Businesses put a lot of importance on their equipment and do their best to not wear them out too quickly. However, many call center companies are not as careful when it comes to their employees. They see high burnout and attrition rates and don’t take enough time to figure out the root causes. If you work at a contact center with the following problems, you should address them as soon as you can.
Setting Targets without Showing Impact
Many call center agents are millennials, and they like to see the impact of their work. They are free thinkers who look for a purpose more than pay. So, when they only see their job as a set of performance metrics to meet without any significance, they get demotivated.
According to a study by Wharton management professor Adam Grant, employees who are able to see the impact their work has on others are happier and more productive than those who don’t. So when you can, show your employees how they have helped customers. Even a simple “thank you” from a satisfied customer can show the importance of customer service work.
Not Emphasizing Growth
One more thing millennials crave is a sense of growth. In his book Drive, author Dan Pink differentiates between algorithmic work, which involves rote tasks, and heuristic work, which harnesses more creativity and skill. Obviously, work in a call center outsourcing service is more algorithmic, so workers tend to get disengaged at some point.
To combat that tendency, companies should strive to give their employees a sense of accomplishment. Using your organization’s KPIs (key performance indicators), give employees regular feedback on their performance: the more specific and positive, the better. If possible, introduce gamification into your workplace by giving badges for outstanding performance or posting public leaderboards.
Taking Happiness for Granted
Not just millennials, but all employees, need to be happy. Many call centers develop a numbers-focused culture where people don’t have time or energy for relaxation. However, studies conducted by economists at the University of Warwick show that happiness can cause a 12% boost in productivity while unhappiness can decrease it by 10%. You have to remember that happy employees are productive employees, which is why happiness is key to call center success.
Companies should set up a productive call center environment with fun team building exercises, icebreakers in team meetings, and other strategies to encourage a culture of happiness. You can also try encouraging social activities outside work, like exercise groups.
Trying to Use Money as a Cure-all
People are not machines. The duties of a customer service associate are demanding, and employers tend to focus on incentives to make their people perform. However, when you make people work too much, it can affect their health. In fact, presenteeism, where employees turn up for work even if they’re too sick, can result in a spread of disease throughout the office. That’s why healthcare in call centers is such a huge concern.
So don’t think that money is more important than health. Take an active interest in making sure your workers are fit and well. Make sure they have appropriate health care benefits and enough sick leaves. If you do this, you’ll enjoy a better reputation, plus a lot of other benefits.
Expecting High Performance without Training
Having the chance to get training is one of the benefits of being in a call center workplace. However, some customer support outsourcing companies hire people without setting up proper training programs. Without proper training, employees are set up to fail, leading to dissatisfaction from customers and frustration among associates.
Training is an important part of human resource management efforts, which is especially true for call center companies. That’s why you should facilitate workshops, skills development seminars, and other opportunities for employees to get better skills, fulfil call center requirements, and become more satisfied with their careers. You can train your agents from remote locations and let them work from home and achieve overwhelming results in less time.
Providing Too Many Tools
Another problem is call center technology. While a lot of applications have features to improve productivity, workers can end up with information overload if all the tools and channels they have to keep track of are not integrated well. Documentation can also be a challenge when you have to incorporate information from different software tools into one document.
To avoid this problem, analyze your work processes and determine which call center software is better for your business. Streamlining your workflow to allow employees to adapt as easily as possible will not just reduce errors, but it will also lessen frustration among workers overall.
Turning a Blind Eye to Job Fit
One of the main reasons behind call center burnout is excessive stress. This is likely for workers who aren’t fit for the job. They will likely suffer from poor performance or a negative attitude. Even if they don’t quit, they may affect their peers, with studies showing that team productivity can dip as much as 30% because of just one underperforming member. The worst case is that other members will resign out of frustration.
Make sure your selection process is set up right and never, ever settle. It will pay off not just in terms of reduced training costs but also with improved organizational performance and morale.
Working with Unsupportive Managers
One major reason why call center agents leave their work is because of their bosses. These are typically overly critical micromanagers who want their subordinates to comply and hit targets rather than develop. It’s easy to see this mentality among managers who work in a call center, where performance measures are everywhere.
Employees with a boss who would sooner fire them than inspire them won’t wait for either to happen. You must ensure that team leaders are agile in their management style. They should know when to give a lot of coaching and critical feedback, and when to give praise and recognize opportunities for growth.
Not Allowing Job Flexibility
A common problem among contact centers is the lack of willingness to accommodate employees’ unique circumstances. Working mothers have a lot to deal with, especially in the early years of their children’s development. There are also students who work part-time as call center agents to finance their studies, and normal work schedules may be difficult for them to adjust to.
You shouldn’t underestimate the power of flexibility. Since call center work is Internet-based, there’s a lot of opportunity for options like work from home and flexible schedules. If you use them just right, more people will recognize the call center industry as a career opportunity.
No company can say that people are their biggest asset because no company can own people. Call center agents are always free to leave and work somewhere else. However, most of them are dedicated, resourceful individuals who look at the bright side through all the holidays they have to miss and over time they have to render, and they’ll stay with companies who provide them with the best options and opportunities.
John Anderson is a Web Developer, Creative Content Director, Social Media Specialist and Commissioned Artist. He is particular in watching web and social media changes and uses. He is also a commissioned artist and cartoonist. He is interested in various internet trends.