When you hear about somebody working in customer service, what do you immediately think? Most people assume that being in customer service is demanding. This belief is not far from the truth. Customer service representatives often face a lot of pressure on the job.
They are required to deal with other people’s problems with utmost care and patience. They do this every single day while also having to handle their concerns. That’s why customer service representatives often find themselves exhausted after work.
If you’re in customer service, know that there is hope. Your burnout can be remedied by workplace counseling. In this article, we are going to tackle the effects and causes of burnout on customer-facing employees. We also explore how workplace counseling can help you overcome burnout.
What Is Workplace Counseling
Workplace counseling is a form of therapy given to employees or members of a company or organization. This service is part of the assistance program to provide workers with a safe space to talk. During workplace counseling sessions, they can discuss the issues or problems they are facing.
This type of therapy has different functions. You can communicate your issues and talk to a counselor who is willing to listen. Your workplace counselors can give you advice and reassurance during sessions. They will help you release emotional tension from work life, as well as from problems at home.
By the end of each session, you should have some form of clarity. Maybe your counselor will also be able to reorient your thought process. At the very least, you will develop a deeper understanding of your problem. Your counselor’s goal is to help you healthily control your emotions and thoughts so that you can work efficiently.
Ideally, every company should give their employees free counseling sessions. These can be short-term or long-term, depending on the situation.
The Burnout Faced By Customer Service Representatives
Burnout can come in the form of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. This problem often arises due to chronic job stress. Because of the nature of their work, customer service representatives are prone to burnout. Based on a study by Toister Solutions, customer-facing employees have a 74% chance of having burnout symptoms. Meanwhile, around 30% are likely to have a severe risk for burnout.
Burnout is not only experienced by customer service agents. The World Health Organization defines burnout as a ‘type of chronic stress experienced in many workplaces.’ All employees working in stressful environments can experience burnout.
Here are some adverse effects of burnout for customer service representatives:
- Reduced productivity
- Increased likelihood of committing errors and mistakes
- High frustration levels
- Lack of enthusiasm to continue to work
- Frequently absenteeism
Burnout employees face different causes. For instance, their company may have insufficient training programs. Employees may not be trained to juggle the work on their plate and handle stressful situations well.
Receiving poor compensation can also be a cause of burnout. Most customer service jobs pay low and include little benefits compared to other corporate jobs. Many agents may feel unvalued despite the hard work they put into the company. When this happens, it translates to their poor performance.
Other causes of burnout among customer service representatives include:
- Poor workplace technology
- Lack of recognition
- Lack of progress in their careers
- Stress from the repetition of work
- Rude and difficult customers
- The high volume of work
How Workplace Counseling Can Help
Workplace counseling has a lot of benefits for customer service agents. These sessions play a vital role in creating a healthy work environment. Based on a 2012 study, employees who participated in counseling had massive health and performance improvements.
This type of counseling gives employees a safe space to talk about their problems and address their burnout. Counselors are also bound to keep their patients’ accounts confidential. So, you can share your concerns without worry of word getting around. Based on your accounts, counselors will then help you identify your stressors to reduce your burnout.
Aside from this, they will use techniques to help you understand yourself as an individual and employee. They will assess how you behave at work and home. They will help you realize how you deal with situations so that you can recognize your maladaptive behaviors.
Lastly, you will work hand in hand with your counselor to develop healthier approaches to work and life. Customer agents are trained to have a high tolerance for negative behavior. However, this discipline can hurt some individuals. Your counselor counters this by helping you develop different coping mechanisms for your burnout and stress. They may suggest therapeutic techniques and meditation tools, as well.
Cliché as it may sound, you will find it much easier to perform your job if you like your work setting. Workplace counseling can help you learn to have a more positive outlook on your work. Your counselor will help you gradually reframe your thought process and behavior.
Workplace counseling is an excellent form of mental health service. We encourage you to take the time to meet with your workplace counselor. If you don’t have one yet, you can ask your manager or supervisor to arrange a session for you and your team. Workplace counseling can improve not just your mental health but also help your fellow customer service agents recover from burnout.