A recent article on Psychiatric Times describes "Zoom fatigue" as "the tiredness, worry, or burnout associated with overusing virtual platforms of communication". Two key factors explain the fatigue: first, the increased cognitive efforts required to maintain focus during a video conversation; and secondly, fewer rewarding stimuli that one typically obtains while speaking with someone else in-person.
Zoom fatigue is particularly hazardous when customer service agents are concerned. These are people who should spend most of their time speaking with customers. Agents are therefore at increased risk. The impact of their Zoom fatigue on the business is particularly high: having your most tired and burnt-out employees talk to your customers is never a good idea!
And yet, serving customers over video, particularly during times of social distancing, has many benefits. So how can a service provider alleviate agents' zoom fatigue? Here are a few helpful ideas.
Much of the cognitive effort associated with Zoom fatigue is due to the need to focus on the screen. But not all communication channels are equally tiring. Whether your agents is located at a contact center or working from home, you may provide them access to multiple customer interaction channels.
If you have agents working in the walk-in service locations, allow them to mix in-person and video meetings, as much as possible.
Don't do a "video day" and then "walk-in day", as video day would leave them worn out. Instead, try to blend video calls and walk-ins together.
If your agents only do video because you think it's too early to open your locations to the public, consider ways to start blending in walk-ins in small numbers.
Needless to say, the more agents meet with customers in person, the less of a problem Zoom fatigue would be.
Planning always reduces stress. When video appointments are scheduled instead of randomly incoming, an agent can do much better.
Luckily, today we have software tools that can help service providers in their efforts to fight Zoom fatigue.
Q-nomy's Q-Flow software supports all of these options and more. Contact us to learn more about how we can reduce your agents' Zoom fatigue!
*The term Zoom Fatigue was coined in reference to all video call platforms, it most definitely does not refer solely to Zoom!