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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – With a renewed focus over the years on providing more convenient service, call centers have lost the old “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” status and are center stage. According to experts, on average call center representatives can be required to handle a combination of between 100-150 phone calls, 1,500 e-mails and up to 500 Web requests throughout the course of a day. Given the demands of the job it may not be too surprising that call centers’ average annual agent turnover rate is estimated between 26% and 30%. The following are several unique factors tying to stress on the customer service representative: * All of the moods, tempers, expectations and misunderstandings are coming in from customers and bouncing against all of those same issues from the CSR. With more and more routine calls being handled by technology, the impact is compounded since the CSR’s handle a higher percentage of stressful calls. * Balanced scorecards, dashboards are just two of the terms used to talk about measurements. With best in class practices indicating 95% schedule adherence, 80% occupancy and a myriad of other measurements, the agents’ time is seldom their own. Stress is a fact of life and goals and expectations driven by profit requirements and tracked by technology surround every aspect of the agent’s day. * Most contact centers typically have low walled cubicles, which promote line of sight management and make communication at all levels easier, but inherent to this design is a built in lack of privacy. Experts agree that successful organizations treat front-line workers with dignity, respect and involve them in planning all aspects of contact center operations, especially those that impact customer service and front line worker effectiveness. Call center leaders should also be sensitive to and aid the agent in balancing home and work and customize a motivation system for individual agents who may range in age from 20-65 and have different values, beliefs, goals and styles.

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