It may not shock you that call center reps who handle customers all day are stressed out. If you’ve ever lost your patience with someone in customer service at your bank, credit card company, or insurance company, imagine what it’s like for that person sitting at a desk in a noisy environment talking to multiple people a day and never knowing when someone is going to become angry. Customers often insult reps who are trying to follow protocol and even resort to yelling and abusive language.
Every metric of performance is tracked including time on calls, breaks between calls, number of calls handled, and escalations to managers if the customer service agent hasn’t handled the call effectively. If that weren’t enough, someone can be listening in on the call for “quality assurance” at any time and all calls are recorded. With all that pressure, stress relief for these hard working employees is paramount. Without some kind of stress solution, these employees are at high risk for significant problems and employers are left with escalating costs and high turnover rates.
An Ameyo survey revealed that in call centers, the stress leading to burnout creates job withdrawal, missed days, lower productivity, ineffectiveness, reduced commitment to the job, conflicts at work, and even disruptive behaviors.
It’s important for employers and managers to address stress on the job to ensure productivity, commitment, and ultimately the success of the company.
To assess the levels of stress in customer call center employees and determine how significant TouchPoints could reduce the stress in real time, The TouchPoint Solution gathered scientific pilot data to test the positive effects of TouchPoints on stress in a Fortune 1000 customer call center. In the pilot study, call center employees tracked their stress levels 3 times/day for 5 days without TouchPoints, and again the following week 3 times/day for 5 days with TouchPoints. Supervisors also tracked performance in terms of number of escalated calls, employee ratings of how stressful the calls were, and amount of time needed to take breaks to recover between calls.
The results showed that TouchPoints significantly reduced stress and distressing body sensations related to stress like stomach aches, racing heart, and tense muscles. The average number of escalations that occur when the customer service reps upset a caller decreased slightly. After the study, every single employee requested sets of TouchPoints to continue wearing them daily because they noticed significant effects! They wore TouchPoints each morning and reported they would like to have access to TouchPoints all day, so they can turn them on for longer durations during stressful calls. “This pilot data is not surprising given multiple data sets that show stress reduction in a number of different situations. We have data that show reduced stress during public speaking, tests of attention, and while thinking of stressful events” says CSO of The TouchPoint Solution, Dr. Amy Serin. “Our next step is to replicate the findings with a larger sample size and allow customer service call center employees access to TouchPoints during the entire work day and track improved results.”
TouchPoint is currently working with employers around the globe to reduce employee stress, improve productivity, and get access to TouchPoints through their corporate wellness programs.