When it comes to running a contact center, one of the biggest challenges many face is attrition. Attrition, or employee loss, is incredibly high in the industry, and through some research into the lives and minds of contact center agents, we’ve come to realize that a huge part of that is stress.
How Does Stress Affect Attrition?
Working in any kind of corporate environment can be stressful. In a call center specifically, there are quite a few challenges that employees face every day that can lead to both emotional and physical stress. For example, while the work they’re doing for the company is important, following the same call script all day long can be emotionally draining for agents, especially if the customer is frustrated and looking for a more fluid experience.
The stress of contact center life is directly reflected in your company’s attrition rate. While there are many reasons for attrition, one of the most common for contact center employees is the high level of stress and the high-pressure environment.
Under normal stress, where strict deadlines aren’t enforced, conversations are allowed to take as long as they need to, and employees don’t have strict quotas, employees may be happier. But the overall productivity of your entire organization would be compromised if this was the case. So changing the way your organization runs isn’t a productive way to reduce employee stress and decrease attrition.
Utilizing Stress Management Tactics
By utilizing stress management tactics in the everyday practices of your contact center, you can significantly lower the stress levels of your employees and create a more positive work environment. This will not only lower attrition, but it will also have positive effects on your customer care and overall productivity.
Here are a few stress management tactics we suggest trying:
- Breathing exercises: Meditation is known to improve concentration and brain function as well as lower stress. You might consider providing a tip sheet on how to relax using breathing exercises between calls so your agents are mentally and emotionally prepared before picking up the phone again.
- Physical activity: Consider suggesting that your employees take a stroll around the office after dealing with a difficult customer so they can work out the emotional frustration. Walking has been scientifically shown to improve concentration and mood as well as decrease depression and anxiety.
- Positive social interaction: By providing a space and time for positive social interaction that’s built into the day, contact center agents can get to know those they’re working with. Having someone to talk to who understands the stresses they’re experiencing can make the day go by faster and decrease feelings of isolation.
Try Stress Management
If you’re not sold on using stress management techniques to improve your employees’ work environment, consider doing an experiment. Using DialConnection’s Speech Analytics software, set up your own mini experiment. Perhaps try encouraging one group of agents to use one or more of the techniques we suggested above. Then, using speech analytics, analyze whether these methods had a positive effect on your customer care.
Of course, there are several other ways in which Speech Analytics is your most valuable internal auditing tool, and you can read about that on our blog as well.