Development and Stress
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How Can You Expand Your Comfort Zone in a New Technological Environment?
The day-to-day running of a BPO contact center business is unimaginable without the right technical background. There is a huge choice of cutting-edge, cloud-based tools offering the latest technology solutions in the customer service software market, so the choice of which tool to use for a particular contact center is mostly a matter of individual needs and preferences nowadays. However, when a company switches to a new system, it inevitably takes some time for staff to get used to it, as they need to step out of their comfort zone to familiarise themselves with a new environment. But how do you manage the stress that inevitably comes with using a new platform for the first time? In our round-up, experienced call centre operators share their thoughts on the subject.
The Importance of Training and Testing
Just as you wouldn't drive off in a new car without checking where the dashboard is located or adjusting the seats and mirrors, testing and thoroughly training the colleagues who will be using it is essential before integrating a new customer service software. An accomplished project manager put it this way:
"Stress is inevitable, but it is a natural part of large-scale integration. The most important aspect is always to make the operators' work as easy as possible, so in such cases, we put a lot of energy and attention into pre-launch training, testing, and meetings. Thorough preparation and training ensure that operators do not feel uncomfortable in the new software environment, beyond the initial excitement."
The importance of training is confirmed by the operators' opinion.
"It makes sense that there is less tension if the live operation is preceded by thorough training and education. Of course, it is possible that something doesn't click or you get blocked, but there is no need to panic, in such cases it is better to ask for help from your superiors."
Proactive Attitude, Ability to Self-Improve
Technology and full training are not everything, of course, because only in the right soil can the seed take root. At the heart of a professional contact center are experienced, skilled staff who are able to use the tools and knowledge at their disposal to deliver the highest possible quality of customer experience. Self-development and an independent, problem-solving attitude are essential. But how do experienced agents see this?
"A new platform can be a bit stressful at the beginning, but there's no need to worry - it's worth reading the user manual, the training material provided by the manufacturer. For my part, I've had a lot of experience on different platforms in the past and I've learned that you generally just need to follow the instructions to get to know the interface and the features of the programs better and better. And, of course, communication within the team is important: as colleagues share more and more information, we learn more and more."
"It is worth being aware that this is a new system where problems can arise. Learning as you go along in everyday use will help you to take the right steps."
A Stress-Relieving Professional Routine
Operators who have been working in a similar field for several years know that the best antidote to stress is the experience itself, as those who have faced many challenges in their work find it easier to choose the right solution in a live situation and to eliminate frustrating factors from their daily work. One of our interviewees summed it up like this:
"Be as calm as possible! Just take a deep breath and don't let stress cause you to make mistakes! It is equally important to take the time to familiarise yourself with the program. Practise, take notes during testing, make notes during the training that you can refer to whenever you have a problem. And if you're not sure about anything, don't be afraid to ask your colleagues or group leaders - they might ask you tomorrow!"
Every Challenge Is an Opportunity
It is also worth bearing in mind that a new challenge is always a new opportunity. Although integrating a new platform requires a lot of investment in almost all areas of a BPO contact center, including operators, team leaders, management, and IT support staff, in a fast-evolving market seeking newer and newer technology solutions, it is much better to be at the forefront than to be left behind. In some respects, this is a constraint and an expectation, but with the right attitude, the competitive landscape opens up new horizons for market players.
"When serving new customer needs or automating a legacy process, innovative thinking and a new solution can be key. Learning about a previously unknown system is always an excellent opportunity to improve and deepen your professional knowledge."
In summary, the cornerstones of any technological development for a professional contact center:
- Tools that can support operators according to the needs of our clients
- A highly trained, experienced team
- A proactive, creative, problem-solving attitude from operators
- Thorough, comprehensive training during the integration of a new tool
- Information flow and experience sharing within the team
- Success-oriented, change-management approach at the company level
We are confident that we have once again managed to bring to life another interesting aspect of the business services sector. So keep calm and trust yourself - even if a new environment can be unusual in the first few days!
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