With a consultant’s average call center experience around 15 years, we all understand how unpleasant and abusive calls can be taxing on a daily basis. These types of calls can lead to higher agent attrition. Unfortunately, they are not going away anytime soon and will most likely get worse since simpler calls are moving to other channels such as IVR, Self-Help, and Web.
You need to have an action plan to handle these calls. One way to combat them is to provide ways to help your agents destress. We’ve compiled a list of 5 simple and quick actions your agents can complete at their desk to help them destress after these calls.
The 1st action on the list is to smile. Researchers have found if you smile for 60 seconds it releases serotonin which tricks the body into making you feel happy again. In addition to serotonin, dopamine and endorphins are also released which help you relax. As these are released, your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing will naturally lower. Even if you’re not feeling happy when you start to smile, it will happen as you continue to smile.
Deep breathing is another way your agents can relax after an unpleasant call. It can help lower your heart rate, relax your muscles, decrease your blood pressure and increase your nitric oxide levels. One easy and quick deep breathing exercise is to start with a deep breath in and count silently to 4. From there, hold your breath for 4 counts and then slowly breath out for 8 counts. Repeat this 3-4 times or as time in between calls allows.
As we move on to the 3rd action item, we find practicing gratitude can help your agents destress after that unpleasant call. In one study practicing gratitude was found to significantly reduce systolic blood pressures. Another finding was it relieves hostile thoughts since it’s not possible for someone to hold onto an adverse thought and have a thankful thought at the same time. Practicing gratitude is a simple exercise that can easily be completed right after the call by listing a few items in their life they are grateful for. It can be as simple as being thankful they are not in the caller’s shoes since they seem to be having a bad day.
Visualizing success is the next action that can help an agent destress after an unpleasant call. After the call, take a quick moment to visualize a situation where you feel successful. This could be the same call going better or obtaining a raise or a promotion. This visualization should be a situation where you feel like you won or were a hero. Additionally, it could also be your favorite beach spot or a future vacation. This can help you in two ways. The actual positive visualization is a proven de-stressor. The other benefit comes from picturing your success. By picturing what you need to be successful in the last call, you might learn how to potentially handle it better next time.
The last action that can help your agents destress is Mental Boost Posing. There has been quite a bit of research completed around poses that boost testosterone and poses that increase cortisol. Essentially, if you are in a position where you are drawn in or closed such as hunched over or arms folded, you are increasing the cortisol in your system which can cause stress. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are certain poses you can do to increase testosterone and decrease cortisol. One example of this pose is to put both hands behind your head. Another example is the victory race pose where your hands are in the air over your head. The victory pose is commonly seen when a winner crosses the finish line at the end of a race. Essentially, these poses involve taking up more space or more room and lower your stress levels.
If you are looking for additional ways for your agents to destress, improve your environment, or lower attrition, contact us a today.