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4 tips to prevent contact center burnout

customer service rep


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4 min read

Article highlights:

  • Burnout leads to turnover rates as high as 45%.
  • Recognizing the signs of employee burnout can help managers maintain profitability for a contact center by ensuring great customer experiences and keeping agents engaged.
  • A cloud-based technology can make the job of a contact center agent much easier.

The job of a contact center agent can be a particularly stressful one, leading to burnout. This negatively affects the agent,contributes to a poor customer experience, and reduces the effectiveness and profitability of a contact center.

Difficult customer interactions can be a major source of challenges for an agent. But other issues can also wear down contact center agents, including unapproachable or unsupportive management, uncertainty surrounding workplace roles, and outdated contact center technology.

Without certain interventions in place, contact center agent burnout can quickly lead to a high turnover rate. In fact, burnout plays a key role in sky-high agent turnover rates, which fall somewhere between 30% to 45%. Further, entry-level agents often only last about one year in the contact center workplace.

Luckily, there are steps managers can take to minimize the effects of contact center burnout and create a more rewarding work environment, which benefits your employees, your customers, and your bottom line.

1. Recognize the signs of agent burnout

Contact center supervisors should be diligent in spotting early warning signs that a contact center agent is suffering some level of burnout at work. Here are some signs that your agent might be struggling:

  • Physical symptoms. Agents may exhibit tell-tale physical signs that they’re burnt out, including fatigue, anxiety, depression, and loss of appetite.
  • Decline in work enthusiasm. Agents who don’t look forward to working may be constantly late to report for work, eager for their shift to end, or no longer happy to participate in team meetings and events.
  • Absenteeism. Another early warning sign of burnout is agents calling in sick more and more frequently.
  • Negativity.  A pessimistic attitude toward work, particularly among agents who may have once been cheerful about their role in the contact center, can signify that your agent is somewhere on the burnout spectrum.
  • Poor productivity. An employee who is not encouraged about their job will not put much effort into it, resulting in less productivity.
  • Increased mistakes. Agents who are burnt out are more likely to make errors on the job.

Recognizing these signs early on will give managers a chance to nip the problem in the bud before total burnout occurs.

2. Offer continued support

According to a recent Gallup survey, employees who feel that they have the right amount of support from management are around 70% less likely to experience burnout.

More and more contact center agents work remotely, which means they’re often isolated from the traditional work environment. Although many agents may prefer such a work arrangement, it can increase their feelings of isolation, especially when they need extra support from management.

Rather than making agents feel as though they’re entirely responsible for dealing with customers, ensuring easy access to a supervisor can be of comfort to an agent. Knowing that their supervisor is always available if a customer conversation takes a wrong turn or a situation arises with which the agent is not comfortable can be the difference between a highly stressed agent and a happy one..

When contact center agents feel like they’ve got back-up on an as-needed basis, the odds of feeling burnt out from work plummet.

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3. Provide ongoing training

Contact center agents who are equipped with all the knowledge and appropriate skills will be better able to do their job effectively and comfortably, which inevitably will lead to a better overall customer experience. That’s why ongoing training is so important.

Things can change in the world of customer service, including how to deal with people in various situations, as well as how to use contact center technology effectively. Training can improve agent confidence and thereby cut down on the risk of burnout. A reduction in employee frustration often translates into a reduction in turnover rates.

4. Implement iInnovative technology

Your contact center agents will find it a lot easier to manage their job with the right platform from which to communicate with clients and monitor their tasks as their shift progresses.

The right technology can offer a multitude of communication channels, consolidating them all onto one easy-to-use platform. Not only can this help agents provide customers with a more customized experience, but it can also help contact center agents better collaborate with others on the team.

Cutting-edge technology that’s geared specifically toward contact center agents can foster a more customer-focused work culture. When your contact center builds a customer-centric culture, several beneficial things happen.

First, customers have a better experience. In turn, the likelihood of highly stressful customer interactions is reduced. Better customer interactions make contact center agents feel that their job is not in vain; they can clearly see that their good work has a positive effect on customers and on your organization as a whole. Feeling good about their work helps to reduce the probability of agent burnout.

Let RingCentral help you reduce agent burnout and churn

RingCentral contact center solution provides organizations with the tools they need to reduce agent burnout and employee churn. The platform enables agents to handle omnichannel customer experiences from anywhere in the world.

A strong suite of collaboration tools keeps agents in touch with their supervisors and fellow workers, helping to ensure that no agent feels alone. Workforce management tools and analytics tools help supervisors keep a close eye on agent performance so that any signs of burnout can be addressed quickly, before they escalate into serious issues.

To learn more about what RingCentral can do to help your organization, contact us for a free demo today.


Originally published Jan 18, 2022, updated Dec 30, 2022

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