Give the gift of personal growth to your contact center agents

We’re moving faster than ever before to make the customer experience WOW-tastic.

Customer service agents are expected to turn into an octopus by growing 8 arms to handle all the different contact points, quickly respond to chats, SMS, social media, phone calls and emails. All the hats they wear can’t even stay put on their heads because there are just too gosh darn many.

Pressured to be efficient, productive, empathetic, smile as big as the moon on every call, go above and beyond while keeping their attitude in check as well as contributing to the culture during their time in the office, agents usually find themselves pretty worn out at the end of the day. Can you relate?

Customer service and experience leaders are line dancing between taking care of their team and checking off the pile of projects with a flying unicorn from their favorite project management to-do list.

We’re squished banana peels on the sidewalk, mushed and smushed at the end of another day helping customers. Self-care sounds much too exhausting at this point.

We mainly think of self-care as eating right and working out. Self-care is typically something we do outside of work, not while we’re sitting helping customers in our cubicle.

We spend 40+ hours a week at work, why is it SO easy for self-care while at the office to be flushed down the toilet?

In a recent conversation I had with a colleague, it was mentioned that after they leave work, they can go to “real life”. As if what happens in the office isn’t “real”. As if it doesn’t count.

Whether we’re sitting in our office or we’re working remote on couch at home, we’re still living, breathing humans.

But, self-care often comes with a hefty price tag – GUILT.

It’s easy to think, “My mind feels like it’s going to explode but I can’t take a break right now. My boss will think I’m slacking off.

Or perhaps it sounds like, “Ugh, this cold is kicking my butt. I have to go to work, though. I’ll likely fall asleep on my keyboard because I can’t call out or else I’ll let my team down.

Self-care is also thought of as “selfish”.

How do we change that?

When leaders take ownership of self-care in the workplace and make it a part of the culture, teams become stronger. Customers become happier.

I could rattle off studies and statistics for you to review, but it really is this simple:

When you make time to care for yourself, you feel “better”. 

  • Your relationships improve.
  • Your focus improves.
  • Your productivity improves
  • Your mindset improves.
  • Your life improves.

And sometimes, when you make time to care for yourself, it means you have to weed out some of the things that are NOT supporting you, leading to change that probably should have happened years ago. But really, go easy on yourself. It’s about progress, not perfection. It’s not magical, it takes work but it all happens at the right time.

You have enough on your plate already though. How would you implement self-care initiatives into your contact center?

I got you, my friend!

Starting in 2019, I’m unveiling two programs to help you and your teams create a culture of self-care in the workplace through my side project, Jenny Dempsey Wellness.

1:1 Coaching 

My coaching program puts a spin on an individual’s wellness through the lens of customer service with the intention of personal growth. We focus on a range of topics from self-care, burnout avoidance, career path planning and any other relevant wellness topics that the individual deems important. Here’s how it would work:

  • Meeting 1:1 with each customer service agent or leader for 30 or 60 minutes 2xs a month for 3 or 6 months via phone (Skype, GoogleHangouts, FaceTime are also options). 
  • Ongoing self-care & work-care discovery exercises that help set intentions and hold the individual accountable.
  • Each customer service agent will receive a detailed summary of each discussion with relevant suggestions and action steps moving forward.
  • Programs can last 3 months (6 – 1:1 sessions) or 6 months (12 – 1:1 sessions) and sessions can be as short (30 minute minimum) or as long (60 minutes) as you need.

Try it out for yourself! I’m giving away free 60-minute coaching sessions. Send me an email here to schedule!

Creating a Workplace Culture of Self-Care Starts With You Workshop 

In order to take the best care of others, we must first take the best care of ourselves. When we create a culture of self-care in the workplace, teams can become more productive, engaged and overall satisfied. In this interactive workshop, individuals will:

  • Complete a self-discovery exercise
  • Engage in active listening
  • Walk away with a realistic self-care action plan. 

The session can be as short as 30 minutes (condensed version) or 60 minutes. The workshop is done with the team in person at your office location. If you were at Zendesk Relate this past November, you got a taste of this session. 

On a personal note:

I’m SO excited to share these with you. I’ve been working in customer service contact centers since 2005 and have learned a lot along the way about what makes an agent burn out because well, I burnt out on several occasions. Using my experience and my Health Coaching Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I want to inspire self-care in your contact center. You can read more about what I do here: https://www.jennydempseywellness.com

Jenny Dempsey is currently the the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. She has worked at tech startups since 2005. She's the co-founder and regular contributor over at CustomerServiceLife.com. She's a certified health coach, but not the kind that forces you to only eat cardboard and deprive yourself of ice cream. JennyDempseyWellness.com, the company she started, was designed to bring a new type of wellness into the workplace, one that gives you permission to look deeper into yourself, rather than just on the healthy snacks in the break room. She is the mother to a toothless rescue cat named Chompers. Avocados and veggie tacos are the way to her heart. She's also a Hanson fan for life.

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