 1. Communication is key
Agents often spend an amount of time interacting with customers but its also important for them to have regular conversations with their managers in order to reduce stress. Good managers can offer guidance and support well as take appropriate action to help alleviate stress once they are made aware of it. It is crucial for agents dealing with anxiety to maintain a line of communication with their managers as this can ensure that clear expectations are established. According to a report by Gallup 60% of employees strongly agreed that they knew what was expected of them in their job. The resulting disconnect, between the remaining workers and their supervisors can be a source of stress.
Number 2. Lean on your colleagues
Managers are not the ones who provide support for call center agents. Whether they are physically present or connected virtually having colleagues to communicate with creates a network. When colleagues become part of this framework it becomes easier to handle stress. They contribute in ways, such, as motivating, comforting, offering fresh perspectives and even providing some distraction. Having colleagues around is a way to reduce the stress that comes with being a call center agent.
Number 3. Practice self-care
Also remember to allocate some time and focus on yourself when you have a hectic workday. It’s important to note that physical well being are interconnected. Stress can have physical manifestations while engaging in physical activities can alleviate mental stress. Hence call center agents should prioritize tending to their needs throughout the day by implementing various strategies.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking an amount of water can surprisingly aid in stress management. When you don’t maintain hydration it actually puts additional strain on your body and triggers the release of stress hormones further amplifying the psychological burden caused by workplace stress.
- Get some steps in: Sitting for periods of time can have negative effects, on both the body and mind. Engaging in a walk even if its just for five minutes every hour as suggested by a study can enhance concentration, effectiveness and overall mood.
- Practice mindfulness: Working in a call center can often be quite hectic, with things moving at a pace. However incorporating mindfulness techniques can assist in slowing down and importantly have been proven to alleviate workplace stress.
Number 4. Take time away from work
Sometimes when dealing with stress and anxiety in call centers or any other field it can be beneficial to disconnect from work. It’s important for agents and employees to take advantage of their vacation days and take breaks to relax. However going on a beach vacation is not always feasible or necessary.
Taking efficient and stress relieving breaks can come in forms. The concept of “micro breaks ” which are breaks lasting just five to ten minutes has been proven to boost productivity and promote well being in the workplace. Furthermore research has shown a connection between regular extended lunch breaks and increased employee engagement.
Nevertheless it remains crucial to make these routine work breaks meaningful during the morning and evening hours. Striking a balance between work commitments and personal life is important. Setting boundaries between the workday and personal time along with actively participating in activities that reduce stress and bring joy during non working hours are all key steps, towards effective stress management.
Number 5. Understand data and your customers
One way to alleviate stress in the call center is by taking measures to enhance sales and customer service skills. In todays world leveraging data can be a starting point. By analyzing call center reports and monitoring important call center metrics professionals can easily identify areas for improvement. Recognizing patterns, in performance enables call center agents to understand what strategies are effective and which ones are not. This valuable insight allows them to make the adjustments ultimately reducing stress and increasing efficiency throughout their workdays.
Number 6. Learn to handle objections
Even the skilled call center agents understand that encountering sales objections and dealing with angry prospects is just a normal part of their job. Knowing how to handle these situations is not only a crucial skill but it also helps in managing the stress that comes with being, in a sales role. The key aspect of managing objections may seem straightforward but it can be challenging; It’s important not to take these objections personally. It might require some time and constant reminders. Once you truly internalize the fact that rejections are not a reflection of your worth you’ll find yourself experiencing less stress along the way.
Number 7. Keep working on yourself – and work toward something
There’s no denying that call center agents have to deal with tasks as part of their daily routine. While the suggested operational tips for call centers are effective in reducing stress additional measures are necessary to overcome stress and prevent burnout. Establishing goals becomes crucial in this regard.
When theres no path for career advancement the repetitive nature of tasks can feel meaningless. It’s not surprising that a survey conducted by Comparably found that “lack of goal clarity” is the cause of workplace stress. To address this its recommended to communicate with your manager and use your insights, about your abilities and limitations to set practical and measurable short term and long term career goals.
Like any profession some level of stress is expected for call center agents. However by implementing the strategies mentioned above you can effectively manage the severity of these stressors. Additionally having defined career goals helps make any remaining stress more consistent and rewarding.
In any profession employees often encounter stress during their careers. Call center agents, in particular may face stress due, to the challenging task of handling irate customers while striving to provide excellent service. By implementing workplace modifications and offering personalized stress management strategies you can empower your agents to effectively cope with stress. Take a moment to go over the suggestions we’ve discussed here which will help alleviate stressors within your call center and prioritize the well being of your agents.