Staying attentive

About the Risk of Burnout in Customer Support: 5 Tips for Prevention

Every employee wishes for a healthy work environment. However, sometimes excessive stress, a high workload, and self-sacrificing commitment can lead to sudden burnout. We provide you with practical tips and actionable tools on how to actively prevent this development in your support team.

What this post is about

  • Recognize signs early on
  • Value support
  • Offer tools
  • Share knowledge
  • Encourage exchange and communication

Support agents have to put up with a lot of input: Complaints, criticism, frustration or displeasure about poor service first land on the shoulders of colleagues in customer service. Strong nerves and a thick skin are therefore basic skills, but not all colleagues are protected from the serious consequences.

Burnout in support is not uncommon. The build-up of pressure leaves its mark and wears down even the strongest nerves in a gradual process. Our five tips help team leaders to recognize the danger and implement preventative measures.

Recognize the signs

Burnout is a process that develops slowly. The duration varies from person to person and can increase over several weeks or months, depending on their condition.

During this time, it is important that the first signs are recognized:

  • Discouragement
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Overwhelm
  • Impatience
  • Introverted behavior

If initial signs start to appear, team leaders should take action. The first steps involve having a casual conversation with the employee, addressing the concern directly. Show that you care and prevent unnecessary beating around the bush. This will make the employee feel understood and encourage them to express themselves.

Customer support is not a dumping ground

Every department in a company contributes to its overall success. Customer support is no exception and should be regarded as a full-fledged department just like sales, marketing, or HR. While this is often acknowledged by other teams, the reality looks different in many cases.

Support is seen as a problem solver but should not exclusively be contacted by other departments when issues arise. It's important to involve colleagues in decisions, cross-team meetings, or product developments. Integrating the knowledge and expertise of support leads to a positive sense of work among employees who appreciate being heard.

Providing effective tools

The shift to remote work has transformed the workplace and presented some employees with new challenges. As appealing as the idea of self-managing tasks may sound, there are some downsides, especially for team-oriented individuals.

Therefore, it's crucial for companies to avoid isolation, promote collaboration, and provide communication channels for work-related topics as well as general matters. Keep your colleagues informed with an employee newsletter that is filled with relevant topics, best practice examples, and small appreciation sections.

Additionally, ticketing systems help maintain a clear structure. Having a clear direction aids in keeping the goal in sight. It's the little things that protect against burnout and make everyday life a comfortable place. Here are some more tips we've summarized for adding variety to the workplace.

Sharing knowledge

Employees should never be left alone with their questions and concerns. The frustrating search for answers is nerve-wracking, and the lack of feedback creates frustration. Existing knowledge and important information relevant to work progress must always be accessible.

Knowledge bases or databases help to quickly grasp common problems or new processes. This promotes independent problem-solving, resulting in feelings of success and happiness, and reduces the risk of burnout. Sharing knowledge with others enables obstacle-free work.

Promoting exchange among colleagues

Nobody is alone with their problems. The daily work with the frustrations, needs, and issues of customers leaves its mark, but all colleagues in support know this feeling. Regular exchange helps to find approaches for dealing with pressure and stress factors.

Here are some questions that can be addressed:

  • What is the most common problem?
  • Which topics dominate the calls?
  • What stands out in customer conversations?
  • What suggestions are there from external sources?

In discussion rounds, support staff share their experiences and contribute input to finding solutions at the same time.


Open communication and collaborative work avoid isolated problem solving! Always keep your team together and demonstrate the relevance of customer support work on a daily basis. Give colleagues the chance to express their needs and concerns to prevent pressure and anxiety from building up.

Image by Freepik

  1. Recognize the signs
  2. Customer support is not a dumping ground
  3. Providing effective tools
  4. Sharing knowledge
  5. Promoting exchange among colleagues
  6. Summary
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