Avoiding Customer Service Agent Burnout

What You Can Do to Avoid Customer Service Agent Burnout

You know the sensation that feels like you’ve hit a wall, you feel broken down as if you can’t go on with whatever it is you’re doing?  That’s burnout, and it especially sucks to experience it in the customer service field because you can’t just “turn off” customer inflow.  You need your customers, but your customer support staff needs you to incorporate some methods to help them avoid experiencing customer service burnout.

If you need incentive, consider this: The more burned out your customer service agents feel, the more likely they are to quit, which leads to increased turnover rates for your business.  Then comes the cost of advertising for a new job position, paying for the new hire’s training, and so on.  Nobody wins, so your best option is to do what you can to ensure that your customers are happy and can avoid experience customer service burnout.

 

Use Your Power for Positive Rewards for Good Service

Assuming you’re the owner of your own business, however large or small, you’re the boss and you have the final say.  It should go without saying, but don’t be a slave driver with your workforce.  Employees can work harder and longer when they’re happy and they feel like they’re making a positive influence on the lives of your customers and on the life of your business.

Get out there and make your customer service agents feel powerful, and do it by praising them, telling them how valuable they are to your company.  Now, if you’re paying them next to nothing and go on about telling them how valuable they are, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.  Pay your staff fairly – or even more than what most consider “fairly” – and lay on the praise.

Fair pay while making your customer service agent feel like a valuable asset to your company, one who contributes to your success, is one of the strongest combinations to keep employees satisfaction high, as well as their productivity.  Employees are far less likely to experience customer service burnout because they feel like it’s less “monotonous”, and more a challenge that benefits all parties.

 

Dedicate Time to Recharge Your Customer Service Team

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how well an employee is paid if their work and work environment is soul-sucking.  In many call centers this seems to be the case, and also serves as a common place where customer service agents are underpaid and overworked, thus leading to terrible turnover rates.

You might own your business, so your motivation is going to be higher to improve your bottom line.  That’s reasonable, but don’t make that push your employees with quotas that make them stress every time they even think about coming to work.  Customer service representatives in that sort of position pray for the weekend, and when the weekend arrives they dread going back to work.

You don’t want employees like this on your workforce, and you don’t have to, so long as you’re ensuring that they don’t have to constantly spam outbound calls all day and have an unreasonable sales quota.  That’s a recipe for failure, because miserable customer service agents provide lousy customer service, which in turn affects the relationship with all people they come into contact with.

Some employees have a higher work ethic, and some have natural talents for customer service.  You’ll have some with a high stress tolerance, and some with not so much.  This doesn’t mean you have to cater to those employees who come along that do little work and want to reap all the reward.  After all, you’re running a business, and there has to be rules and boundaries.  Just be sure to be fair with your workforce.  Don’t work them into the ground, but give them a fair share.  Be reasonable, be inspiring, pay them fairly and give them praise.  You’ll be sure to see returns on your investment.

 

About the author

Flavio Martins

Flavio Martins is the VP of Customer Support at an award-winning technology start-up. He's a featured blogger, customer service presenter and customer loyalty fanatic. Flavio understands that customer service is the key for successful businesses to create long term loyalty and success. Flavio is a CustomerThink.com Featured Author, Top Author for Service & Support, Top Author for Customer Experience and Overall Top Blogger in 2012.

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