Common sense says that if there are relatively little barriers to landing a job, and that job doesn’t require a lot of training, it must be a simple job that anyone can easily pull off.

But when you look behind the curtain, you’ll see the horrific experiences customer service agents sometimes face at work, and you’ll understand why it might be challenging for them to provide the best possible experience for your customers.

Awareness is the first step to change, so today we’re sharing 5 difficult experiences your agents probably deal with during customer calls. Once you understand some of what your agents experience in a day, it’ll be easier for you to offer help, which will eventually contribute to higher quality service.



Yelling

Customers are frustrated and find it challenging to get proper help. They often know the agent they’re talking to is not at fault, they sometimes even understand that the agent can’t do anything to help them, but this is the only person in the company they’re able to reach, so for them, yelling at the customer service agent is equal to yelling at the company.

They don’t see the individual person, but rather identify the agent with the company as a whole.

Then there’s the issue that customers know that, if they yell enough, they’re going to get to talk to a supervisor or a manager, or someone else who’ll be willing to solve their problem quickly just so they’ll go away.



Insults

If customers identify your agents with your company, they have no problem insulting the agents, because they see that as insulting a big corporate identity that’s out to take advantage of them.

Other times, they can’t understand that the agent’s ability to make a change is limited, or they look down at the agent because she has an entry level job, and they’re not afraid to bully her, which is easy to do over the phone, where they can’t be seen.



Racism

Some people’s ethnicity, nationality or religion can be easily guessed by their name, their accent or their photo, if you display it.

Some bullies who yell at and insult customer service agents don’t stop there, but rather add racists comments, making your workplace unsafe for a large sector of the population.



Sexual Harassment

Speaking of safety, if you run a survey among your customer service agents, chances are at least some of them have experienced sexual harassment from customers over the phone. Again, it’s easier to harass people when they’re on the other side of the country or the world, and especially when they believe they need to stay silent about the harassment to keep their job and make ends meet.



Pressure and Unrealistic Expectations from Management

How many times have you emphasized to your customer service agents that customer experience comes first, and then turned around and had shift managers pressure them to reduce average handling times and just get customers off the phone?

How many times have you emphasized the power of active listening, and with the same breath, asked them to answer email and chat messages while they talk to a customer on the phone?

When you look at everything your agents already deal with during calls, consider whether this extra pressure is really necessary.



No One Should Be Bullied, Harassed or Attacked at Work

It might be more beneficial to take a step back and take care of your agents wellbeing and safety first. No one should be bullied, harassed or attacked at work.

Once you develop policies and strategies to be there for your employees, they’ll be happy to help you come up with ways to make their work more productive.

If you need someone else to take care of that for you, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].


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