Emotion is an important aspect of everyone’s life. We find emotion in the smallest things we do and obviously in the great and moving experiences we all endure. So it may be surprising to think that there have even been academic studies and books written about the subject of the emotional aspect of call centres.

When you look through the list of PhD titles published by various colleges and universities you come up with some unusual topics. So it should not come as a surprise that academics and those interested in human behaviour have made a study of call centres and the role that emotion plays in these places.

In making a study of the emotional aspect of call centres there are two parties involved – the employees, the people who work in a call centre and the customer, the person who calls or is called by a call centre.

Let’s take the employees to begin with. Everyone wants to find some form of job satisfaction. In a call centre, that satisfaction comes with helping people and having positive human interactions. Working in a call centre means dealing with a lot of people who have a variety of wants and needs and there are occasions when the staff are not always able to help as much as they or the customer would like, which could be stressful for both parties.

Quality of work life, is something which is believed to be heavily influenced by an employee’s emotional competence. This can often be put to the test in a call centre, where the job can sometimes involve talking to a lot of people who may be busy and just want their query dealt with and solved as soon as possible. So the employee should be emotionally up to the task and realise that working in a call centre requires good people skills, and the ability to control one’s own emotions.

Take the customer. This could be a person who is contacted by a call centre or a person who contacts a call centre because they need advice or assistance in some form or another. Imagine if the person making the call to the call centre is desperate for advice because the problem they have is causing a lot of grief. The response they get from the call centre can do one of two things.

  1. It can greatly assist the customer.
  2. It can make the problem even worse.

So making sure that the communication is good and the employee has the ability and knowledge to help the customer, is the key to keeping a healthy emotional balance in a call centre.

It is very easy in today’s modern world, where we are rushed off of our feet, to consider the voice on the other end of the phone as a faceless and emotionless person, but something that is worth considering when you next call or are called by a call centre is are you in the right frame of mind? If the person calling you is polite and professional, is your reply appropriate? and if you are considering working in a call centre, are you sure that you can handle the potential emotional stresses that may be involved?