Is agent stress hurting your bottom line?

Posted on: July 27th, 2016 by Art Barger

For many consumers, the only live interaction they ever have with their bank is with a call center agent. Like many banks, if your contact center is one of your most used customer channels, then you’ve got a lot riding on how well those interactions go.

When things are good, your telephone channel is much more than a customer service center — it’s a relationship builder and revenue generator. But with increasing stress levels and regular staff turnover rates, how often is everything running on all cylinders?

According to the article, “How Call Center Stress Impacts Your Business, and What to Do About It,” understanding how your frontline employees handle stress, and taking necessary steps to improve workplace conditions, is essential to your bank’s productivity and profitability. Not only is your quality of service and brand reputation at stake, these two components can have deeper repercussions to things like customer satisfaction and loyalty.

While dealing with stress may be part of the job for telephone agents, there are things every contact center can do to help employees better handle stress so it doesn’t lead to lower employee morale or burnout. To help minimize stress that can impact your bottom line, the article suggests call centers take proactive steps to create better working conditions and identify areas that can help employees manage stress.

  • Perform assessment tests to identify applicants that have coping skills while working under stressful conditions.
  • Provide training for managers and supervisors to give them the skills to effectively identify and support your workforce.
  • Work closely with your employees to make appropriate accommodations to their schedule and other personal needs to help boost their morale.
  • Offer employees resources and programs that can help them work our personal and work-related stress that may be affecting their job performance.
  • Identify areas of the job that increase stress levels and create solutions that help mitigate functions that lead to more stress and hinder job performance.

Other ways banks can improve call center productivity and performance is to automate processes that don’t require unnecessary telephone interrogations that can damage the profitable bank-customer relationship. Automated caller identification tools like the TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication solution identify risk and validate each inbound call while the phone is still ringing.

By letting proactive, real-time credentials drive your customer interactions, your agents don’t have to start each call with security questions that force customers to prove who they are each time they call. Instead, your telephone reps can start the conversation on the right foot, by immediately addressing your caller’s needs. In the end, helping resolve your customers’ issues faster can improve your agents’ morale and productivity level, while building a stronger bond of trust between your call center agents and customers along the way.