Why are call centers so stressful?

What Is Call Center Stress Syndrome?

Why are call centers so stressful

Causes of Call Center Stress (And How to Fix Them)

The job of working in the call center isn’t an easy task. More than 50% of employees in call centers find themselves exhausted each day.
Call center employees who are stressed have to work hard to deliver excellent customer service. If they are forced to leave because of burnout, it becomes costly. The cost for replacing an employee ranges from six to 9 months’ pay.
However, stress in call centers isn’t unavoidable. You can reduce stress at the call center by identifying the signs of burnout early as well as improving processes and implementing the appropriate technology. This article outlines the top seven reasons that lead customer service representatives to be stressed, and teaches you how to address the problem.
Why are call centers so stressful? What are the best ways to deal with Call Center Stress Syndrome?

Table of Contents

Why do call centers cause so much stress

Why are call centers so stressful?

Why are call centers so stressful? Being in a call center may be a stressful job. Staff members of call centers (also known as agents) are at the forefront of helping customers with their problems and dealing with their concerns. They aren’t always courteous. Sometimes, they’re verbally abusive.
In some instances, agents have difficulty coping emotionally, mentally as well as physically with the stress that typically comes with their call center jobs. This strain, which may result in burnout, is also referred to in the field as “call center stress syndrome.”

5 Signs of Call Center Stress Syndrome in Agents

If not addressed Stress in the call center can result in burnout in call centers which is a severe mental health problem. Burnout is a disorder which can result in physical ailments like heart disease and suicidal or self-harming thoughts. Recent research has revealed that over three quarters of employees suffer from burnout at least once or twice a week at work.
What are the signs that the agent might be suffering from stress in the call center? Watch out for the following signs:
  1. Lack of Energy
    Emotional and physical fatigue is typical results of burnout and key factors in stress in the call center. Sleepiness and a loss of appetite are additional signs.Employees of call centers suffering from this disorder may also:

    • Feel more stressed at work environment
    • Display signs of depression
    • Be more annoyed with coworkers
    • Be more patient in the workplace and with phone callers 

  2. Decline in Concentration and Productivity
    Stress and fatigue can lead to call center workers who are stressed out finding it difficult to focus on their work and remain productive. Inability to concentrate on their job may result in erroneous mistakes like transferring calls through to the incorrect department.

  3. Feeling Isolated
    Stress in call centers can cause agents to feel isolated. They might not want or feel comfortable expressing their emotions to other people in the work environment or in their personal life, which may make them feel isolated.To “get away” from everything (and to be away from everyone) The agents suffering from stress-related issues in call centers might begin to avoid social activities, abstaining from team-building exercises, and reporting absent from their jobs. If this is the case it could be that they are feeling physically ill however, they will not blame their absence on stress, burnout or depression. In the end, they’re not getting the help they require.

  4. Negative Attitude Both in General and About Work
    Agents who are burned out often display an ever-slower attitude toward their job. An indication that the agent is suffering from stress in the call center could be that they are complaining more loudly about work they had previously completed without difficulty. They may also be more willing to complain about other non-work related issues, such as the lack of happiness they experience in their private life.

  5. Less Interest in After-Work Hobbies
    A large part of an employee’s increasing isolation could manifest as an inability to engage in leisure activities after work like engaging in a sport or reading an eBook. The withdrawal from activities that once brought their enjoyment can be detrimental to their physical and psychological well-being.

Stressors that lead to call center burnout

Here are the top seven reasons for employee anxiety in call center:
Stressor #1: Unclear expectations 
The employees want to know what they are required to do and perform them effectively. They shouldn’t be asking concerns about their responsibilities or the assessment guidelines.In some cases, unclear priority could result in stress. For instance, agents have to be aware of whether they need to start by addressing a ticket that is deemed to be a priority or resolve a case which is getting close to the SLA date. The employees of call centers could be stressed out if they aren’t sure who’s responsibility the task falls to. Agents shouldn’t have to be wasting time in a case that another agent is working on. If the agent isn’t able to solve the problem and needs help, they must be aware of the right person to contact for assistance. This could be avoided by having a quality call center or helpdesk software and establishing a comprehensive Customer Service Policy.
Stressor Stressor #2: Angry customers 
Agents who handle customer service are often the victim of angry clients. The majority of the time the reason why a customer is not satisfied is not related to the particular agent. They are unhappy with the product, or having to wait too long before being linked to a customer support representative, or perhaps because they’ve had bad customer service experience over the years. However, when angry customers do so and lash out, it causes stress for the agents. 80 percent of employees at call centers report that customers usually blame them for things they aren’t able to control. The emotional stress from dealing with unhappy customers could be a strain on the call center employees’ mental and physical health.
Stressor #3: Lack of incentives
Why should the employees at call centers work to improve their service? Are they recognized for their efforts in increasing important metrics for customer service? If the primary incentive for agents to achieve their KPIs is fear of being disciplined or a negative assessment, they’ll feel over-stressed. This can create a stressful workplace environment and can cause many workplace stress. Instead, you should employ positive reinforcement and attempt to offer rewards to help your employees make your employees the best. Small rewards are one way to keep your day exciting and long-term possibilities for growth.
Stressor #4: Boredom
Contact center work is often repetitive. The idea of asking smart, competent employees to complete the same mundane tasks over and over could put you at risk of a high rate of attrition. A feeling of complacency begins to appear when you repeat the same task every day. This causes a decline in motivation and efficiency as well as eventually, the agents start thinking about getting a new job.
Stressor #5: Heavy workloads
This stress-related issue is simple to understand. The stress of work makes the employees of call centers tired and stressed.Agents in call centers are now dealing with a higher amount of work than they did previously. 71 percent of the customer service managers within the US have witnessed an increase in the volume of calls. As a call center supervisor You don’t have to employ more employees to reduce the workload. The latest technology can make your current tasks more efficient and simpler to accomplish.
Stressor #6: Time limits
Today’s customers are not tolerant of the slowness of service. The typical customer service response time for customers in the United States is pretty quick at 2.8 hours. However, 53% of consumers are requesting that agents respond quicker. Call centers try to speed up the pace by setting deadlines for the response of agents as well as ticket resolutions. If time constraints are unreasonable given the resources available workers are more likely to suffer from chronic stress.
Stressor #7: Lack of expertise
When employees don’t have the information and knowledge they require to solve the issue, they can result in a bad customer service experience, by making customers wait too long or by circulating the problem around too frequently. Additionally 46% of customers are likely to stop doing business due to inexperienced employees. Insufficient training is the main reason for this stressor. Training your employees and making sure that your employees are able to access the appropriate resources aids in forming an effective team to handle different interactions with customers.

Effects of Call Center Stress Syndrome on Agents

Now knowing the typical indicators and causes for stress in the call center Let’s look at the consequences of this problem. Burnout can affect employees as well as the call center and even the business in a variety of ways. The number of them could be a whole book. Here are the five biggest and most severe effects:
  • Mental Health Impact
Undermined mental health is one of the most significant side effects of call center stress syndrome. It’s also an issue that troubles managers: A recent survey found that 87% of employers consider the mental health of their employees their biggest well-being concern.
  • Physical Health Impact
Physical health impacts from stress can range from simple headaches to gastrointestinal issues, severe back pain, and panic attacks.
  • Decreased Performance
Estimates suggest that almost three-quarters of U.S. workers lose at least 15 minutes of productivity a day due to stress, and about one-third of workers lose an hour or more. Only a quarter of workers say their productivity is unaffected by stress.
  • Increased Absenteeism
Absenteeism is a common impact of stress in call centers. Employees suffering from stress or burnout may call in sick but might not admit to stress as the cause. Or they may not make the connection that stress is at the root of their feeling unwell. Either way, it results in the issue not being addressed appropriately.
  • Poor Customer Satisfaction
If agents aren’t being empathetic on calls, or patiently listening to complaints, customers are only going to become more frustrated — or angrier.A poor customer experience can lead to brand reputation damage due to negative online reviews and consumer complaints. Our recent study found that 76% of customers switch to another brand if they have just one poor customer experience.

Tips to Deal with Call Center Stress Syndrome

What’s the key to reducing stress at call centers? It begins by acknowledging it’s true that call center environments are stressful work environments by nature. It is also true that many employees will succumb to burnout and stress in the absence of adequate support. They’re also more likely to quit their jobs.
To reduce turnover and guarantee an efficient call center environment Managers must be aware of the severity and real-world impact of stress-related issues in call centers. Here are six strategies they are able to tackle the issue head on:
  • Support Employees, Avoid Micromanagement

    Be your employees’ greatest supporter. Know that they’re working in a stressful environment, and demonstrate the compassion they’re expected to show to your customers.

    Similar to how you keep a monitor on your employees’ performance metrics, ensure that they’re taking breaks, and work with them to arrange time off and make sure that everyone has enough rest time to replenish between shifts.

    Don’t also micromanage your agents. Offer them the opportunity to demonstrate creativity, initiative and be innovative in the way that their jobs allow and give them prompt and constructive feedback. Also, pay attention to their concerns and inform them that it’s okay to raise their hand if they’re feeling overwhelmed.

  • Provide the Right Tools for the Agents

    The employees of any company are generally happier and remain on their job for longer provided they have the resources in place to support them. When it comes to the phone center the capabilities and tools include automation as well as artificial intelligence (AI).

  • Invest in Employee Wellness Programs

    A recent study found that 89% percent of companies saw the wellness program as an integral part of their overall business plan, an increase of 5% from the previous year’s survey. Well-being and mental health are the main focus of employers’ wellness programs according to the research.

    The existence of a wellness program that is available to agents in call centers makes economic sense and will yield a substantial increase in return. A study has found that each dollar invested in employee wellness is worth three times more in lower medical and absence expenses.

  • Provide Better Training and Development

    Training is an essential component of a call center agent’s job satisfaction. Untrained agents aren’t successful and quickly become discouraged, stressed and eventually burnout.

    Capabilities for training on-platform provide the foundation for more timely and relevant Agent coaching, as well as collaborative. Managers can provide coaching tips to agents directly through scores and transcripts that are generated right away following each meeting. Agents can utilize the same tools to coach themselves and can also ask their supervisors for specific recommendations.

  • Manage Unmanageable Workloads

    Do not let your agents be overwhelmed by the burdensome tasks that never ever seem to ease. Reduce their workload by establishing realistic schedules for their time within the contact center and be prepared to modify their schedules as the workload increases.

  • Offer Performance Feedback

    Giving constructive feedback on performance to employees is essential for the work setting. It can be monotonous and repetitive, but providing prompt feedback will keep employees motivated and focused on achieving continuous improvement, and happier at work overall.

Frequently Asked Questions

Call centers are frequently deemed stressful because of the high volume of calls as well as repetitive work, emotionally stressful interactions, performance metrics and infrequent work hours, as well as other things.

A high volume of calls mean that call center employees are required to take on a huge number of calls each day, which leads to pressure on them to work effectively and efficiently handle their task.

Common performance metrics used in call centers are call duration and resolution rates for calls as well as customer satisfaction scores and compliance with the scripts. The pressure to achieve these goals can cause anxiety and stress.

Agents in call centers often have to have to deal with angry or frustrated customers who are experiencing problems or are frustrated. The emotional reactions can be exhausting and stressful.

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