Does Your Team Have Busy-Season Burnout?
What Is Burnout?
Burnout is a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion resulting from prolonged and excessive stress. CSR’s who handle a high volume of calls during the busy season can become overwhelmed, leading to decreased job satisfaction, increased absenteeism, and decreased productivity. I cannot emphasize enough the importance for managers and owners to recognize the signs of burnout and take proactive measures to prevent it, before it’s too late. In today’s article, we’re going to learn more about burnout and how it influences the success of your business and atmosphere of your call center.
In the fast-paced and demanding world of the home service industry, burnout has become an increasingly prevalent issue among employees. Burnout not only affects individuals on a personal level but also has significant negative consequences for the workplace as a whole.
Let’s go deeper.
Burnout is a psychological, emotional, and physical state of persistent exhaustion that results from prolonged and intense stress. (In this case, work-related stress.) It is more than just feeling tired after a long day at work; it is a state of being completely depleted, both physically and mentally. Burnout is characterized by a sense of overwhelming fatigue, cynicism or detachment from work, and a decreased sense of personal accomplishment. In the home service industry, with long hours, demanding physical labor, and/or high customer expectations are common, employees are particularly vulnerable to experiencing burnout.
It’s important to recognize that burnout is NOT a weakness or lack of resilience. It is a complex phenomenon that can have significant consequences for both individuals and organizations; it is your mental health.
Here’s a deeper breakdown of the key components:
Exhaustion: Burnout often manifests as a deep and chronic exhaustion that goes beyond normal fatigue. It is a state of feeling emotionally and physically drained, even after getting sufficient rest and sleep. This exhaustion can make it challenging to find motivation or energy to perform daily tasks and can impact overall well-being.
Cynicism or Depersonalization: Burnout can lead to a negative and cynical attitude towards work, colleagues, and customers. Employees experiencing burnout may develop a detached or indifferent outlook, distancing themselves emotionally from their work and those around them. This can erode their sense of purpose and connection to their job.
Reduced Personal Accomplishment: Individuals experiencing burnout often have a diminished sense of personal achievement. They may feel that their efforts go unrecognized or that their work no longer holds meaning. This can lead to feelings of self-doubt, lowered self-esteem, and a diminished sense of competence.
Burnout may arise from factors such as excessive workload, long working hours, lack of control or autonomy, insufficient resources or support, poor work-life balance, and a mismatch between an individual’s values and organizational expectations.
Why It Hurts
We love the revenue that flows in during the busy season. There’s no denying it. Yet with the additional revenue opportunity comes more responsibility – which means managing the outcome so we can continue to be successful before, during, and after the seasonal influx that impacts the home services industry. Burnout can have far-reaching and detrimental effects on both individuals and the workplace.
Let’s go over some of the areas that may be at risk:
Decreased Productivity: It’s possible to see a range of mild to significant decline in productivity among employees. Exhaustion, lack of motivation, and reduced focus can hinder their ability to perform at their best. Tasks that used to be accomplished efficiently may take longer to complete, leading to delays and decreased overall output.
Increased Error Rates: When employees are exhausted and mentally fatigued due to burnout, they are more prone to making mistakes. Increased error rates can have serious consequences, particularly in the home service industry where precision and attention to detail are essential. Errors can result in costly rework, customer dissatisfaction, and even safety hazards.
Higher Turnover: Burnout can contribute to higher turnover rates as employees may become disillusioned with their work and seek opportunities elsewhere. The recruitment and training of new employees can be time-consuming and once again – not cost effective. High turnover rates also disrupt team dynamics and continuity, impacting overall productivity and service quality.
Reduced Employee Morale: Your mood can influence the environment around you. Have you ever noticed a grumpy person walk-in, and suddenly everyone is walking on eggshells? Or have you ever been grumpy yourself, but someone else’s smile and encouragement won you over? Burnout is a key culprit to creating a negative work environment and impacting employee morale. This can lead to decreased teamwork, strained relationships, and a general sense of dissatisfaction among employees, further exacerbating the burnout problem.
Negative Impact on Customer Satisfaction: CSR’s are the only ones who may suffer the consequences of burnout; it can also have a direct impact on customer satisfaction. When exhausted employees are unable to provide the level of service and attention to detail that customers expect, it can result in a decline in customer satisfaction. Dissatisfied customers may not only take their business elsewhere but also share negative experiences, potentially damaging the reputation of the home service company. It’s undeniable; when you’re unhappy, it becomes astronomically more difficult to present your best quality of work.
How We Can Help
Prioritizing the well-being of your customer service representatives is not just a matter of compassion; it is vital for the success of your business. By proactively addressing and preventing burnout, you can cultivate a positive and supportive work environment that leads to higher employee satisfaction, increased productivity, and improved customer service. When CSR’s feel valued, supported, and energized, they are more likely to provide exceptional service, resulting in customer loyalty and – you guessed it, more booked calls. Investing in the mental and emotional health of your team will ultimately contribute to the long-term success and growth of your business.
At Power Selling Pros, we understand the unique challenges faced by home service businesses during the busy season. Our team of experienced professionals offers customized coaching and training solutions designed to support not only call center operations but also the leadership teams within your organization. We provide valuable tools, strategies, and ongoing support to prevent burnout, enhance customer service, and drive overall business success. Reach out to us today to explore how we can partner with you to create a resilient and thriving workplace environment.
“The Impact of Burnout on Customer Service” – Zendesk: This article explores the impact of burnout on customer service teams and provides tips for prevention and support. You can find it at: https://www.zendesk.com/blog/impact-of-burnout-on-customer-service/
“How to Avoid Burnout in Customer Service Jobs” – The Balance Careers: This article provides a comprehensive overview of burnout in customer service roles and offers suggestions for individuals to prevent and manage burnout. You can read it here: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-avoid-burnout-in-customer-service-jobs-2062470
“Recognizing and Preventing Burnout in Customer Service” – Help Scout: This resource delves into the signs of burnout in customer service roles and provides actionable steps for prevention. Find it at:
Customer calls in to cancel service or a service agreement:
Be Positive: (Smile) “It’s a GREAT day at (company name)! This is (Name), How can I help you?
- Get the customer’s name. “I can help you with that. Who do I have the pleasure of speaking with? Wonderful. My name is I am going to take care of you today.”
- If the customer already gave you their name, repeat it back. “You said your name was _? My name is _ and I am going to be taking care of you today.”
Be Confident: I hate to hear that you want to cancel, but I can certainly help.
Listen: Is the reason for your cancellation price, question about the service, or that you found another provider who can get there sooner?
Care / Reassure: If that’s the case, I feel terrible we didn’t communicate that we can help you with that concern before!
Ask / Value: If can resolve that concern about [price / service / schedule] for you by [taking 15% off / waving the dispatch fee / moving you up in our schedule / offering a free tune-up / match the price of the other company / having the Technician follow certain instructions when he arrives], would that be enough for you to move forward with us today?
Be Grateful: Wonderful. Let me apply that special promise for you right now, and I’ll make sure our Technician is prepared to come to your home at the time of service.
If they insist on canceling
(Optional) Reassure: You got it. I just canceled your appointment for you. So you know, we do offer free/discounted second opinions if you’re not totally satisfied with the inspection or work that’s done by someone else.
Gratitude: Thank you so much for calling to let us know. We appreciate you thinking about us and hope we can serve you in the future.
Question for you:
Would you rather have a CSR ask you for a script, or, tell you what they intend to use as a script and ask for you to sign off on it?
For such a long time, leadership has been about getting people to DO THINGS.
We celebrate leaders who can get people to DO a job:
- Leaders who rally thousands of people to build cars
- Leaders who gather the masses to serve overwhelmed Homeowners in the summer
- Leaders who get people to volunteer their time for a charity drive
The leader is successful if other people DO something.
But leadership has changed.
Leadership is no longer about activating action in others, it’s about activating THINKING in others.
Think about it: the world changes too rapidly for you to constantly be giving instructions on what to DO. If your job is to get people to ACT, well, that means you need to also instruct them on HOW to act. But that’s an exhausting way to lead. Plus, it keeps other people dependent on you.
We want to help people become independent of you. We want your company to grow without you having to give out the instructions all the time.
So let me ask again…
Would you rather have a CSR ask you for a script, or tell you what they intend to use as a script and ask for you to sign off on it? In one of those situations, you have to make the script. But in the other, you simply sign off and approve of it?
You should want the latter…
If you don’t know who Peyton Manning is, this email may not be super relevant to you. BUT…
If you have even the faintest idea that he is one the best football players of all time, then read on:
Peyton Manning was known for many things, one of them being his unique ability to read any defense and make an adjustment so his team would score.
He could “read the territory” with incredible accuracy and make decisions that were exactly what his team needed in the moment they needed it.
It got me wondering…
“Is it possible to develop that kind of instinctual decision making ability in Contracting?”
Turns out, the answer is YES!
Josh Kelly just released his “Levers” course that teaches you exactly how to do this. He shows you in 8 easily digestible modules how to build, track, and execute “levers” for your business like Peyton Manning calls audibles for his offense.
It’s the most automatic way to grow a contracting business I’ve ever seen.
Check it out:
You remember those Staples commercials with the “easy” button? This is going to sound crazy, but…
I literally know a guy who builds all his businesses by creating “easy” buttons.
He is better than anyone I know at identifying the things that work to grow his business, then building what he calls “levers” he can pull ANY TIME HE WANTS to grow on demand.
I’m not being dramatic or sarcastic here…
If his dispatch board isn’t full enough, he knows exactly which “lever” to pull to fill the board on command.
Low conversion rate on sales calls? He knows precisely which “lever” to pull to get his team out of a funk and back to high performance.
It blows my mind every single time he does it. Who am I talking about?
Josh Kelly. You may know Josh, you may not… In either case:
Josh just put together a COURSE on how to build these “levers” into your own business so you too can get results on command.
Check out his course here: https://www.fivestarjams.com/always-fill-your-dispatch-board1648042830299
Yesterday a letter from a manufacturer was floating around about price increases of up to 18%!
While it’s easy to respond to this sort of thing by pointing the finger of blame, I’m afraid such a response won’t help you.
Nope. Instead, we need to worry about the things we can control. So in this email, I’m going to walk you step-by-step through the process of building so much value for the customer that you just might be able to get away with increasing your own prices without upsetting anyone.
Here it is:
(But first… I just want to throw out there that the price of CSR Training is not going up right now 🙂 So… if you want your CSRs to build so much value that customers will pay your price without complaining, learn more here.)
STEP 1: The Phone Call
The Customer’s REAL journey begins on the phone. When you pick it up, you need to do 9 things:
- Demonstrate positivity that makes the customer feel good they called you
- Inspire confidence with your questions
- Listen to the customer and ask about their situation
- Care about their problem and how it’s affecting their day
- Reassure them you can help and that they’ve called the right place
- Ask them “when would you like us to come out?” and book the appointment
- Before you present your fee, communicate the value of your service so they can visualize every tiny detail
- Express gratitude for their business
- Offer your additional services
STEP 2: The Technician’s Visit
The CSR should have “WOW’ed” the customer. That way, the customer is pre-framed to say “yes!” to you before you arrive. When you do arrive, do this:
- Walk with pride
- Knock on the door, take a step back
- Greet the customer by name, hand them your business card, ask to come in
- Say “the office briefed me on your situation, but tell me more about what’s going on?”
- Give an estimated ETA
- Invite the customer to guide you to the problem
- Ask for permission to let yourself back in the home if you need to step out for parts or a second opinion
- Ask where they are most comfortable sitting down to go over your findings
- Complete inspection
- Invite the customer to sit down
- Ask an “If I… will you…” question to get their commitment if everything meets their needs at an affordable price
- Present options thoroughly and with great detail – BUILD VALUE
- Ask them “how would you like to proceed?”
I worry I’ve given away too much…
Eh, I’m sure it’s fine. Most companies don’t actually implement stuff that they learn for free.
I know… I know…
We’re talking about billionaires now? Hear me out for a second:
A common misconception about growing your business is that if you can spend more money than anyone else on advertising, you win.
This is definitely not the case. If it was, then the “big brands” would already have squashed the rest of us by now. Instead, big companies with embarrassing sums of money die every day. Why?
I don’t want to overgeneralize, but one reason why is that they haven’t found their unique edge. They haven’t clarified what makes them different from everyone else.
I share a story about this in a past episode of LIP Service for Contractors:
A Simple Secret to Standing Apart from Everyone Else
See the 60-second clip here: