Let’s face it. Unless you have some rare incredible job like gourmet chocolate taster or manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, chances are that your workdays are not exactly going to be a blast 100% of the time.
However, that’s not to say that call center agents can’t have fun while providing excellent customer service. Here are some ways to liven up the workday:
1. Personalize your workspace. Unless you are a robot, you would probably admit that staring at bare cubicle walls all day is not very much fun. So, why not decorate those empty spaces with some photos or artwork? Most call centers have no problem with their employees doing this as long as nothing controversial or offensive is displayed. The best part is that it allows you to express yourself. Do you love animals? Why not hang up that cute picture of a hamster wearing a tuxedo that you found online? Or, if you are a sports fan, maybe an action shot of LeBron James dunking would do the trick. The key is to find things that appeal to you as an individual. By surrounding yourself with things that put you in a good mood, you are more likely to deliver great customer service while having more fun at the same time. Of course, this might not be feasible in all call centers, especially in an environment with where each desk is shared with other agents. While you may absolutely adore that photo of kittens playing tennis, the night shift agent who shares your desk may not appreciate it.
2. Get to know your neighbors. Before and after shifts, or during breaks, why not strike up a conversation with a co-worker? Developing a friendly rapport with other call center agents can have many benefits. An interesting chat can help make the workday go by faster, and if you ever have a particular question or are in trouble, there is someone close by who can help you out. Who knows — you might even make a new friend.
3. Engage with callers in a fun way. Many callers appreciate it when their customer service agent interjects some level of individuality or humor into their call. You have to be careful, though, because not every caller will enjoy this type of thing. That’s why call center agents need to be chameleons, with the ability to adapt their communication style to suit the preferences of each caller. Just be sure not to go overboard to the point where it becomes unprofessional or interferes with your ability to efficiently solve their issue. People in general like to get their issues resolved quickly, and too much personal banter may extend the length of a call to an inappropriate level, resulting in increased Average Handle Time (AHT). Maintaining an appropriate balance between AHT and other important metrics like First Call Resolution (FCR) can be a constant struggle, and the individual expectations of both the client and the customer must always be taken into account. Also, just to be safe, it is a good idea to always avoid commenting on any potentially contentious issue like politics or religion. You don’t want to risk offending the customer.
4. Take part in office activities. Many call centers have special events like dinners, parties or “themed” workdays such as crazy hat day. Engaging in these social activities can help to break up the regular work routine while allowing you to build stronger relationships with co-workers and management. This often results in a less stressful work environment where people are more comfortable with each other.
As you can see, there are many different ways to liven up the workday and have some fun while providing great customer service. However, it is important to remember that in the end, it is a job, and you have to remain professional at all times. Having fun is important, but you have to do a good job too! It’s all about balance.