Call centers and contact centers are notorious for high staff turnover rates. On a daily basis, call center agents deal with stressful situations, high call volumes, and very often, emotional and frustrated customers. The repetition of work is high, and pay levels are low.

Many of us have probably muttered the words ‘why is that person working in a customer service role?’.

To unpack this question, we explore three of the most difficult things about working in a call center or contact center. 

Outdated technology

Behind the scenes, contact center agents often play a juggling act between disparate backend systems. While they’re earnestly attempting to listen to the customer, they’re also stitching together a resolution using a variety of different platforms and tools, while also reading policy and procedures at the same time. Despite their best intentions, they can sometimes be so preoccupied using the outdated technology that they’re simply not listening to the customer. 

Pressure to perform

Everyone faces pressure from above. Contact Center Managers have hefty KPIs to meet around cost and performance and as a result, Contact Center Agents have gruelling demands placed upon them too. In particular, keeping Average Handle Time (AHT) to a minimum is a constant demand, making many agents prioritize closing the customer query over properly resolving the customer issue. This stressful work environment for agents is a legacy trait from years of status quo policy which can be difficult to shift even with great leadership and committed staff.

Internal policy

More often than not, contact center processes are implemented from the top down. Bad policy, made by those who don’t use it on a daily basis, can be incredibly frustrating for agents trying to do the right thing by the customer. In many instances, agents know the answer they’re giving isn’t the one the customer is looking for. They’re playing a balancing act between applying internal policy of which their job security depends, and looking after the customer by resolving their issues. 

These three challenges are incredibly frustrating for contact center agents, but also for the customers who often end up giving low Customer Satisfaction scores as a result. Not surprisingly, this daily pressure also results in high levels of staff burnout and an industry renowned for high turnover rates.

There’s no doubt we’ve all had at least one frustrating customer experience with a contact center. But perhaps by understanding the pressures associated with the role of a contact center agent, we can begin to appreciate why it is so.

Local Measure is committed to making customer service simple. To streamline your contact center operations and improve the agent experience, learn more about Local Measure Engage for Amazon Connect