Having the responsibility of managing the day-to-day running of a contact centre is no easy task. The contact centre plays a central role in dealing with customer queries and complaints. The contact centre is especially important for keeping customers happy, which directly impacts the business at large. Effective contact centre management requires a few essential processes and tools.
Here are 5 non-negotiables to take note of:
1 – Engaging and retaining agents
Contact centre managers face the difficult challenge of retaining agents and keeping them engaged on a daily basis. A good way to find a solution to this is for contact centre managers to focus on engagement programmes. Solutions can include introducing reward programmes and incentives to keep the agents motivated. This will also encourage them to perform at their best to deliver quality service to customers.
2 – Creating clear lines of communication
A clear and open line of communication between managers and agents needs to be established for effect management. Managers can introduce a communication strategy where they, together with the agents, talk through any issues about the work, communicate key messages of the day, or engage in training and mentoring. This will also help encourage teamwork and collaboration.
Remember to mind your Ps and Qs when engaging the agents. How you communicate will also determine their response to your programmes and systems. Respecting one another is key in creating the right kind of communication channels.
3 – Providing your agents with tools
An important factor to take into account when managing a contact centre is that of arming your agents with the right tools. To ensure that they are well-equipped to perform at their best, it is important for you, as the manager, to ensure that they have all the essential tools and that training is provided on a regular basis. They should also always have all the knowledge they need at hand to assist customers.
4 – Putting yourself in your agents’ shoes
A manager who understands what the agents do, how they go through their day, and what challenges they face on a daily basis is at an advantage.
Managers could learn a great deal when stepping into the agents’ shoes every now and then to experience first-hand what they do. This will not only earn you respect from your agents but will provide you with great insight into how best you can improve the quality of the agents’ work, give the customers great service, and run a highly efficient contact centre.
5 – Ensuring effective scheduling
The ability of a manager to effectively schedule their agents’ workloads to meet the demand is crucial. This activity requires the manager to be able to predict the workload, as well as the number of agents required to cope with that workload.
To make these predictions, the contact centre manager should take into account factors such as understaffing and overstaffing, call durations, the conditions of the systems and software used in the contact centre, and space. An effective manager knows how to work with this information and is able to predict the needs and outcomes and to create the schedules needed.
A contact centre is an important part of any organisation. It deals with the customers directly and can affect the business either in a positive way (when managed effectively) or in a negative way (when managed badly).
For success in contact centre management, it is important that managers ensure that agents are engaged and motivated. Clear communication is important, and once it is achieved, it will improve teamwork. Agents working in the contact centre want to know that their manager understands their challenges and is able to provide solutions. It is therefore a good exercise for managers to put themselves in the agent’s shoes. And remember, a contact centre depends on accurate scheduling to run smoothly.