Call center stress is not a new thing. Responding calmly to someone in distress can be very challenging. I have personally worked in an emergency call center, and I know things can sometimes get rough quickly; however much you try to stay calm. Your sanity and ability to be in control matters most in stressful situations or at least that is what is expected of you. If the stress gets the better part of you, being of any assistance at that moment when your calmness is needed the most might be impossible. Managing your stress during a high-stress call is an art and skill that helps you:
- Focus and concentrate on the conversation
- Remember the content of the call for future reference
- Maintain a good mood for other calls
- Lessen the call frustration
- Use less energy on the call because you need to attend to other callers
No words can stress enough the importance of being in control of your emotions and stress while operating in a call center.
The following four tips will help you keep your cool during a high stress call.
Take a Deep Breath
A caller in anguish will definitely trigger your emotions, which may make you breathe faster than usual. Breathe in through your nose then out through your mouth. Do it silently, or your caller might not understand that you are trying to relax.
Also, remember to keep your mind focused on the call as you do this. A stressed caller is likely to take more than you to express their state. Take advantage of such moments to take a deep breath. It helps relax your nerves and reduce your blood pressure.
Try to Stretch Out
A high distress call is likely to make you tense up. Tension is not good, especially in times when your caller is trusting on you for help. Try stretching your legs and relaxing your shoulders slowly as you keep with your conversion. A stretch out helps blood and oxygen flow better hence reducing the stress that is building up in your body. It is also a better and effective way of gathering confidence and feel in charge of your emotions.
Accept You are Not in Control
Always remember that all you can do in the call center is to listen to your callers and to try to find help for them. You cannot run there either can you control whatever that is happening on the other end of the call. We once had a new employee at the call center, and I remember her receiving a call one day only to end up shaking and sweating.
She sat on the floor and from her gestures; she was in the caller’s world. We found out that the caller was facing serious danger, and the lady’s imagination was so swept away that she felt like it was happening right in front of her. During such calls always, remind yourself that you have limitations. This will help you relax and concentrate on what you are expected to do.
Staying hydrated makes you more stable both mentally and physically. Sipping your water at intervals while on a long call helps calm down your nerves. It also keeps your throat from going dry, which helps keep your response clear. You do not want to speak in a rough tone to a stressed caller or worse still; your caller misunderstands your instructions.