Quiet Quitting in Customer Service

Gladly Team

Read Time

4 minute read

Customer service is known to have high worker turnover and burnout. In 2021, attrition at call centers reached highs of 42%. But now, employees are less likely to jump to resignation letters, instead embracing the new trend of “quiet quitting.”

Let’s take a deeper look at quiet quitting in action, how your support center might be inadvertently contributing to these sentiments, and where to intervene as a manager to improve morale in the workplace.

What Is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting in customer service is the workplace trend of employees doing the bare minimum at their jobs as a result of feeling like “going the extra mile” doesn’t actually reward them.

Instead of quitting outright, employees are reprioritizing their lives and giving less extraneous time and energy to their jobs. This detachment from work could be linked to pandemic-driven burnout, since now about half of the modern workforce is quiet quitting.

What’s Causing Quiet Quitting?

Customer service managers can’t just double down and push agents to work harder. This could lead to employee attrition, which is pricey for businesses since replacing a team member can cost up to 50% to 60% of their yearly salary.

Rather than making the same old demands, it’s important for managers to get down to the root reason as to why employees are quiet quitting in the first place. Here’s what to look out for.

1. Workplace burnout

What it looks like: Customer service is fraught with emotional stress, whether from micromanagement or repetitive customer frustrations. Your employees will start to withdraw when it feels like the entirety of the role is overwhelming.

Why it’s important: Without the energy to carry out their daily tasks, your employees won’t be able to do their jobs effectively. As a manager, you need to provide a pathway to reducing customer service burnout so your support center can still develop valuable customer relationships that lead to loyalty.

How to stop it: Fighting customer service burnout is all about making employee lives easier. Provide your agents with technology, like dynamic customer profiles and scalable knowledge bases that lets them access invaluable data in a few clicks. This will not only cut out the frustrations that lead to burnout and eventually attrition, but it will also let agents better engage shoppers and deliver more efficient customer experiences.

2. Poor communication

What it looks like: Issues like burnout and exhaustion are hard to articulate, particularly if your work environment doesn’t allow for open communication. When employees are remote, communication gets even harder to maintain, making agents feel siloed and unable to reach out for help.

Why it’s important: If your agents aren’t communicating and collaborating with one another, they’ll feel even more alone in their work. As a manager, you have a responsibility to prevent that siloing and provide avenues of communication between you and your teams. Otherwise, customers will feel it when they try to access your brand and solve their issues.

How to stop it: Technology can make collaboration easier. Find a platform that makes customer conversations accessible and shareable between employees. When communication and workforce management are optimized, agents will feel more connected to their team and your brand, cutting down on the issues that lead to loneliness and eventual absenteeism.

3. Unclear expectations and goals

What it looks like: Employees without a clear set of expectations will stick with doing the bare minimum and rarely ask for help or further clarification. Quiet quitting is, in essence, a form of retreating, and lacking expectations makes it easy for employees to feel like it doesn’t matter if they’re left behind.

Why it’s important: Employees who see a future with your company will be far more likely to invest their time with you and your customers. A sense of long-term stability also creates more confident agents who provide better service and spend more time with customers.

How to stop it: Managers should be transparent about what they expect out of agents. Speak directly to your employees, providing them with clear information about their potential growth within the company and how they can get more out of their jobs, both in terms of fulfillment and financials.

Preventing Quiet Quitting in Customer Service

Customer service managers across industries are facing the issue of quiet quitting. But with a platform like Gladly, you can access the tools mentioned above that empower employees and reinvigorate their passion for customer service.

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