Obvious Contact Center Agent Burnout Problem Revealed


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You know those times when something is right in front of you, yet you fail to realize it? You ask yourself why you didn’t think of that sooner. If you stop and think about contact center agent burnout and turnover problems, why have you not considered musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)?

Of course, you did. It’s obvious, right? Ahem…it should be.

Have you considered MSD as a contact center agent burnout cause? Click to Tweet

This agent burnout problem is often unreported

In an article written by long-time contact center industry analyst Brendan Read and author of Designing the Best Call Center for Your Business he interviewed Dr. John Triano, director of the Texas Back Institute’s (Plano, TX) chiropractic division, and resident ergonomics expert. He shared that MSDs are insidious and often go unreported. Often, contact center agents do not realize that their work activities are causing their pain.

“Unlike lower back pain, where someone who is injured on a heavy job can’t do their work, upper arm, back and neck pains are such for call center workers that they can continue to work before the pain becomes severe enough to stop them,” explains Triano. “They risk worsening their conditions and their health.”

The fact is, our bodies were not designed to sit in front of a computer screen and handle customer interactions all day long.

A Contact Center First – For Me

Often, I look to find the not-so-obvious, because there’s often value to be found. I have been to many industry conferences over the years (not all of them) and this is the first time I met the likes of Blue Chip Onsite Corporate Message (BlueChipOCM) and Everett Johnson.

Watch BlueChipOCM reveal contact center agent burnout problem. Click to Tweet

Once I approached Everett and his colleague Jay (off-camera) about what BlueChipOCM does, I thought it was brilliant for them to be exhibiting at CCExpo.

Contact centers need to be more proactive in reducing their liabilities when it comes to (MSD) injuries. They need to put this in the forefront of their mind. Most of the injuries if treated, could be halted at the spring, strain, and minor aches problem. But often they are over-looked under-reported and progress to tendinitis and nerve injury. In these worst cases surgery and long-term disability often result.

About Blue Chip Onsite Corporate Message

BlueChipOCM was created to fill a gap in the industrial based massage service. Companies were searching for an entity that could provide quality, evidence-based industrial based massage services consistently and ethically to help fight overexertion injuries. We stepped up to provide that service. Source: http://www.bluechipocm.com/about-us/

Save Money at Work

The time away from work to treat MSDs can be extensive and expensive. Agents may have to go outside to get help from their doctor. Even if companies do not pay for the time off they may have to cover agent workloads with overtime. The bill ends up being a lot larger than the doctor visit. With a service like BlueChipOCM, you can reduce time away from work and save lots of grief.

Improving Employee Morale

“The biggest thing we see is employee morale goes way up. Employees, when you talk to them onsite, they say what a great company for helping us like this,” shared Everett. “Agents become very appreciative of the supervisors, human resources, and the health and safety team. Their praise is phenomenal for the company and they really feel like the company cares.”

Contact center agents praise the company and morale goes way up. Click to Tweet

Agents feel more valued. This is key because Feeling Valued is an important thing to measure and manage in a contact center. It’s one of the 7 Keys to Contact Center Employee Engagement and it’s one big key of success for an onsite message program.

Upgrade your Agents

Everett also shared a very intriguing insight. As an organization, you need to upgrade your computers. People at the CCExpo are there to upgrade their software. It’s time to upgrade your employees. Let’s start maintaining the employees and give him the most efficient best care they can have onsite.

The reality for contact center agents

In the case of MSDs, the prime source of hazard is the repetitiveness of work. Agents also suffer due to fixed and improper body positions, and the pace of work is also a contributing factor. But in a contact center, elimination of the repetitive patterns of work is not possible or practical. Therefore, to improve employee health implement prevention strategies involving workplace layout, tool and equipment design, work practices and treatment before it becomes a major issue is vital.

Obvious contact center agent burnout problem revealed and avoidable. Click to Tweet

Are you ready to meet this burnout problem head-on?

If you’re ready to be an employer with agents that feel valued, contact Everett at: ejohnson [at] bluechipocm.com.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jim Rembach
Jim Rembach is recognized as a Top 50 Thought Leader and CX Influencer. He's a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner and host of the Fast Leader Show podcast and president of Call Center Coach, the world's only virtual blended learning academy for contact center supervisors and emerging supervisors. He’s a founding member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association’s CX Expert Panel, Advisory Board Member for Customer Value Creation International (CVCI), and Advisory Board Member for CX University.


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