Manage a team of call center agents.
- Be available to affect the entirety of the team's operations.
- Manage by walking around. Be visible to answer questions.
- Take calls that your agents can't handle and be available when an agent appears to need assistance.
- Monitor queue and track inbound calls. Keep agents aware of inbound calls, calls waiting, abandonment rate, etc.
- Motivate and encourage agents through positive communication and feedback
- Meet at least once each week with your team. At a minimum, review the following topics:
- Review the past week's events, including statistics, results and industry news.
- Disseminate new product information to the agents.
- Discuss a sales theme or point-of-interest topic for the agents.
- Introduce new staff members.
- Present commendations and awards.
- Communicate company information.
- Answer questions and comments.
Provide agents with a glimpse of future weeks.
- Perform at least one monitoring evaluation with each agent every two weeks
- Spend 30 minutes to one hour monitoring the agent.
- Spend 20 to 30 minutes reviewing the agent's performance with the agent. Use a formal monitoring checklist.
- At the conclusion, copy the checklist and put it in the agent's file
Give the original checklist to the agent.
- Keep track of attendance, daily statistics, paid time off, sick time, etc.
- Ensure administrative bookkeeping is accurate.
Create and maintain files on each agent as they relate to attendance, production, and reviews.
Present to the Project Manager at the conclusion of each week a breakdown of the past week's monitoring checklists and a written performance summary of the team.
- Present to the Project Manager at end of each week a breakdown of the next week's monitoring assignments and a plan for the team.
- Create a forecast describing the things each agent will be focused upon.
- Create a detailed plan of the way in which you plan to impact your team's day-by-day performance
Divide the team into three groups (top, middle and bottom)
At the end of each working day, take three minutes to log into the "daily notebook" any feedback, analysis or reflections from that day's interaction with the agents.
- Recruit new staff and schedule existing staff to meet service level objectives.
- Interview and hire staff. Assess needs/plan ahead.
- Develop schedules with agents each month to ensure call center objectives are covered.
Schedule residual training, departmental meetings, sales training, and computer training.
- Spend four hours per month working the call center telephones.
- Make sure your staff recognizes that you can do their jobs, too!
Truly understand what your call center agents are facing.
- Administer training programs for new hires and existing staff.
- Work with management on refining and scheduling appropriate training sessions.
- Develop training documents that support call center operations.
Create residual training pieces to foster growth.
Develop contests, awards and themes that increase agents' loyalty and focus.
Produce a quarterly "white paper" outlining your team's performance and growth. Paper should be no more than three pages long. Topics to explore include:
-Team performance for three month period.
-Individual performance of core, focus and new staff.
-Team and Individual analysis of upcoming quarter.
-Supervisor disappointments of past quarter.
-Supervisor successes of past quarter.
-Notable team and department information.
- Establish monthly meetings with other departments to review call center operations.
- Meet with human resources to review staffing levels and employee issues.
- Meet with peer staff to coordinate new hire, residual, product, computer and sales training.
- Meet with MIS to review computer hardware, software and database issues.
Meet with outside field staff to review upcoming events and call center / outside participation.
Produce performance reviews as established by Project Manager.
- Create effective channels of agent feedback.
Being available to affect the entirety of the team's operations differentiates a supervisor from senior management. To effectively build call center culture, the supervisor is responsible for "on-the-floor" activities, and must be available to assist agents while they are "on-the-floor." Senior management has a role that involves less floor time.
When call centers take supervisors away from the main floor for meetings, they are affecting time the supervisor can use to motivate his agents. The supervisor should spend the entire call center shift on the floor.(Conceptually, most managers understand this. On a practical basis, supervisors find themselves off the main floor, and in meetings, as much as 80% of their time!)