Customer Experience News & Trends

4 signs employees are stressed – and not making customers happy

Some might argue that working with customers all day is the most challenging job there is. And that’s why customer service professionals are at the biggest risk for stress and burnout.

More than half of all employees are unhappy or frustrated about work, a Root, Inc., study found. And if front-line employees are frustrated, you can only imagine they aren’t delivering the customer experience you’d like them to.

Most customer service pros won’t jump up and tell managers, “I’m stressed. I need help!” Fortunately, there are often signs — subtle and not-so-subtle — that customer service pros are stressed — and less likely to do their best to keep customers happy.

Watch for these signs, and then step in to help them relieve the pressure.

Productivity is down

We often look at many factors when productivity drops — customer demand, new promotions, schedule adherence — for the cause, and don’t consider that the issue could be that employees are mentally or physically drained.

Often, customer service productivity drops because contact center pros are overwhelmed with information, demand, responsibility or a lack of direction, or support.

Solution: It’s important for contact center leaders to know and communicate priorities often (daily, if necessary), so reps know where to focus their energy — and not waste it on low-priority tasks and issues.

Deadlines are being missed

Certainly, customer satisfaction suffers when deadlines aren’t met. But people don’t necessarily miss deadlines because they don’t have enough time. They often miss them because they don’t fully understand the expectations and impact of failing to meet them.

Solution: Help front-line pros manage time so deadlines are met by regularly reviewing expectations and the reasons behind them. Then work with your team to identify workflow bottlenecks and ways to alleviate them.

No one seems to care

Employees will become less engaged in their work and with each other as their stress goes up. Instead, you’ll notice people going through the motions, becoming more task-oriented and less outcome-focused. The result is a transaction-based relationship with customers, not an experience-based one.

Solution: Get them involved. When employees are vested in what goes in the contact center, they’re more likely to stay engaged. Ask them to be part of committees that make real decisions that affect the workplace and customers. Encourage them to create social and philanthropic groups and outings to build a team spirit.

No one is going above and beyond

You might see a drop in those unsolicited compliments from customers who say, “Wow!” when front-line employees are stressed. They sometimes don’t put in the extra effort to wow customers because their rising stress levels leave them less compelled to make a difference.

Solution: Recognize and reward reps for their contributions more consistently. When they know their work is valued, they will be more likely to share their talents and passion for making customers’ lives better.

5 Essential Strategies for Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce in Your Contact Center

Take a couple minutes today and simply look out onto the production floor of your contact center. Chances are pretty great that you are seeing a diverse group of people that span across several generations.  Read more!

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