The call center manager is the heart of the customer service operation, and for effective results you want a MacGyver type character leading the charge. A call center is a high-stress environment because you are fielding a high level of calls and held to a lofty performance standard. For the call center to perform well as a whole the center needs to operate like a well oiled and disciplined team. If you want the call center agents to perform their best, then management needs to be its best. The following are seven ways to become the MacGyver of call center management:
1. Be a People Person
It is key that a call center manager is able to effectively communicate with their co-workers and subordinates. This means that clear directions and standards need to be relayed both verbally and in writing.This becomes especially essential when it comes time to give feedback and assess performance. In addition to professional communication a manager needs to exude a positive and welcoming essence. This is beneficial because you can display to employees that you genuinely care about them, and that you are a resource to consulted in times of crisis. By developing an open attitude the call center agents will begin to trust you more, which creates a more effective work environment.
2. Find Ways to Motivate Others
Motivating your staff to perform at their highest level can be a daunting task that thousands before you have struggled with. The actions of management greatly affect the drive, energy, and motivation felt by call center agents. One way to motivate employees is by developing favorable incentives. Another great way to generate motivation is by giving out positive reinforcement. A study conducted recently found that the number one reason employees are unhappy at their job is because they feel underappreciated. Other actions can cause employees to lose moral, passion, and respect for you management. The following are critical things to avoid in preventing workplace de-motivation:
You don’t keep your word
Unrealistic goals and expectations
3. Surround Yourself By Quality People
When hiring look for individuals with a natural aptitude for customer service, superb communication abilities, and quality listening skills. Even if a few of these attributes are lacking it is essential that you look for a candidate with an enthusiastic attitude. By carefully assessing the new agents you can surround yourself with agents who have the tendencies necessary to provide ideal customer service and will make your job incrementally easier.
4. Effective Scheduling
Overworking and overwhelming your call center agents is one of the biggest mistakes you could make. When agents begin to feel those things the quality of service significantly decreases. Effective scheduling is essential because you maximize the talents of your agents, which ensures customers get assistance in a timely and friendly fashion. Agents are looking for specific things in a schedule, and they expect you to deliver flexibility, consistency, warnings, and approachability. Scheduling properly will ensure that you have will have sufficient staff to offer the highest quality of service.
5. Constructive Feedback
It is imperative that you regularly access the quality of service that is being provided by your call center. Listen to pre-recorded conversations, analyze wait time, and gauge customer satisfaction. Then, bring all of these factors to that specific agent and lay out their performance. When critiquing an agent do it in a private location and try to keep it constructive and not accusatory. Clearly outline future expectations, areas of improvement, and any items of concern.
6. A Manager Needs to Be a Leader
Just because you are a manager doesn’t necessarily mean you are a leader, but for optimal success it is imperative that these two duties are being performed in conjunction. Lead my example, not by just your actions. Be willing to do the hard work sometimes to display qualities of teamwork to your staff. Most importantly though, be knowledgeable about the products, brand, and any necessary updates.
7. Possess Problem Solving Skills
Working in a call center can create many hectic and chaotic situations, and it is your job to have the skills to rectify those problems. The needed skills include but are not limited to: patience, diplomacy, and creativity. When an issue comes flying your way think on your toes and tackle the problem head on for efficient success.
Great managers are one of the most important aspects in the journey to becoming a powerful call center. A manager should act as a leader and guide the individuals around them towards set achievable goals. If you are a manager and are unsure if you succeed or fail, at any of the previous seven facts distribute an anonymous survey to gauge your forthcomings. An effective manager should be able to evaluate himself or herself and evolve with the criticism.
Bio: Meghan Greene is a vital part of the SEO and Content Development team at The Marketing Zen Group & Kova Corp. Meghan attends Elon University, double majoring in Marketing and International Business.