LittleMissHelpful I manage a small call center and let me tell you AHT matters but compared to Customer Service/Customer Experience it is irrelevant. Keeping morale up in a call center is by far the biggest challenge for a manager, it is nearly impossible. I have a few suggestions for you though.
1. Focus on the customer experience on your own calls, do not worry about what you can not control which is AHT and AWT. If a customer complains empathize with them but move on quickly, I have found the best way to stop complaining is to ask questions, for example if you do tech support ask the customer questions like "How long have you had this problem?" or "What all have you tried to resolve your issue before calling?". I started out on the phones and I found out very early on that it is very difficult for most customers to continue to complain or be rude to you if you kill them with kindness.
2. Understand that you can not control what is coming, I have agents that dread answering the phone every time because they fear every call will be a bad call. You can not control what is on the other end of the phone but you can do your best to help the customer. If you dread every time you pick up the phone it makes for a extremely long day and adds very unnecessary stress.
3. Be positive for your co workers to see, low morale spreads like wild fire in a call center. It is a difficult and often thankless job so if the person next to you complains every time they hang up the phone it wears on you. Negativity breeds negativity and it goes a long ways being positive in what is usually negative field.
4. Do not be so quick to blame your immediate supervisor. More often than not he does not have the authority to fix the staffing problems and has a tough job of trying to keep morale up. I am not defending him, he may be a crappy supervisor but keep it in mind and it may help you deal with your low morale a little.
5. Take pride in your job, nothing and I mean nothing will help you more to excel than taking pride in your job, even the little things like saying please and thank you or sir/maam or being on time everyday and not missing work unless you absolutely have to. Pride yourself in turning the complaining customers into complimenting customers. More times than not it is within your power to change (the customer that is angry because they had to wait) opinion of your company and all you have to do is be positive and empathetic. That is taking pride in your job by challenging yourself every call to send that customer away thinking "WOW!"
6. Leave your personal life and problems at the door. This job is tough enough to have to do without being stressed or mad before you answer the phone, that makes for a disastrous combination. The definition of "Professional" to me at least is someone who performs to the very best of their ability no matter what they are feeling inside.
7. Always conduct your self professionally, even if it does not benefit you at the moment or even at your current job. No great success story ever started off with a bad or negative attitude and neither will yours, this advice applies to any job you ever have. If you practice great attendance, great attitude and positivity it will become second nature and you will excel anywhere you go I promise. There are only 2 types of people in the world positive people and negative people and you get to choose which you want to be but be careful because if you are negative chances are if you have or ever have kids they will follow suit and no one wants that for their child.