Communication is Key to Efficient Call Center Management
Managers are truly the unsung heroes of the call center. They’re the backbone of the organization, whether they’re monitoring dozens of employees, finding areas for improvement, working on ways to boost customer satisfaction or figuring out how to manage both the remote and in-office workforce simultaneously.
With all of those responsibilities comes a lot of pressure, and it’s easy to let quality fall through the cracks when stressed. If managers are more focused on first call resolution rates than on making sure their agents are actually helping customers, there’s going to be a quality problem. And, since most customers only interact with the contact center, that ultimately means an image problem for the brand.
So, how can call center managers ensure that they’re running an efficient call center without simultaneously cracking under pressure? The No. 1 solution is to actually listen to what the agents have to say.
Managers may be in charge of making sure operations run smoothly, but no one really knows the ins and outs of the call center quite like agents do. They’re the ones on the front lines, constantly taking calls, dealing with angry customers, and seeing how the brand is being received by consumers. That’s why it’s so important for managers to make sure they’re responding to employee comments and needs.
Whether the agent is pointing out a repeat comment about a product flaw or simply wants advice on how to deal with a certain type of customer, managers need to be there for them. Managers always have a lot on their plate, that much is a given, but it’s essential to make time to hear what the agents have to say. Holding weekly meetings is an ideal way to help agents voice their concerns (these meetings would have to be staggers, though, so that there’s always someone available to answer the phone). Some call centers also have suggestion boxes that enable agents to anonymously offer suggestions or bring up points of operation that need work. Or, simply being available to answer emails or talk one-on-one is a great way to encourage agents to seek managers out for help.
However managers choose to listen to their employees, the point is that they need to listen. Yes, managers may have a thousand other things going on, but they still need to make time to hear what agents have to say. If they ignore the suggestions and concerns of the people on the front lines, it’s easy to become out of touch with what’s really going on in the call center. And one thing is for sure: an out of touch manager can’t run a call center effectively.
Edited by Maurice Nagle