Three Ways to Remedy the Customer Care Blues

It’s been said that customer care agents have one of the hardest jobs in the world. Discouragement is common, and expectations are high, sometimes leading to low morale and even lower self-motivation levels among Communicators.

As managers, it’s up to us to foster the right combination of morale and motivation to keep our employees happy, as well as our customers. A few ideas for doing this include:

  • Encourage employees to create a “vision board” that shows their goals and aspirations. Visualizing your goals is a more powerful motivator than simply having them in your head, and by looking at the board daily, Communicators are preparing themselves mentally to reach those goals, bit by bit. Seasoned athletes use this tactic regularly, “rehearsing” an upcoming game in their mind before playing. For your Communicators, the most effective goals will be the ones they choose themselves. What do they feel will make them better at their job? How will they achieve that? Images that represent or symbolize those goals—and how they’ll feel after achieving them—will serve to inspire and affirm.
  • Create a culture of collaboration among Communicators. No one wants to feel like they’re in it alone. To cultivate a supportive environment, create a formal system for employees to talk with one another about successful interactions as well as challenging ones. Pair new employees with well-seasoned ones, as mentor teams. Also, make time available for all employees to ask questions and get help when needed. The free transfer and flow of knowledge has a real impact on retaining employees.
  • Model a positive attitude. You set the tone for your team, so your upbeat attitude will go a long way toward reducing stress and energizing your Communicators. In fact, optimism has been shown to reduce people’s perceptions of stress and increase their ability to perform well in stressful situations. Beyond that, remind your Communicators that a positive attitude has the power to change the direction of negative conversations—a not insignificant tool in this very challenging career.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.