We asked our readers for their very best bite-sized tips for contact centre managers.
1. Focus on your performers, not just your under-performers
Focus on your performing advisors, as well as your under-performing advisors. Give everyone the opportunity to develop, whether it’s through training, call coaching or appreciation visits.
Thanks to Emma
2. Forget the numbers
Forget the numbers – a score of 85% means nothing. Focus on what was done well and what could be improved on.
Thanks to Michael
3. Holding up a mirror is much more powerful than painting a picture
Nothing is more powerful for cultural change than for the individuals themselves to realise their own attitudinal issues.
The best way of highlighting this is to take them out and about and see how others work – see their attitudes and who they find difficult to work with.
Thanks to Matthew
4. Share the wisdom
If you run a ‘Call of the Week’ competition, distribute this call to the team for them to listen in to.
It makes each agent strive to provide better calls and have theirs selected, and agents who are in training can pick up tips on different styles and techniques.
Thanks to Samantha
5. Don’t hide in offices
Supervisors should be available and visible – spending time on the floor to tackle issues as soon as they arise.
Thanks to Brian
6. Don’t get slack with adherence
Always make sure processes and procedures are followed at all times – don’t just assume they are.
Thanks to Oscar
7. Give agents the tools to get it right, first time
Provide your agents with every available tool (access rights, procedures, etc.) to resolve as many incidents on first contact as possible.
Thanks to Jan
8. Listen to your agents’ ideas
Great ideas come from within – no one knows the customer like the person talking to them every day. Tap into that experience and use it to improve your working processes.
Thanks to Rebecca
9. Get your team managers coaching, not doing email
Ensure that the first-line team managers are spending 75% of their time sitting with their staff – coaching, coaching and coaching.
Invest in people and focus on quality, and results will flow from this.
Thanks to Penny
10. Switch roles now and again
Let agents sit in on operational and management meetings to help them understand the decisions that affect them.
Then get management to spend the odd day on the phones or answering emails – so they can better understand what’s happening on the front line.
Thanks to Paul
11. Keep the management team involved
The entire management team must be involved in the creation of any change strategy and be on board with the changes you wish to implement.
Senior managers should be seen as inspirational and unified – acting as a team to communicate and roll out the changes.
Thanks to Euan
12. Keep everyone’s goals in line
If your focus is truly that of ‘exceeding customers’ expectations’ then ensure that your mission statement is closely aligned to this.
Make sure everyone’s key performance indicators (KPI) filter down from here, and indeed, that they filter back up.
Thanks to Nikki
13. Have the courage to change things
Don’t fall into the trap of saying “it’s always been this way”, because that just means things aren’t evolving.
Have the courage to change things.
Thanks to Tricia
14. Don’t react to the 1%
When your established process brings good results 99% of the time, don’t go making fundamental changes when that 1% rears its head.
Thanks to Fiona
15. Get the feedback that matters most
We do an annual or six-monthly survey, but only with our high net worth advisors.
Thanks to Cheryl
16. Let your agents compare notes
Let your staff listen to their own and each other’s calls for a peer-to-peer assessment of performance.
Thanks to Lucy
17. Use an agent feedback tool
Use a feedback tool for agents to provide real-time feedback when issues occur, so that this can be shared with management to fix as soon as possible.
Respond to agents on a regular basis to explain what has been done with their query.
Thanks to Karen
18. Think about what you are saying
The language we use is key – remembering that calls are in fact customers changes the way in which the staff react and work, especially in busy times.
Thanks to Luke
19. Look for quality over efficiency
Focus KPIs on quality of interaction rather than efficiency. This will cut down the likelihood of repeat contacts.
Whilst this will increase average handling time, it will also reduce call volumes and increase customer satisfaction.
Thanks to Mark
20. Make sure your whole team are empowered
Empowerment has to be a key part of the culture from the top down – allowing everyone to have a say in how they deliver the best service they can.
It shouldn’t be a KPI, but very much part of an advisor’s day-to-day job.
Thanks to Nikki
Do you have any other tips for contact centre managers?
Please add your feedback
Excellent… Loved these tips
Active listening : agents needs to be listened by their managers to give them the real weight that they deserve ,as a human being at first
Dont obsess with driving a number, think about driving the behaviour that gives you that number
Set an example – a good one. Be approachable.