Tackling service agent burnout

25th Aug 2022

The customer service industry has been known for burnout and high turnover. It’s easy to see in the current job market that customer service agents are struggling to remain happy on the job. Salesforce recently surveyed service agents and found that 71% have considered leaving their job and 69% are considering leaving customer service roles entirely. 

According to Ada Health, burnout is a psychological syndrome emerging as a prolonged response to chronic interpersonal stressors on the job. The three key dimensions of burnout include 1) overwhelming exhaustion, 2) feelings of cynicism and detachment from the job, and 3) a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.

Burnout and unhappiness on the job is no longer a short term challenge but a long-standing situation that companies are working to solve. Service leaders are experiencing this turbulence directly, with 50% claiming they have seen an increase in resignations in their department. 

Why the job dissatisfaction? An overload of irrelevant information and overall, way too much information in general. Because agents have to jump across multiple systems to dig for the right information, this overload is keeping them from delivering the quality service craved by customers. 

In a Workplace Relevance Report, released earlier this year, Coveo found that customer service workers spend almost half of their workday (3.6 hours per day) searching for information at work. That is an increase of one hour more per day from last year’s study and a total of 4,716,000 hours wasted per year - clearly, a trend heading in the wrong direction. 

Let’s let that number sink in for a minute. Now, because of the lost time, the stress and the strain on the job, more than one in six employees are heading towards the exit door. How is management supposed to turn the ship around before employees find the life rafts elsewhere?

The answer to solving the chaos of irrelevant information lies in tech automation. Service leaders can relieve overwhelmed agents of tedious, repetitive tasks by investing in technologies like artificial intelligence and automation, so they can focus on high touch, complex issues and customer satisfaction.

89% of users feel more satisfied with their jobs as a result of using automation in the workplace. The technology is also reported to reduce errors in work (66%), lessen menial tasks in day-to-day work (47%), and help make faster decisions (86%).

AI-powered search soothes burnout and increases employee satisfaction. It gives employees a personalized experience and cuts through the noise of today’s digital workplace. AI-powered search also delivers only relevant information, sparing agents from unrelated or outdated information. All of the information, from apps, intranets, and portals can be found in one place so agents don’t have to guess where they need to go to find the answer they need for their customers. Integrations allow employees to access information within the applications they already use. This greatly reduces platform-switching fatigue and keeps critical information readily available. 

When relevant information is always at their fingertips, teams are empowered, more engaged, more confident, and more productive at work. It powers more effective collaboration and a more rewarding employee experience. 

At a time when customers are frustrated by long wait times caused by contact center staffing shortages, supply chain interruptions delayed delivery windows, and longer hold times, an experienced and empathetic service team is critical to fostering brand trust and customer loyalty. 
With 90% of Americans using customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company, now is the time for contact center leaders to invest in the agent experience, reimagine their workforce operations, and prioritize flexibility in order to attract, retain, and nurture the best talent to deliver on customer expectations.

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