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10 Most Common Causes of Contact Center Agent Burnout

10 Most Common Causes of Contact Center Agent Burnout

A common problem in a contact center environment is agent burnout, and it should not be. Agent burnout causes high turnover rates, employee dissatisfaction and disengagement, absenteeism and tardiness, and poor performance.

For all these reasons, it’s a subject that needs attention. What aspects of the job are causing agent burnout and what can you do to avoid it? Here are 10 of the most common reasons that cause burnout in the contact center.

1. Hiring the Wrong People
When an agent does not have the skills to perform the job, it becomes difficult for that person. He or she needs to put at extra effort and that can cause burnout. Contact centers need to take hiring seriously by creating an employee profile, identifying if the person fits that profile by doing tests, an interview, etc. That way, you avoid hiring people that do not have the required skills.


2. Insufficient Training
Once again, if the agents don’t have the required skills, their job will be difficult and will be more likely to make mistakes. This does not only include new hires, but also continuous training for agents, because of, for example, changes in market rules, the implementation of new technology, or just practices that will facilitate their job. Keep and ongoing training for your agents and make sure they know what they need to perform their job.


3. Outdated Technology
Slow computers and networks can cause a continuous stress for contact center agents. Sometimes it complicates their work because the customer needs an answer and the system does not respond. Additionally, when systems are not integrated or are not user friendly, it can cause headaches for the agents, it can generate extra work for them. For that reason, it is important to keep technology updated, always looking for programs and systems that will make their job easier, not harder.


4. Poor Leadership
Leadership plays an important role in contact centers to keep agents motivated to achieve their goals. But when there is no good leadership, when bosses are authoritative, intimidating, and dominating, the agents’ work can become over pressuring and can cause burnout. It’s essential to select the correct people for supervising positions and offer leadership training.


5. Internal Problems
When there are bad relationships at work, when there are problems between team members, bosses or departments, there is tension and negativity, and this can be exhausting for agents being in a conflict or just experiencing it from the outside. Foment a good relationships environment and use conflict resolution exercises with the team.


6. Too Many Policies & Procedures
Policies and procedures help us to offer better and compliant services but, when there are a lot of rules agents need to follow, they can feel stressed and afraid of making a mistake for saying the wrong word or making the wrong decision. Review your policies and procedures. Are they too strict? Do they need to be like that or can modify them?


7. Dealing with Difficult Customers
Every day, agents deal calls from people that sometimes are angry, sad, or upset. This kind of calls can cause emotional exhaustion, and it isn’t just one call, they receive many calls a day. This can cause agent burnout. Even if it seems like there is nothing you can do, there is! Let them have some time between calls when they need it, make sure your supervisors offer support and offer training in emotional intelligence.


8. Too Much Work
Having a job always is a good thing. It keeps you busy and the day goes faster. But, having too much work surely is tiring. Do your agents work with a high volume of calls or do they have unreachable goals? Review their workload, maybe you should consider hiring more agents or rethink the goals you are assigning to them.


9. Monotony
Call Center jobs can sometimes become routine when there is a script and agents need to go call by call saying the same thing. Even when there is no script, the job can be monotonous when agents only do calls. And that is the job we know, but it’s important to dedicate some time for feedback, grant small breaks, or offer some training (probably online training).


10. Bad Work Environment
How is the environment where your agents work? When the conditions where your agents work aren’t good, it can affect their emotional and physical state. When the day is too hot or too cold, when it smells bad, when there’s a lot of noise, when it isn’t clean, when the chair is uncomfortable, when they have no space in the operation or they have no space to rest during their breaks. All of this is important, investing in these details can reduce agent burnout.


Now, that you know these causes of contact center employee burnout, identify which ones are in your contact center and start doing something to reduce it!


At Call Center Services International we care about our agents. They are the reason for our success. Their experience, their bilingual skills, their cultural alignment is what our clients look for. We strive to keep them motivated and happy, so they can provide the best service. Learn more about our contact center workforce.


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