Sonoo Singh’s article on Indian call centre agents suffering from work-related stress and even being driven to suicide (MW last week), made me think. Everyone knows call centres are stressful places to work, but there are ways to reduce the pressures and make working life more pleasant.
In my view it comes down to the right training, creating an enjoyable and relaxed working environment and using technology to make the job less stressful.
When dealing with outbound
calls, it is vital to get off on the right foot: getting the person’s name wrong, asking for the wrong person or for someone who’s moved away is guaranteed to irritate. In this case a properly managed address database can empower the staff.
When handling inbound calls, having a proper e-service solution can also help reduce stress for agents – through reducing the number of inbound calls by answering straightforward queries on the website. When more complex enquiries are escalated to the call centre, the agent can be supported by a knowledge base providing them with quick access to the information they need. Consequently, the queries agents deal with are more varied and complex, making the job more interesting and less stressful.