Dealing with a wide variety of customer emotions can be draining. Especially for customer service employees, who often feel like they’re a sponge for customers’ frustrations.
Thankfully, burnout is preventable. By implementing strategies that focus on self care and empowering your team to solve issues without the need for human interaction, you can avoid burnout.
Take Care of Yourself
Many customer support reps are naturally ‘yes’ people: they like to help, get into everything right away and work things out. But over time this relentless drive to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity or offer can wear down their energy levels and leave them feeling burnt out.
Taking steps to prevent burnout in customer service is essential for delivering a great experience. To start, encourage your team to track their time using tools like Teamwork Projects. This will help them understand their workload, spot recurring patterns and take control of how they spend their time.
In addition, promoting an active culture can disperse stress among employees and reduce burnout rates. For example, celebrate team wins and recognize employee achievements to boost morale. Additionally, leveraging a multi-channel customer communication platform can reduce the burden on your team by automating responses, providing a self-service integrated knowledge base and more.
Prioritize Your Health
Customer support requires a lot of mental and emotional presence, especially on the phone. Talking with customers all day can drain a rep’s energy and lead to burnout if not managed properly.
Taking frequent breaks throughout the day can help a person recharge and focus. If possible, these break times should be free of work-related distractions. Instead, a person might choose to go for a short walk, enjoy a healthy meal, or even just scroll through their social media feed.
In addition, a good way to avoid burnout in customer service is to encourage employees to collaborate with one another when possible. This practice not only makes a team more efficient, but it also reduces stress and burnout for individual members of the team.
Practice Self-Care Techniques
Practicing self-care doesn’t have to be an intimidating task. As long as you have a clear idea of your goals and how to accomplish them, you can make it part of your daily routine. Putting a plan into action will help you avoid burnout in the future. Remember that it can take a month or more for new behaviors to become habits, so stick with your plans and be patient.
Customers want their questions answered quickly and effectively. Providing a searchable FAQ or knowledge base will help you reduce customer service requests, which will free up human resources to focus on higher value-add interactions.
Aside from your work, taking care of yourself and spending time with friends and family members can also prevent burnout. Being exposed to continual stress can lead to feelings of exhaustion and anxiety. Taking deep breaths to calm down and focusing on nourishing foods can be helpful. Lastly, making sure to reach out to friends and family with text messages or phone calls can help you feel supported in times of stress.
Take Time Off
If your job requires you to work at a desk for long periods of time, try exercising to get the blood flowing and reset your cognitive function. This is a great way to combat stress and burnout, which are both common causes of churn in customer support.
If a team member begins to exhibit signs of burnout, it may be time for them to take some time off from work. While this might seem like a difficult task for customer support, many teams have accumulated vacation days that can be used to give employees a much-needed break.
Lastly, it’s important to encourage your team members to seek out new challenges in their day-to-day duties. Adding some variety to the workday can help them feel reinvigorated and excited about their jobs again. For example, if they’re stuck in a repetitive conversation with an angry customer, consider encouraging them to switch to a different channel where they can speak to a colleague to discuss the issue.