Are You Keeping Your Call Center Safe? 4 Tips for National Safety Month

Are You Keeping Your Call Center Safe? 4 Tips for National Safety Month | Salem Solutions

As a supervisor in a call center, your agents’ safety is your top priority. Without your workforce, your call center cannot operate.

Because a call center is a busy place to work, there may be significant safety risks in the environment. As a result, you must do what you can to keep your agents safe. The following suggestions can help.

Implement these four tips to increase safety in your call center.

Provide Mental Health Support

Call center agents typically work long hours in a fast-paced, results-driven environment. The agents often deal with frustrated customers who lack patience while having their issues resolved. These stressors can have a negative impact on the agents’ mental health.

Call center agents who experience chronic stress at work may feel overwhelmed and helpless. They might develop cynicism about their job and dread coming to work. This can lead to increased absences, lower engagement, and poorer performance. It also could result in anxiety, depression, and burnout.

You can provide support for your agents in the following ways:

  • Space out agent shifts to provide time to handle personal needs.
  • Provide realistic workloads and expectations.
  • Share constructive feedback that demonstrates value and respect.
  • Recognize your agents’ achievements every day.
  • Provide coaching to improve agents’ performance.
  • Allow personal days to handle mental health concerns.
  • Offer opportunities for bonuses, raises, and promotions.

 Minimize Trips and Falls

Call centers tend to have loose cables connecting to phone lines and the internet. The centers also often have client paperwork stacked on the floor. These loose cables and piles of paper can lead to trips and falls. Falls are the most common and severe workplace injuries.

You can minimize the risks involved with loose cables and piles of paper by doing the following:

  • Make sure all cables are covered and visibly marked. This should draw your agents’ attention and signal them to walk over the cables.
  • Remind your agents to keep the walkways clear at all times. You may want to provide tables to hold client paperwork.

 Protect Agents’ Heads and Ears

Call centers tend to be large, with agents sitting close together on one floor. While many agents talk on the phone with customers, other agents talk with each other. This creates a significant amount of noise.

The agents talking with customers need to listen closely to what the customers are saying. In order to accomplish this, many agents turn their headsets to full volume. As a result, the agents often get headaches and leave work exhausted.

You can reduce the amount of noise in the call center by doing any of the following:

  • Install white noise generators or other noise-canceling devices
  • Increase the space between your agents
  • Add sound-absorbing material to the desks, floors, or walls  

A more economical option would be to provide quality headsets for your agents. Pay attention to the following factors when purchasing:

  • Work environment: If your call center is designed to minimize background noise, you may prioritize headset design, optimum audio clarity, or other features.
  • User experience: Less experienced agents may be more comfortable with headsets that are easy to use than ones with complicated features.
  • Agent role: Agents who need to move around to manage requests should have wireless headsets with a large range.
  • Comfort: Because agents typically spend 8 hours a day on the phone, they need adjustable headsets with lightweight frames and large leatherette ear cushions.

Enhance Agents’ Vocal Health

Call center agents depend on their voices to do their work. In many cases, the agents’ voices are the only tool they have to connect with customers.

A healthy, pleasing voice is required to build trust and credibility with customers. As a result, successful phone interactions depend on the clarity of the agent’s voice.  

Call center agents typically talk on the phone for 40 hours per week. This means they risk damaging their voices and developing hoarseness. As a result, the agents may call in sick, answer fewer calls per hour, or need to repeat themselves to customers.

You can help your agents protect their voices by doing the following:

  • Schedule breaks between work days. Suggest your agents rest their voices as much as possible during this time.
  • Encourage regular breaks. This includes taking several phone calls, then switching to a work task that does not require talking.   
  • Recommend your agents keep water or another non-caffeinated liquid at their workstations. Your agents should aim to drink 64 ounces during the day to keep their throats wet.

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