5 Tips for Contact Center Managers
As businesses grow and expand, so does the need for effective communication channels. Because of this, contact centers are on the rise. These call centers are utilized in larger companies as a centralized location for inbound and outbound calls to be made and received. Call center agents are ready to answer questions and provide great customer service from one location. These individuals create the backbone of effective businesses. They’re the first line of contact with issues, account needs, or business propositions. And as a call center manager, you’re responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly and efficiently.
Regardless of the type of company your call center is working for, there are plenty of steps to take to make sure you’re reaching your full potential. A lot of these decisions fall on the shoulders of leadership. You’re responsible for getting your team the best technology and accessories. You’re keeping sensitive information and account numbers in secure locations. You have the power to create an efficient and kind staff while giving them a purpose and a work environment they can truly excel in. As a leader, you get to set those fine goals and help your team meet them. Contact center managers need to be true leaders who can help their call center agents excel while growing the business as a whole. For some tips and tricks that will help you be the best call center manager, you can be, explore some of these ideas.
Utilize the best technology.
Back in the 1950s, a call center looked like a bunch of people plugging wires into different switchboards. Now, we’re a little more advanced than that. When it comes to calling center software, you want to utilize the best of the best. Find a vendor that offers cloud-based solutions for your needs. Try to connect all your communication channels to make finding and regulating data that much easier for you and your team.
Call centers can often deal with sensitive information, especially if you’re working for a financial institution, medical practice, charity, or any other company that deals with money and personal data. Make sure you have call center compliance to help increase your security features. Find ways to comply with the government rules and regulations for how to handle sensitive data. This goes for outgoing calls when callers contact you, and any other place there is potential for a data breach. Be ready to comply with whatever needs your specific company requires. From telemarketing calls to taking credit card information, stay flexible, and up to date with the most effective techniques to help you adapt to and solve any problem.
Invest in hiring and onboarding practices.
As manager of a call center, you understand how important it is that you hire all the right people. Your call center agents are the front line of communication between your company and your callers and customers. You can’t just hire anyone; you need to make sure they’re a perfect fit. Look to build a team of committed, personable agents who enjoy communicating with multiple people a day. Stay transparent throughout the interview process. Layout the exact requirements of the job and what the day-to-day will look like. You’ll retain more staff when they know what they’re getting into right off the bat.
Agent training is also an important part of the job. You don’t want to just give your staff a script and let them have at it. Take the time to engage them in the goals you have for the company. Set up ways to grow and challenge your employees and allow them to problem solve and get creative. As you’re onboarding your staff, remember this may be a new technology for them to work with. Try and make everything as comprehensive as possible and be available to answer any and all questions they may have.
Perhaps the most important part of onboarding and your employee/supervisor relationship is how your team is going to get paid. With help from check printing companies, you can send paychecks with ease, whether that’s through the mail, in an envelope you hand to them, or through direct deposit. Find solutions for routing checks to your employees in an easy, efficient way that’s customizable to your call center. Save time and money while engaging with this secure payment process and make sure that not a single check gets lost on its way to an employee.
Take on the role of being a true, decisive leader.
As a contact center manager, you’re the ultimate leader of your team. Strive to take extra steps to be the best leader you can be. Look and act like a true professional at all times. Even though your clients don’t see you over the phone, how you present and carry yourself matters to your staff. Develop a powerful wardrobe of petite suits, dresses, and killer blazers that make you feel confident in front of your team. When they see you care about your appearance, they’ll know you take your job seriously and that they can count on you.
Beyond just how you carry yourself, you need to lead by example. Know your stuff, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. When it’s busy, jump on and answer a few calls. Don’t just tell your center agents how to do their jobs—live it out in front of them. Own up when you’ve made mistakes and take responsibility for when you do or don’t reach your sales goals. Remember, you work for your team. Foster an open-door policy where people feel like you’re all one team working together. This will create unity at the call center and prove to your staff that you’re an effective leader that they should look up to and respect.
Create goals and monitor progress.
Your contact center is responsible for hitting certain numbers and making a set amount of connections within certain periods. To help keep the overall company growing and expanding, you need to get specific about your goals and motivate your team to hit them. While the primary role of call center agents is to help with customer satisfaction, it is also about making new sales and creating new relationships. Take research from your past quarter and apply it to your future. How can you improve the problems you were facing? How can you expand upon solutions that were working? Monitor your best practices and learn how to integrate those processes into your daily operations.
Creating and setting goals are also great ways to bring the whole team together. If you have a certain sales number to hit, it can help employees plan their quarter to help meet those goals. You can’t accomplish everything you want to do on your own, so it’s important everyone is on the same page so you can achieve more together.
Encourage an environment where people enjoy working.
At first, a contact center may not seem like the most exciting place in the world to work. Spending all day inside answering calls may not be everyone’s dream job. That is why it is up to you as the manager to create an environment where people are excited to come to work. Spread positivity, make sure everyone is comfortable, create incentives, and allow for job growth. A happy work environment keeps workers more motivated and less likely to seek other employment which is a win-win situation for you.