Call center managers need a great deal of endurance and patience, along with plenty of grace to handle the extreme pressure of the call center.
With the help of the best call center software available, managers need to create an environment that will please the company’s customers without exceeding the company budget requirements.
When you apply to be a call center manager, your job is to make sure that your agents are motivated and encouraged enough at work, while at the same time holding the team under you accountable to the various goals and deadlines.
It is, therefore, very natural that in the face of all of this pressure, call center managers are bound to feel overwhelmed and overworked, regardless of the call center software they are using to reduce the manual workload.
With the aim to help you, the manager, become the best version of yourself while you are at your workplace, I have brought a list of tips that will help you be even better at your job.
By adopting the given habits and practices, you too can train yourself to become one of the very best that your company has to offer.
Given below are the tips that will help you achieve this.
1. Always talk to your agents for feedback, as agents are an invaluable research and feedback tool for your company. They form the eyes, the ears and the voices for your call center company.
When paired with call center management software, the agents are best equipped to tell you what is important to the customers and what can be ignored.
2. Agents are able to provide you with several ideas on how to improve the processes and practices of the company in order to serve customers better, therefore pay attention to their words.
3. Apart from the routine and compulsory training and coaching practices for the agents, it has been found that successful contact center managers work together with their agents in order to review the issues that arise at certain points in the history of the company or during a particular call.
4. Contact center managers can make a lot of use of the idle time they often have. But they can ideally put this time to good use by completing the various administrative tasks, checking the cloud call center software solutions, training the agents, mentoring them, and so on. This great practice will positively impact the performance of agents by inspiring them immensely.
5. An important activity of a call center manager is reviewing the staffing levels in order to balance workflow and meet the demand. The manager should be able to determine how many agents a particular section of the company needs.
6. Reviewing staffing levels through a software will give you a better understanding of the challenges your agents go through regularly, save a lot of time and will help you redefine your contact center goals so as to not burn them out. A call center software comparison can be done to figure out what software is best suited for this.
7. Call center managers should be constantly keeping an eye out for news about new technologies that is showing promise and is important to the improvement of his or her sphere of influence, that is, the call centers.
8. Your agents are the soldiers on the ground and they are men and women in the trenches, ready to obey your expert commands. Even though you are their leader, you should still be open to learning from their experience and knowledge.
9. Don’t forget to always make yourself available to your agents. You can host weekly office hours to help any agent who is falling behind or even starts each morning and evening with a morale-boosting to get your agents excited.
10. Never focus more on the raw efficiency and results rather than employee wellbeing. You should not be forcing your employees and cause unnecessary stress to them or else they will take the matter and move to the higher HR, causing you to lose your job.
11. The Best of the CEOs will be ready to sweep floors when it is necessary for their company because it is essentially their company. If you truly want to be a great call center manager, then you should be willing to make a few calls yourself and show your team that you are a part of them, not above them.
12. Until you are completely perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships, you cannot try and improve interdependent systems and processes. This is a cardinal principle of Total Quality that escapes a lot of customers.
13. Effective leadership is when you are putting first things first, but effective management is a discipline that you need to carry out. Your planning is completely wasted if it is not being put into action. You can do a comparison of call center software pricing to find out a cheap but viable software to carry you through this planning.
14. Effective managers also understand the value of putting their time and their energy into developing people, that is the agents. They know that in order to create a perfect team they need to teach that perfection to the agents and correct their flaws out.
15. You should challenge your employees to approach things out of their comfort zone and give them your unconditional support and guidance while they are doing so. If they fail, be sure to let them know that you are their safety net.
16. When making decisions, it is important to always consult with key stakeholders of the company. If the people in the company know why it is important and why you think the decisions are viable, they’ll be more open to changes.
17. If one of your employees from the agent team comes to you with a concern or an idea about the direction of their careers, always be ready to listen carefully. Always let them know that they have your support in their career choices.
The Case Study
I have done my best in providing you with ideas about what you can do to improve your tactics in order to be a better manager to your colleagues and employees. However, it will amount to nothing if the complete research is not being undertaken.
By research, we mean studying the practices of the several managers in real life, that is, in the practical life, to understand how exactly, how better managerial skills benefit any business, be it small or big.
If your aim is to provide your customers the best customer experience while keeping up a great morale within the company, you cannot afford to be overridden by costs and management that call center software solutions can be prone to.
Therefore, along with excellent managerial skills, you also need to understand the ways the call center software system works to make your job a lot easier.
However, not every manager is similar, and what one manager may have a skill set may not be present in the next manager.
The trick is to hone your skills while adding new ones at the same time, and this will give you a better chance at being a near perfect manager that your employees can look up to.
Therefore, to this extent, I shall present to you a case study that is related to this article.
The company we will be talking about is a software development company. For the sake of anonymity, I shall call it GBRB.
It was established in the early 1980s to develop a software that would be helpful in the rising privacy concerns. As such, they developed firewalls and anti-virus for personal computers.
In this case study, we will talk about the problem scenario of the company, the challenges that were faced by the company in lieu of the problem scenario, and the solutions that the leading managers figured out, much to the benefit of the company.
We will also talk about the results that were seen by the company on the implementations of the solutions. Without further ado let us take a look at the case study.
The Problem Scenario
GBRB when it was still a relatively new company, hired a manager that they thought was perfectly qualified for the job. With the researches white hacking and figuring out the potential hacker threats and privacy threats, the leaders of the company did not pay very close attention to the new manager and his way of work.
After customers lodged several complaints that the company was not delivering what they were promising them, the leaders finally sat up and took notice of the situation around them. It was not only unacceptable but downright despicable.
The agent team was pretty terrified of the new manager because he had threatened them with no pay several times. Agents also reported that they found the manager to be aloof and not at all friendly.
They also discovered to their dismay that the manager would not help them as often as they would like, and often blamed them for the mistakes they were bound to make as no one was leading them.
They complained that they could not understand how to do certain stuff as they were not trained to, but they were handed warnings because of their slip-ups.
This was absolutely terrible for the employees, and the leaders were worried about the entire situation. Before doing anything other step was taken, they fired the manager and replaced him with a temporary manager.
As more of the ill-gotten practices of the manager, who had all the qualifications but no practical knowledge as to how to run a team were discovered, the company GBRB knew that they were about to face a critical battle for the welfare of their employees.
Of course, when they let the older manager go, several challenges propped up, but here, in this section, we will talk about the more relevant ones referring to the above topic.
The challenges that the company faced were the following:
• The manager had left the agents all alone. Neither did he ever show the slightest interest in helping them out, nor did he train them properly to handle important calls from the customers. He gave a guideline which was difficult to follow.
• With the manager threatening the loss of jobs, the employees could not trust him at all. They disliked working under him and they disliked the fact that the manager did not trust them enough in the first place.
• There was absolutely no communication between the manager and the agents in the first place. They hardly ever saw the manager and he seemed to have preferred keeping the distance from them. They felt alienated and disliked, which is not a healthy working environment.
• The manager did not bring any excitement or challenge of any sort within the agent group. It became not only dull but also boring and lacked any work progression.
Now that they had their priorities figured out, the company did not care about the degrees and certificates as much. Quality over quantity in terms of personality and education was preferred, and they figured our certain aspects that they would like in their future manager.
The solutions to these problems were:
• They wanted to hire an agent that would help them every time as and when they require but also let them learn on their own. They wanted someone who could teach and be taught in return, instead of sulking in the background.
• They figured out very soon that compassion mixed with professionalism was a much better deal than just being professional and to the point. A manager should be able to manage emotional, physical and the mental aspects of the agent team and be more like a colleague to them than a high commander.
• They looked for a manager who was known to be open to communication with the people under him or her. They wanted someone who would bring trust in the company, someone who would be reliable to go to, in the case of any crisis.
• They looked for a manager who was flexible, motivating and enthusiastic about the way he or she approached the work. These managers, who are energetic and optimistic even during trying times would liven up the workplace and make it feel less like a prison for their employees.
The results are never fast enough, and this case is no different. The first step was to hire a manager that they could agree with, and after many trials and effort, they eventually found a manager that knew how to be both a professional and a friend in need for his employees.
Things began to change around the company. Agents came in motivated and often excited at the new prospects. There were new things to focus on every month for them. Communications were much better now that the agents of GBRB could actually trust their manager, and the agent base was highly trained as a result of all the efforts of the manager.
It takes time to be the manager you want to be, but change is just difficult, not impossible. With practice and skill honing, you too can become the manager that your company needs.