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17thMar2016

How to Relieve Call Center Stress

How to Relieve Call Center Stress

A Courteous Communications has been a full service business call center since 1986. For the past 30 years we have worked diligently in the highly stressful telecommunications industry.  Just imagine the pressures of answering a telephone every second, of every minute, of every day. We know all too well how difficult it can be to effectively run an award winning answering service.

Knowing just how debilitating call center stress can be, we want to help you learn how to manage your staff’s stress levels.

How to handle call center stress:

1. Properly Staff Your Call Center

First thing’s first, to prevent stress from building in your operators’ room, be sure to properly staff your call center. Having too few telephone agents will lead to extremely high call volumes for each agent. When one agent is responsible for taking on more calls than they can handle, their stress levels will soar through the roof.

Do your business a favor by adequately staffing your call center so that no particular agent is bombarded with more calls than they can handle.

2. Initial and On-Going Training

When your employees are properly trained, they are able to perform their job duties with more ease and confidence. Stress can develop from not knowing what to do. Undertrained employees will feel the pressure involved in time-sensitive tasks; like answering a ringing telephone.

If you set aside adequate time for initial and on-going training, your virtual receptionists will feel more prepared to handle anything that comes their way.   

3. Clearly Define Call-Handling Procedures

Just like you can reap the benefits of a properly trained staff, defining your call center’s policies and procedures will prevent stress from building. When your agents are at a loss of what to do or how to handle specific callers, their nerves will spike in sticky situations.

An effective way we prevent call center stress from building is giving all of our agents a highly-detailed employee manual. This extensive manual covers everything from the rules of our call center to helpful tips on how to manage stress. 

4. Invest in State of the Art Equipment

There are four words that will cause stress to erupt in your call center’s operator room, “The boards are down!” If you are serious about running a successful call center, your equipment must be carefully considered.

To allow your telephone agents to have a smooth shift, you have to provide them with state of the art equipment to handle the job. Here at A Courteous Communications, we spend a considerable amount of money in making sure our equipment, and our backup equipment, is the highest of quality.

5. Call Monitoring for Quality Assurance

Supervising and listening in on live calls is a practice that needs to be incorporated into a supervisor’s daily job description. Call monitoring ensures that all of your calls are being handled with elite customer service. But call monitoring also allows you to assist in discovering reoccurring issues your telephone agents are faced with.

When you are able to recognize a problem within your call center, you can begin to develop a solution that will reduce your agents’ stress levels.

6. Provide Agents with a Support Team

Some callers require an especially skilled telephone agent to guide them through the call. If your agents are in the sticky situation of being verbally abused from a disgruntled caller, you need to provide backup to that employee.

Having a seasoned and experienced call center supervisor available to take over any stressful conversations will help your telephone agents feel supported.   

7. Have a Killer Breakroom

Running a 24-hour call center takes its toll on your workers. Whether your employees have the early morning shifts or late graveyard shifts, they need a specific space to unwind. Having a fantastic breakroom will give your virtual receptionists a place they can relax and get in the mind frame needed to answer non-stop ringing telephones.

If you want to take a closer look at how an average shift goes in our call center, take a look at our article, Diary of an Agent: Behind the Scenes of a Business Telephone Answering Service.

8. Participate in Fun Holidays

Working in a round-the-clock call center is stressful. Your telephone agents are responsible for: 

  • • Always providing top tier customer service
  • • Constantly being pleasant and helpful with each caller
  • • Being flexible with answering for different businesses and industries
  • • Thinking quickly on their feet to offer guidance and control

These are just some of the physical and emotional demands of being a great virtual receptionist. You need to bring in holiday cheer whenever possible to give back to your hardworking team.

Here at A Courteous Communications, we work so very hard and still find the time to have so much fun. Whether we are all wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day; eclectic socks on Weird Sock Day; or making perfect Sundaes in the breakroom on National Vanilla Ice Cream Day… we are having fun as a team.  

9. Celebrate and Acknowledge Special Days

Participating in wacky holidays brings fun into your stressed call center. Recognizing special and more employee-specific days brings warmth and closeness. Our staff is like our family and we recommend to remember all the important days for your staff.

  • • Birthdays
  • • Special Anniversaries  
  • • Bridal and Baby Showers
  • • Housewarming Parties
  • • Staff Potluck days
  • • Employee Appreciation Parties

Encourage office friendships by giving your staff plenty of ways to interact with one another during a special occasion. Having friendly colleagues and a positive environment to work in will help relieve stresses that come up down the road.  

10. Offer Employee Incentive Programs

Call center stress can sometimes be relieved by having a specific goal within your sight. Develop different employee programs that act as incentives and rewards for a job well done. Your telephone agents will be able to shake off stress easier when they have a desired goal they are trying to reach.    

Having an employee of the month program is very easy to establish and manage. Give away gift certificates, extra vacation days or other tokens of appreciation to an employee that is doing well. Your employee of the month will also set a great example for the rest of your team to follow.

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