5 Ways to Keep the Fear of Change Monster Out of Your Call Center


Share on LinkedIn

Image courtesy of presentermedia.com

Every call center manager dreads those mornings when you walk into the center and your customer service reps are in small huddles whispering. As you walk near, the group goes silent. We all know what that means! A rumor of coming change has quietly snaked its way in the door. Gossip spreads like wildfire and before we finish our first cup of coffee, it has become the monster we know as FEAR OF CHANGE.

Fear is the biggest danger in your call center. Once fear sneaks in, it starts affecting morale and productivity. When your employees are unhappy it leaks into their work with customers and customer experience is impacted. It’s an ugly monster that started with a small rumor.

In the tight knit world of call centers, it is important to have a strong change communication process in place. According to the Towers Watson Study, companies effective in change communication are three and a half times more likely to significantly outperform industry peers that are not as effective. You can’t afford to have a “miss” when communicating change.

Here are 5 tips on how to communicate change in your call center:

  1. Share everything you possibly can. A good rep is intuitive, that’s what makes them so good with customers. However that also means they are wired to know when you aren’t telling the whole story. If you can’t tell them everything, then be honest about that fact and why it can’t be shared at this time.
  2. Be clear and honest about why the change is being made. Before you communicate, sit down with a piece of paper and write down all the reasons why this change is being made. There is rarely only one benefit of change, so be prepared to share the bigger picture.
  3. Tell your reps what’s in it for them. For example, you make a system change that will improve back end marketing reports. What your reps hears is more work. So explain with this change customers will start receiving only the emails about products they are most interested in. And that means complaints about receiving too many emails will drop. Then your reps will think “I’d love to talk to less upset customers.” Help them connect the dots so they feel part of the win.
  4. Share how and when the change will take place. This might be the biggest challenge as in my experience it is rare for any project to stay on schedule. Keeping everyone in the loop as dates move will significantly reduce anxiety.
  5. Explain their role in the change. The big question your reps have is “how much more stress is this going to add to my work life?” Explaining their role in the change stops their imagination from going wild and creating another giant monster.

To give you a running start, I’ve created a free cheat sheet that you can use when preparing any change communication that you can download here. It’s a very simple fill in the blank form that ensures you have hit all the key points. Save the link in your favorites after you download. As we all are very aware change is a guaranteed constant in call centers, you will surely need it again!

You can keep the Fear Monster out of your center by communicating clearly and often about upcoming changes. Keeping everyone in the loop stops a rumor before it can grow into a giant monster that attacks your employee morale and your customer experience.

This post is reprinted with permission, original post can be found at Customer Service Talk.

Ladona Stork
Ladona Stork is passionate about helping call center leaders find ways to make it easier to meet their goals. With over 25 years leading call center teams, she knows firsthand of the crazy life in the call center where there is never enough time and always too many fires!


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here