Those that say managing a call center is easy, are wrong. This job is by no means an easy job and requires hard work, a strategic vision, and the ability to motivate people. Effective leaders must know every in and out of the business they are working for, all while being able to improve all aspects of the business.
The Best Practices for Call Center Managers
- Hiring the Best Agents- In order for a call center to be successful, hiring the best agents is imperative. If a manager simply puts the time and energy needed to hire quality team members, then many things are made easier around the workplace. Call centers need those with a natural ability for customer service. If the agents you hire have good listening skills, effective communication skills, good memories, and an enthusiastic attitude, customers will notice and be satisfied. Most traits listed unfortunately can’t be taught, which is what makes hiring quality team members so important.
- Having a Successful Onboarding Process- Hiring is the first step in ensuring a good workplace, but any hiring mistakes can be resolved through a specific onboarding process. This process can teach employees good habits and communication methods that fit with each manager’s and business’s standards. If managers put emphasis on training employees how to handle customer complaints then the bulk of their jobs are taken care of. Due to most agents’ calls being customer complaints, it’s important to prepare them for the main issues their job will entail. As a manager, you need to let employees know that customer complaints are a great opportunity to provide great customer service. If agents will see these calls as beneficial instead of an obstacle, many issues will be taken care of ahead of time. Managers will most likely have full reign of agent onboarding, so adding all that’s needed into a problem will make managing agents easier down the road.
- Prioritizing Employee Engagement- Some call centers have bad reputations for being difficult places to work, and whether that label is true or not, will depend on the manager. By attracting good employees and minimizing turnover can be the turning point for most call centers. Effective employee management might be as simple as getting to know your employees or taking time out of your day to check in on them. Providing engaging activities for your agents, such as team parties, team-building outings, and morning meetings will allow agents to feel appreciated and happy with their working environments.
- Ensuring Proper Scheduling- Working at some call centers might be a high-stress job if not managed correctly. Stress will in turn have a negative effect on managers and employees, resulting in lower quality work. If managers can stay organized and take needed downtown throughout their days, work levels will increase. During low hours, managers should take the time to allow employees to decompress, and also allow themselves to relax and take a deep breath. By using scheduling applications or calendars, you can make sure to have each day organized.
- Use Data When Making Decisions- Most decisions you will make as a manager should be driven by data. Sure some small decisions can be made on the fly, but high-level decisions regarding sales, employees or strategy, need to be decided by the data your call center provides. In order to make decision making easier, call center metrics can be utilized and collected, so that making high-stake decisions down the road easier and successful.
- Delegating Some Tasks- A lot of the workload that call center managers must complete is high stake work. Some of the tasks that managers should do can be delegated to employees or other managers. Each day, a call center will bring about a myriad of small, yet time-consuming tasks, that lower-level employees can do just as easily. To set up employees for success at these tasks, delegating must be done correctly. Sometimes a framework is established so that employees can handle some of the work managers need to accomplish, in order for the more important things to be dealt with. If you delegate successfully as a manager, you will be able to turn your attention to more important issues that have a larger effect on the success of your call center.
- Establishing Positive Incentives For Employees- If you are a manager that wishes for employees to complete satisfactory work, incentives need to be put in place. By having some extra motivation for employees, their work levels may increase, resulting in a good work environment.
- Staying On Top Of Administration Tasks- As most managers do, you will want your call center running smoothly and your customers to receive all the assistance they need in a timely manner. It is the manager’s job to ensure that all agents in each department are effective in their work and all that must be done is getting done. Of course, focusing on employees is important, but the less glamorous work such as timesheets, training, project planning, and calculating profit margins must be completed as well. All of these small tasks provide a solid foundation that can help your team work better. By setting aside the necessary time to complete administrative tasks so they don’t pile up, is the best way to go about being a manager. If any problems arise while completing this work, they need to be taken care of as soon as possible, so that nothing comes up down the road.
- Knowing Your Business- As guessed, all call center managers need to know the ins and outs of their business. It’s important that all managers must know every aspect of each department, in order to run the call center smoothly. Team member performance, technology, branding, metrics, and industry developments all are important parts that a manager should have knowledge of when managing a call center. Managers can’t isolate themselves to their own departments, and in order to ensure the center is running 100% all the time, takes the knowledge and skill to overlook.
To All the Call Center Managers
The success of each call center will depend on the ability of managers to review and refine management techniques. By looking at the metrics and feedback every three months, managers will gain a better understanding of all that needs to be improved. The key to this process is to improve all that’s needed so that customers will receive the aid they deserve, and that your business will also reach its peak success.