3 call center management habits that breed success
3 call center management habits that breed success
Have you ever had the chance to analyse how call center management habits influence your outbound team’s success? Most haven’t, and it’s often for the same reasons – too busy, not enough time, too many queues to manage, and the list goes on – however, not stopping and analysing this could come at a huge cost to everyone.
When things start to go wrong, sales targets are being missed, staff attrition rises, customer dissatisfaction dips to an all time low, it’s common to first look at technology and staff performance. A good first step, however, another area that’s important to put under the microscope is how things are being managed from the top.
What are the management habits missing that could shift your team from the dismal to extraordinary? And don’t worry, you don’t have to go and read the Art of War by Sun Tzu or enrol in ‘Be a leader not a manager’ course. Good call center management is all about simply taking the time to tweak and adjust your own performance, and the following three tips will show you how.
1. Learn so you can lead
Invest time into researching the call centre market; absorbing what the latest trends are, the new technologies call centres are taking up, the customer service styles consumers now expect, and anything that will help broaden your call centre knowledge.
Immersing yourself in the ever-evolving world of call centre trends is something you’ll never get bored with. It’s always changing and throwing up new challenges that you’ll need to get on top of. Without this awareness you could be investing your time, energies and money into strategies and phone systems that have been cast aside a long time ago.
The beauty of keeping your finger on the pulse, and taking an interest on what’s going on, is that over time this will show in your call center management style. Good knowledge has this way of bubbling out into everything that you do. Giving clarity on know how to lead with strength and conviction, hire and train with the right techniques, reshape strategy with insight and purpose, and what tech investments will not waste your time.
Being the expert is more than just knowing the information. It’s about absorbing it at a deeper level, so that the path you lay out is clear and every interaction you have with your team is valuable, inspired and can deliver a clear return on investment.
2. Tweak, experiment and enjoy
Great contact centre software should always be intuitive, easy to learn and a delight to navigate and use. This will make learning easy. And the trick to becoming the pro is to get stuck in, explore the features, make mistakes, it’s ok nothing will blow up, and have fun with all the new powers you have.
And using contact centre software gives you some awesome powers to:
- plan, layout and schedule all your campaigns easily and quickly
- live monitor from anywhere, to ensure everyone’s on the right track
- tweak call scripting on the go, to improve agent and campaign performance
- scale calls up or down and blend teams, to deal with changes in call volumes
- use real-time reporting insights, to show you what changes you need to make
- analyse performance metrics, to make better sales forecasts and rostering decisions
And there are many more features you can unleash. After learning all there is to know, you can then transfer this know-how to your team, fast-track their learning process, and set them up to succeed. This will mean your team won’t waste time learning from the mistakes you’ve already made. And think of how many tears and resources this will save. That’s what good call center management is all about.
3. Train like you mean it
There’s nothing worse than arriving in a job, being plonked down and left alone not sure what to do. This clearly could mean many slip-ups in a call centre, where a new employees needs to tackle a new phone system, understand a campaign they’re working on, learn a new call script given to them, keep up with the pace of calls, understand what to do with performance metrics, and not freak out about looming sales targets. Without call center training, it’s a recipe for disaster.
All of these things and more need to be explained. And not just once, which is a common mistake in the heat of a busy call centre, but on a regular basis so performance can be improved and tweaked.
Ways you can achieve this, include:
- setting weekly training tasks that are quick and easy to complete
- using gamification techniques to make training fun and engaging
- letting staff complete modules from home in their own chosen time
- monitoring agent progress and offering live training tips while they’re still on a call
- training in person from time to time, as there’s nothing like human contact
Mixing face-to-face training with online training, in particular, is a great way to show your staff that you’re invested in their wellbeing. And this kind of respect will be returned in kind.
Agents that have been better trained will show this through their seamless movement from call to call, the way they handle their clients with familiarity and style, and their ability to deliver sales results that are constantly on the climb. And that’s what you call a good return on investment.
3. Keep call center management people focussed
For anyone who’s been pushed around by a personal trainer, in that slightly masochistic but also weirdly pleasurable way, the mantra of ‘don’t focus on the weight, focus on the goals’ turns out to be a an effective way to achieve better results in any context.
And this is exactly what needs to happen with your call center management style to improve the performance of your outbound call centre. Don’t focus on the numbers, focus on the individual and team goals.
Spend the time leading with passion, training with intent and showing every staff member the ropes. Then watch them grow into passionate sales experts, invested in constant learning, and focussed on delivering the best customer experience every time.
And if you do it right, you may arrive at that very sweet spot that only a few call centres experience in a lifetime. A place where everyone feels they are part of something special, driven by the same sense of destiny, with the best tech at their fingertips, and in a company with a difference. And this is something money can’t buy that only comes out of great call center management.
Want to know what else it takes to lead your outbound team to success? Download our comprehensive 35-page ebook on the 14 ways to make more call centre sales without spending more.
Image via Flickr CC/Andrew Magill