ILLUSTRATION PROVIDED BY JENNY ON THE MOON ADOBE STOCK
ENDING CALLER AND AGENT FRUSTRATION HOW CONTACT CENTERS CAN HANDLE DIFFICULT SITUATIONS .
We live in a challenging , highstress time that has become known as the new normal .
Unfortunately , it has led too often to frayed tempers , rudeness , and a lack of respect . All of which collide in the contact center , resulting in caller and agent frustration and dissatisfaction .
There is no excuse for such behavior , by anyone . We all have to get along in this world .
Here is an account of the experiences of two call center agents , whom I call Sabrina and Lenny , one where the customer and the other where the agent was at fault . And how these matters were handled in the hopes that future similar issues can be avoided or minimized .
24 CONTACT CENTER PIPELINE
BY MARK PEREIRA , BRILJENT
The call center team lead reached out to me and wanted to know why Sabrina was in generic mode and was not ready for over 12 minutes . ( Generic mode refers to when an agent goes to not ready on the soft phone but doesn ’ t select a code such as lunch or scheduled break ).
So , I reached out to Sabrina and found out that she had a horrible call . She told me that her caller used a racial slur followed by several waves of abuse before disconnecting the call .
The agent was in shock and was trying to collect herself from the previous call . At that moment , my conversation took a turn where I asked the agent to change her phone code and take another 15 minutes , take a walk around , and let me know if she would like to talk when she returned from the break .
I informed the team lead and call center supervisor about what had happened , and both decided to reach out to Sabrina to see if she needed anything and talk her through this situation .
Sabrina called me on Teams as soon as she returned from break , and I just listened to her , consoled her , and asked if I could check back with her at the end of the week . However , if she wanted to talk before that , we could do so .
I followed up with an email that outlined what we discussed that listed several resources , such as the company ’ s employee assistance program ( EAP ) and the call center ’ s disconnect policy , which she wasn ’ t aware of .
... THE NEW NORMAL ... HAS LED TOO OFTEN TO FRAYED TEMPERS , RUDENESS , AND A LACK OF RESPECT .