High call volumes can take a toll on your customer service agents’ energy levels, but you can help reduce the effects. Here’s how you can help make sure every customer feels that your agents care every time he or she calls.
Your customers don’t want to talk to customer service agents who sound like they’re watching the clock or looking forward to a nap. While nobody can be expected to be in a great mood all the time, there are a lot of things you can do to help your team stay positive throughout each customer interaction.
Reduce their stress: If your customer service agents have a chronic happiness deficiency, you’ll need to get to the bottom of the issue before you can expect them to be cheerful and perky when engaging with your customers. Just as you would with your customers, study your team’s pain points, and work to reduce or eliminate them whenever possible. If you think they’re unhappy about some aspect of their position or workflow, ask for feedback, through either an anonymous survey or one-on-one interviews.
Supply them with a script for guidance: Getting into the habit of using positive language can be a significant challenge for people who aren’t accustomed to it. Rather than just telling your customer service team to “be positive” or “be upbeat,” help them understand how to do it with concrete examples. These can be as simple as “Instead of X, say Y.” You can also develop a more detailed script to respond to common complaints or situations. Don’t, however, expect your team to memorize or read the script word for word every time they talk to a customer. Often, people have difficulty making scripts sound natural, which can sound just as bad (or even worse) to a customer who may already be upset. Demonstrate some easy ways to avoid negative messaging, and emphasize positivity instead.
Schedule time for breaks and movement: Sitting in a chair for hours on end is a surefire way to bring anyone’s energy level down. Scheduling regular 5-minute breaks is a good way to help your agents stretch their bodies and keep their minds awake. Offering a standing desk option is another way to give your team a boost, as studies reveal a majority of people report having more energy and a better mood when working at a standing desk.
Feed your team: Providing snacks is a popular perk for snazzy tech companies for a reason. When blood sugar drops, so does mood. Rather than roll in the donut truck, offer healthier, lower-sugar alternatives that will help your team stay satiated and properly fueled throughout their shift. If daily snacks don’t seem like a good idea, consider a weekly team lunch instead. The combination of healthy food and the gesture of appreciation can go a long way to support your customer service agents.
Look for the laughs: Customer service can be a stressful job, even on a good day. Some customer service teams blow off steam by holding internal contests for customer service horror stories—essentially, a way to share their most challenging moments, with a small prize for the best (or, rather, the worst) one. Often, simply having the freedom to vent about a stressful encounter can help an agent let it go and reduce the chance that it will poison his or her conversations with other customers later on.