Even though contact centres are an important part of a business – both in terms of closing deals and in terms of providing customer service – they often also prove to be one of the most challenging parts of a business. It can become very stressful if you have to manage a call centre with high call volumes, where staff members are expected to make or answer a certain number of calls per day.
If you are considering a career in contact centre management and would like to gain a better understanding of the role, here are a few basics of managing a contact centre:
Define expectations and communicate them clearly to your agents:
Working in a call centre is hard work, and to encourage your staff to deliver top-class work all the time, you have to explain what good performance looks like to you and the company. For example, do you expect your call centre agents to answer a certain number of calls per day, or do you expect them to close X number of deals and handle X number of complaints per day?>
You have to communicate your expectations and management goals effectively to the team leaders and call centre agents, so that they know what is expected of them.
Provide thorough training:
When managing a call centre, it is important that you employ the right employees and then provide these employees with the right training. Appropriate, in-depth training will help to ensure quality and efficiency when it comes to the service delivered by your call centre.
As a call centre manager, it is your responsibility to make sure that your agents are armed with all the tools and knowledge required to perform well at their jobs.
Deal with complaints effectively:
When training your call centre employees, make sure that you place enough focus on ways to handle complaints and negative comments, especially over the phone. When your employees are equipped with the knowledge on how to deal with negative customers, they will see the complaints as an opportunity to improve rather than to take offence.
You have to explain to your agents that even though they might deal with similar cases and complaints daily, it might be the first time that a specific customer is experiencing a certain problem, which means that each customer should be treated with the same respect and patience.
Lead by example when it comes to behaviour:
If you want your call centre agents to behave in a certain way, then it only makes sense that you, as the manager, should model the behaviour that you are expecting from your staff. Many managers expect certain things from their employees, but do not live by the same principles that they are asking for.
Have regular evaluations:
In order to keep your agents motivated and driven, you have to have regular evaluations for each agent. It’s important that they know when and where they are going wrong with their service delivery and overall performance. You want to ensure that all agents are maintaining the same level of professionalism and service when they are representing your organisation.
Have positive incentives for the agents:
Employees love incentives – it makes them feel like they are able to work for something extra, other than their salaries. So a positive incentive – or another challenge, such as holding contests throughout the month – can be a good way to maintain high spirits and keep everyone motivated.
Even though a call centre can be challenging to manage, there are always steps you can take and tips you can implement to increase the level of service.
Now that you know the basics of managing a contact centre, you might want to read the following articles: