Burnout is possible with any job, and long hours and a lack of work-life balance can lead to exhaustion and a sense of detachment from that job. This is specifically a big problem for the call center industry and its agents.
Call centers have long had reputations for high levels of turnover, which leads other agents on your team to deal with high or completely unmanageable workloads. We’re also living in an extremely tight labor market. There are more than 10.7 million job openings right now, and 5.7 million people are unemployed. The country has a 3.5% unemployment rate, which is the lowest it’s been since February 2020
The marketplace is extremely competitive, and so naturally it’s harder to fill vacant positions, let alone add more agents to your team.
Burnout happens in call centers for the same reasons it happens anywhere else—a lack of work-life balance, stress or an increase in workload, but there are ways a manager of a call center can try to help address burnout.
- Identify burnout as it happens: One way that a manager of a call center can help address burnout is by trying to identify it in employees before it happens (or before it worsens). Are they taking longer breaks? Are they calling out of work more? When you start to see this impact your team, you can then bring attention to it and find ways to help them alleviate stress by encouraging them to take clarity breaks or giving them mental health days away from the office.
- Clearly communicate the roles of your team: Make sure team members understand their roles and the important place they have on your team. You want to make sure you can clearly communicate the goals of the team and let them understand the purpose of the work they are doing. This also helps team members identify if they are being asked to do work beyond the scope of their job responsibilities.
- Help manage workloads: If the workload is too much for employees, management can step in to help lighten that load for employees.
- Invest in new technology: New technology like voicemail drop software can help call centers reach more people without adding any new agents or stretching your current team beyond their bandwidth.
The effect new technology has on a call center is multi-tiered:
- It elevates the role of your agent: They are no longer interrupting people’s day with manual calls, instead, they get to help more people come to a resolution.
- It gives agents a new purpose: Taking the act of leaving a voicemail out of an agent’s hands means call center agents spend less time hitting send and reciting the same voicemail script dozens of times a day. Agents are on the other side of this now receiving outbound calls, negotiating with consumers and helping your business get results. It gives them a new role and new purpose at work now.
- Free up their time: A voicemail drop helps take one side of the equation out entirely, and now instead of dialing calls, leaving messages and then finally handling resolutions, they can focus more on becoming an outbound call center.
Give your agents control
Burnout can greatly impact an individual’s productivity, and that has an immediate impact on the entire team—that leads to more absenteeism, fatigue and ultimately an increased rate of turnover.
Encouraging agents to take routine breaks, communicating with you clearly when they are feeling burnt out and investing in different tools like voicemail-dropping software won’t totally eliminate the burnout of your call center, but they can help agents feel less stress and more in control of the workload.