Customer Experience News & Trends

Stop the trash talk before it hurts morale

Agents might need to blow off steam after dealing with a tough customer, but they must stop short of trash talking. Here’s why.

Any kind of toxic, negative talk about customers (or co-workers) can immediately affect morale and productivity, according to workplace expert Barbara Burke.

Sometimes agents turn to co-workers after dealing with a tough customer, spewing negative opinions and feelings about the situation or person. Fellow agents usually soak it in, empathize and then internalize. They get a bit upset too, and there goes morale and productivity for the afternoon.

You can curb toxic talk in the contact center with Burke’s tips:

  • Bring it up. Agents who repeatedly vent on everyone else may not realize they’re causing such a stir. Bring it to their attention. Offer to hear them out privately, if that will stop them from screaming their frustrations to everyone within earshot.
  • Give them new direction. Encourage agents to let go of the unpleasant situation in healthier ways. Tell them to take a brisk walk or spend a little time in a break room listening to favorite music.
  • Do something. Leaders who fail to curb toxic talk will end up with a negative team. If offenders don’t or won’t curb their negative ways, discipline them or let them go.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.