COVID-19 is affecting every industry, particularly call centers. Call centers for medical facilities, insurance providers, and other related sectors are experiencing abnormally high call volumes from stressed customers. Regardless of industry, all call centers are dealing with upset and stressed out callers. Call center agents must be polite, patient, knowledgeable, and upbeat, which is difficult when managing customers’ stress on top of their own.
However, employers have to motivate call center agents as customers will remember which companies supported them through the pandemic crisis. Companies can use the following methods to keep their call center agents happy and reduce the likelihood of burnout:
- Focus on reducing stress. Employees need breaks, but a company’s culture may make them feel like they should work through lunch or after hours regularly. For example, employees may opt to take another call when they should be on their lunch break. Such practices can quickly burn out their enthusiasm for their jobs. Agents are also fielding more stressed customers than usual, which can affect their morale. Implementing stress-relieving activities such as app-guided breathing exercises between calls can help agents lower their stress levels.
- Provide encouragement. Recognizing a job well done or applauding soft skills can boost agents’ morale. It also provides an example for newer agents to follow and shows the team that management values their work.
- Protect top performers. Top-performing agents are the most likely to burnout due to the demands placed on them. For example, companies may ask top-performing agents to coach and train new employees. While this is a sound strategy, businesses need to balance top performers’ workloads as well. If they’re training new employees and trying to complete their usual amount of work, they’re likely to burnout.
- Offer bonuses and other rewards. Call center agents are working harder than ever during the pandemic. Offering cash bonuses, gift cards, gift baskets, and other non-monetary rewards can boost motivation and productivity. For example, companies can hold a monthly raffle for employees with perfect attendance or offer quarterly bonuses to top performers, most-improved employees, etc. When agents have something to look forward to or work towards, they’re less likely to lose enthusiasm for their jobs.
Call centers play a critical role in a business’s success. If your company is considering investing in a call center or looking for new options, Actec can help. Contact us to learn more about our nearshore call center services.