Servicing the Call Centre and Operator community
employers staffing issues
Good practice within call centres
- Provide advice on how to integrate working shifts with home life which covers, in
particular, eating properly and how to promote good sleep during the day.
- Ensure car parks are well lit and consider employing a security person to patrol
car parks or installing closed circuit television to increase security.
- Phone for taxis to collect at the call centre rather than staff catching them on
- Make bus timetables available so employees can wait in the call centre rather than
on the street if they miss the bus they had intended to catch.
- Encourage car sharing so public transport does not need to be used late at night.
- Allow call handlers who have just taken an abusive call time to recover and discuss
it with a colleague or their supervisor if they so choose.
- Customers who have been abusive could have this noted on their files by a warning
flashing on screen when a call handler accesses their details. However, all personal
information in customers' files is covered by the Data Protection Act 1998,
and arrangements for using warning markers will need to be carefully defined in
- Provide awareness training and information on personal safety.
- Prompt call handlers to adjust the listening level (both up and down) through
their headsets at the beginning of each call.
- Ensure a sufficient stock of new or sterile headset pads and voice tubes is maintained.
- To reduce the risk of straining the throat, opening greeting scripts should be broken
into shorter segments, giving call handlers frequent micro-breaks while callers respond to
- Allow call handlers to drink at their workstations to ensure their throats are adequately
- Call handlers should be encouraged to drink water or caffeine-free soft drinks to maintain
hydration rather than tea or coffee or soft drinks containing caffeine which are diuretics.
- Stretching the neck and shoulders relieves tension. These exercises can be done at the
workstation as well as during breaks. A prompt which appears on the screen from time to
time may be a helpful reminder for call handlers to do these stretches. The risk of voice
problems is greater when suffering from a cold. Assigning staff in these
circumstances to tasks which do not involve speaking on the telephone reduces this risk.
- Display reminders on-screen from time to time to prompt call handlers to look away and
focus on a distant object. Also prompt them to exercise their eye movement muscles and blink.
- Prompt call handlers to request regular eye tests and remind them that the company will
pay for basic corrective appliances if they are required for VDU work.
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