Call Center

Updated On: Apr 1, 2024

4 Ways To Overcome Call Center Agent Burnout With KM

Reading-Time 9 Min

agent burnout

What is call center agent burnout?

According to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), “Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

Agent burnout in call centers is characterized by increased mental distance from the job, exhaustion, and negative feelings toward work, impacting key call center success metrics.

Signs of call center agent burnout

Agent burnout has definitive manifestations that can cost substantial business losses if unchecked.

  • Diminished productivity resulting from time-bound targets and heightened customer expectations
  • High agent error should be avoided at all costs but is unfortunately inevitable when agents have to sift through multiple desktops and lack information accessibility during customer calls.
  • High turnover rates in call centers are only natural when agents work under constant pressure and see bleak career prospects. The average turnover rate for contact centers is 30-45% per year.
  • Declining customer satisfaction metrics is the worst nightmare for every company but is sure to arise in the long run as a result of low agent satisfaction(ASAT)

4 Reasons for call center agent burnout 

1. Work overload  

  • A customer service representative’s job is not limited to taking inbound customer calls. With the wide array of customer communication channels, support tickets can come via email, messaging, live chat, and more. 
  • An agent has to resolve all the requests coming from multiple channels as per the service level agreements (SLAs)
  • Managing inordinate volumes of support tickets and clearing ticket queues in time-bound circumstances creates frustration and a lack of work flexibility, resulting in high levels of call center agent burnout.

2. Lack of direction to help customers

  • Combined with the heavy workload, a lack of access to actionable information at the right time hinders an agent’s performance.
  • There are times when information is available but not structured correctly, leaving agents confused and directionless during customer calls.
  • This results in agents’ inability to meet their targets, and the undue pressure culminates in rising call center burnout instances.

3. Lack of proper  training

  • No agent can retain the information they were taught in onboarding training sessions.
  • In the absence of timely training programs, agent burnout is common when new updates, information, and ways of using customer service tools are unavailable to the agents.

4. Agents do not feel empowered

  • Call center agent burnout is common in a workplace where work gets robotic, and agents lack the autonomy to make decisions that affect them. 
  • Empowered agents struggle with finding value in work and are prone to feeling burnt out in moments of crisis or when unexpected call center challenges arise

How to overcome agent burnout with Knowmax knowledge management?  

According to a 2022 CCW digital market study, 56% of organizations cannot automate enough low-value work, over 40% use disconnected technology, and 40% lack a coordinated channel structure. Without the right customer service technology in place, the already challenging job of agents becomes even more complicated, making organizations susceptible to high call center agent burnout rates

Knowledge Management as a customer service technology helps organizations find the remedy for every contact center challenge that leads to high agent burnout and poor customer service quality.

A full-suite AI-powered KM solution like Knowmax delivers capabilities that hit the root cause of agent burnout and prevent it from damaging customer experiences.

Below are the top 4 ways organizations can overcome call center agent burnout.

1. Automate customer service to offload agents’ work

  • The repetitive customer queries that form many ticket queues can be deflected to self-service portals powered by robust Knowledge base tools. With the Knowmax Knowledge base powered by AI, chatbots can be configured on customer-preferred channels to answer routine queries. 
  • Customer service Knowledge base articles and knowledge base FAQs help customers help themselves and free agents from mundane and routine queries, making time for them to handle complex customer concerns.
  • Customer service automation prevents call center burnout by eliminating the monotony associated with handling mundane customer questions. It allows agents to target their energies on critical queries that need their skills. 

2. Sort out workflows to guide agents with the next best action steps

  • Agents burn out taking one phone call after another and then for the first 30 seconds of every call apologizing for the long hold times, and by the time customers come on call, they are already unhappy.
  • Sorting workflows to guide agents with the next best action steps can significantly reduce agent burnout. With Knowmax decision tree software, users can create, organize, manage, and disseminate guided workflows across assisted and digital channels.
  • By integrating call center workflow scripts with the CRM platform, agents can efficiently resolve customer problems by reducing response times. The availability of customer context helps them customize experiences and eliminate redundancy in the troubleshooting process.
  • Logically structured workflows enable agents to accomplish their targets and deliver quality customer support, increasing job satisfaction and reducing call center agent burnout.

3.  Improve call center training

  • Keeping agents informed and updated with feasible learning and training solutions can significantly reduce agent burnout and improve customer experiences.
  • Creating an enriching e-learning Knowledge base boosts agents’ confidence in their work while new skills learning and training courses augment their professional growth.
  • With Knowmax, regular agent training can be conducted through engaging ways in the form of Quiz management. Call center management can easily access agent responses and make critical decisions to improve call center training programs.

4. Engage call center agents 

  • Agent burnout can be efficiently managed by engaging agents and making them feel valued at work.
  • Asking agents to rate the Knowledge base content and proactively seek feedback can improve agent satisfaction (ASAT).
  • With the Knowmax KM platform, management can engage with agents in real-time, notify them of updates, and acknowledge their feedback. The collaborative Knowledge sharing process brings agents and their supervisors together to create a better work culture, which is instrumental in managing the organization’s call center agent burnout rates.

Ready to create a knowledge base?

Try Knowmax AI-powered knowledge base software for call centers.

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Final thoughts 

Aligning speed and quality to resolve customer queries requires considerable mental and emotional strength. Organizations must look at the complex call center challenges that hinder agents’ performance and contribute to stress at work.

Implementing the right call center software to aid agents with their work can help overcome agent burnout that adversely affects customer satisfaction and business revenue in the long run.

Pratik Salia


Pratik is a customer experience professional who has worked with startups & conglomerates across various industries & markets for 10 years. He shares latest trends in the areas of CX and Digital Transformation for Customer Service & Contact Center.

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