What Makes Call Center Management Effective?
Call center managers can effectively make or break the success of an organization. Agents may be the ones on the front lines taking calls and dealing with angry customers, but call center management gives them the training and tools they need to succeed in those situations. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that management is implementing the best practices when it comes to dealing with agents. Here are some qualities of the best call center managers.
Talk to agents. Call centers are all about communication, but that shouldn’t be confined to just agent and customer interactions. Managers need to be communicating with agents as well to see how they’re feeling. The worst thing a manager can do is pretend like they know everything that’s going on in the call center—chances are that they don’t, and by not communicating with agents, they’ll never know about the problems that need fixing. By discussing issues with agents, managers can feel the pulse of the call center and address any problems or suggestions as needed.
Focus on agent engagement and retention. Everyone knows that call centers have high agent turnover rates. There are plenty of reasons for that, but engagement—or lack thereof— is arguably one of the biggest contributors to high turnover rates. If agents don’t feel invested in their work, they’re not going to work hard and chances are they’re going to get bored and leave. Answering calls all day can grow tiresome, so managers need to incorporate gamification and other fun ideas into the daily routine. Empowering agents with the most up to date tools is also a good way to create engagement because they’ll be fully equipped to do their jobs well. If engagement levels rise, retention rates are sure to follow.
Use time wisely. People have a tendency to waste their spare time—we’ve all been guilty of that at one point or another. Call center managers tend to have a lot of free time on their hands, and they need to start using it as wisely as possible. Rather than taking longer lunch breaks or simply sitting in their offices, managers could use that time to complete administrative tasks, conduct training sessions and help agents with difficult calls. This too will contribute to high retention rates. The more involved the managers are, the better the agents will do.
There are plenty of other qualities that make certain call center managers great; I’ve just chosen my top three. The fact of the matter is that, as long as managers are listening to their agents’ concerns and working to make them feel engaged, the call center is going to be a success.
Edited by Maurice Nagle