Becoming a More Successful Contact Center Manager in 2018

One of the most influential factors that lead to the success of a contact center are the managers who run it. Contact center managers face many challenges including budgetary restrictions, high turnover rates, training costs, and workflow management. As we bring in the new year with goals of higher efficiency and ideas of how to better ourselves, we felt it would be fitting to review some ways that contact center managers could be more successful working with their teams.

As VisualCue has worked with successful contact centers across the nation, we have gathered some common tips managers found to be most helpful when working with their teams of agents as well as reporting to upper management. By using these practices, we feel contact center managers have a real chance to make 2018 their best year yet!

Communicate with your team
As in any situation, communication is critical. This is especially true when working with contact center agents. If you are working with a group of new agents who have never worked in a call center scenario or if you are working with a team if seasoned phone calling veterans the result is the same…communication is essential as a manager. Make sure your team knows and understands why you have the standard set where it is. With clear expectations set, the expectation is often reached. Help your agents by letting them know the signs of success by setting thresholds on performance numbers.

Focus on your team’s needs
One of the highest costs to a contact center is the cost of hiring and training new employees. According to InsideCRM, it can cost between $5,000 and $17,000 everytime a contact center agent leaves. This is a surprising number especially when you consider the higher rate of turnover that contact centers experience. So how do you keep people happy and working hard? Show you care about their success! Most people in the workforce find it motivating to know their work is being recognized. This can be done through both gamification of the workforce as well as with specialized training from management.

Offer training early and often
Most contact center managers work to make sure their agents are trained, but all too often the training happens only when problems have spread among multiple agents. If this is the case, then the manager has already missed out on precious opportunities leading to missed leads by the team. Monitor your agents to see what needs work and where in real-time. This is possible with a few digital tools including VisualCue for Contact Centers. Knowing what agents are struggling with in real-time allows for managers and team members to solve the issue before it becomes a more widespread problem. It is better to train with an agent as their performance is starting to dip rather than asking them why they had such a bad week last week.

Use downtime to your advantage
As a manager, there will always be a few minutes throughout the day where you have some downtime. What you do with this time could possibly make the difference in your team’s success. We find it most helpful for managers to use this downtime to check on the performance of their teams and individual agents. As a manager set yourself up for success by using tools that allow you to quickly and easily understand how teams and individuals are doing. With the right tools, it only takes a few seconds to check and is an excellent use of time when you just have a little of it.

Use new reporting trends
Gone are the days where all you need to report was a good old-fashioned spreadsheet. Many contact centers who we begin talks with still use columns and rows to track what agents are doing. Tools like ours offer a solution that enables managers to make decisions based on real-time operational intelligence. Track instantly and address issues as they happen. Compare agents and see who is needing assistance and who is doing great!

Much of the success of a contact center falls on the manager’s shoulders. In the simplest terms, it usually comes down to how managers communicate with their team and how managers track their team’s success. As with all things, there is always room for improvement and what better time to start fresh than the New Year!

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