Eleven Ways to Help Customer Service Representatives Overcome Burnout
I will begin with a couple of anecdotes.
I recently booked a ticket to watch a movie at one of the upmarket theaters that sends the ticket on WhatsApp.
The people who let you in at the entrance tried to scan that ticket. Their app on my phone wasn’t working, and they clicked on the link repeatedly to scan it, and it just didn’t work.
However, that message had the show timing, seat numbers, and the screen.
Did I make any mistake? I told them I had come only to watch a movie, and they needn’t be too flustered about not scanning my ticket.
All of us laughed.
However, they were mandated to scan every ticket, so they were doing it.
I went to another theatre to catch a movie. I went to book the tickets at the box office counter, and this was an adult-only movie.
At the counter, I was asked if the people watching the movie were older than 18.
I am in my fifties, and I told them that the people planning to watch the film are much older than 18 and asked if that would be a problem.
The person at the counter laughed and said he was mandated to ask this question to every customer booking the ticket.
The underlying communication was laced with humor and respect in both these anecdotes. Humor was a part of the communication without getting worked up, and respect was for the work they do.
In his LinkedIn article, Arjuna George, a professional burnout and resilience coach, mentions Customer Service Representatives as one of the occupations with the highest burnout rates.
Customer-facing roles involve managing various demands, angry customers, and repetitive tasks, contributing to burnout.
How do you help customer service workers avoid burnout?
So, you know how tough it can be for customer service folks, right? Well, here are some excellent ways to help them steer clear of burnout.
1. Get them adequately trained
Ensure they know their stuff! Proper training on products and services and how to chat with customers can boost their confidence and make them feel more in control.
2. Make tech their friend
Bring in some nifty tools and tech to help with heavy lifting. Offer self-service capabilities, make it omnichannel, and make all channels effective.
Automate the boring stuff and give them quick access to information so they can focus on the complex challenges.
3. Keep targets real
Don’t set them up for failure. Goals should be doable. Unrealistic targets just stress them out. Regularly check in and tweak those goals when needed.
4. Support their mental health
Sign up for an employee assistance program where you hook up your customer service reps with mental health resources or counseling services. It’s important to create an environment where their mental well-being comes first.
5. Breaks are a must
Encourage regular breaks. Let them recharge so they can bring their A-game to work. Make sure they take those vacation days – nobody wants to burn out.
6. Mix things up
Rotate their tasks every now and then. Keep it exciting and prevent them from getting bored or frustrated. Cross-training is the way to go.
7. Spread positivity
Make your workplace a positive zone. Celebrate wins and create a culture where everyone has each other’s backs.
8. Flexi-time, anyone?
If you can swing it, offer flexible schedules or remote work. It helps them balance work and life – less stress, more smiles.
9. Talk it out
Keep those communication lines wide open. Regular check-ins and team pow-wows let them share concerns, and you can figure out solutions together.
10. Acknowledge great work
Shout out to the stars! Recognize and reward exceptional work. Feeling appreciated is a serious mood booster and helps keep burnout at bay.
11. Watch the workload
Keep tabs on workloads. Nobody should be drowning in tasks. Redistribute the load during busy times to keep things manageable.
So, armed with these strategies, you’re not just managing a team; you’re cultivating a powerhouse of happy, motivated, and burnout-resistant customer service champs.
How may I help you? With a smile!