Customer Experience News & Trends

How gossip is hurting your contact center

Whispers, rumors, gossip – they’re alive in your contact center and even managers are guilty of them. How destructive is the toxic talk?

Almost 90% of contact center pros – agents and managers alike – think someone needs to do something in their company about the toxic talk, a poll by consultant  Barbara Burke found.

What’s worse, most leaders aren’t setting a good example. The same poll found 60% of them gossip about co-workers (not so much about customers, at least!)

The effects of workplace gossip rumors are harmful:

  • Reduces trust between co-workers
  • Adversely affects overall morale
  • Causes agent stress
  • Reduces agents’ willingness to participate, and
  • Causes agents to loose faith in leaders who see it but don’t do anything about it.

To squash gossip and any toxic talk about customers:

  1. Set the example. Don’t do it yourself.
  2. Note it. When colleagues are about to spread gossip, tell them, “Let me get my pen and paper. I want to make sure I get this right.
  3. Be positive. If co-workers say negative things about others, reply, “Gee, they always say such nice things about you.”
  4. Be open. Managers can stop the rumor mill by keeping agents informed of company, customer and department changes. Then they won’t fill the voids with rumors or gossip.

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