Call center agents can feel a lot of pressure in today’s customer service environment. In the digital age of doing business, with the increased use of mobile technology and social media, many customers have a longing for instant gratification. According to a study from Altitude Software, 84% of customers that post complaints on social media expect a response within a day, and 47% expect a response within an hour. You want to give your customers the attention they deserve so they don’t decide to do business elsewhere, but pleasing customers starts with taking care of your call center agents.
Call center job stress can take a huge toll on your employees and the bottom line of your business. It’s important for employers to put strategies in place that prevent call center burnout. Signs of call center agent burnout include a decrease in their productivity, increasing negativity, less motivation to upsell products and an increase of the number of customers escalated to management.
Implement Live Chat and Virtual Agents to Assist Call Center Agents
One of the most effective tools available today that can help lighten the load of call center agents is multi-channel customer service solutions. Social media and e-mail are a great place to start, but if you have a high call center volume it’s best to implement other methods that will give your customers a response in real time. First, live chat is an effective tool that helps prevent call center burnout, since agents can chat with multiple customers at once and don’t have to encounter angry and emotional voices of customers as they would on the phone.
Another tool that can assist your call center staff is virtual agents. These are chatbots that use artificial intelligence to answer a lot of common customer queries which would otherwise be directed to call center or live chat agents. According to a report from technology consulting firm Forrester, much of Aetna’s call center volume was about registration and login issues. Six months after they implemented a virtual agent, they saw a 50% reduction in calls about this issue.
Any questions that cannot be answered by live chat or virtual agents can then be escalated to call center agents. When the call center agent receives the call, they already have the information about the customer that was collected by the virtual agent or live chat agent. Implementing these strategies will prevent call center agent burnout by cutting out a lot of the more common issues they would otherwise have to address, so they can focus only on the issues that truly require their attention.
Streamline Your Multi-Channel Customer Service Solutions
But if you don’t have these multi-channel processes properly streamlined, the aggravation of having to jump through hoops to switch customer service channels can become a source of call center job stress. If you don’t already have a customer relationship management system that allows customers to switch service channels with little effort, look into software solutions such as Freshdesk and Salesforce. Prevent call center burnout by making these customer transitions smoother.
Assign separate groups of call center staff members to manage each customer support channel (Twitter, live chat, phone) and allow them to trade places from time to time. This helps prevent the boredom and monotony that can lead to call center burnout. Also, train your team thoroughly on how to work together to solve customer support issues. Make sure their communication is streamlined so customers don’t have to waste time giving the same information every time they switch channels.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.