Call Centre Management Tips

Filed under - Hints and Tips,

Everything to improve call centre management and training:-

Acknowledge your staff
Making management information available to team leaders and customer service representatives means acknowledging that they are professional people, doing a professional job.
Contributed by Anne-Marie Stagg, Co-Op Financial Services

Agent input
Give agents the opportunity to determine how they will work together and create their own team rules for performance.
Contributed by Simon Pell, Chairman, Pell & Bales

Automate where most cost effective
Identify the more mundane and repetitive calls the agents are taking and see if there are ways to automate them. This will help increase the job satisfaction of your agents, by allowing them to focus on the more interesting and challenging calls.
Contributed by Nigel Solsby, IR Business Development at Avaya

Availability to work as team, not location
Make it possible for individual team members or contact centre agents to work as a team dependent on their availability but irrespective of their location thereby making life easier for home workers, individuals limited in mobility but not in capability and those on maternity leave. And of course at the same time ease the pressure on the contact centre manager to recruit and cover for leave of absence situations.
Contributed by Lesley Hansen, Marketing Director, TeleWare Group Plc

Choose your headset
Give staff a choice of headset so ensuring they are working in the style they are most comfortable with – there are today an almost limitless number of telephone headsets to choose from – internal, external, fixed or mobile.
Contributed by Lesley Hansen, Marketing Director, TeleWare Group Plc

Choose your reward carefully

  • The reward needs to be something to which people will aspire so that they will work hard to achieve their goals. Choosing the reward depends very much on the audience. Retail vouchers, for instance, are always a popular choice as they provide such a wide variety of goods and the opportunity for people to choose how they’re spent.
  • Think outside the box for rewards. Individuals who are cash-rich, but time-poor will appreciate time off for children’s birthdays. Meanwhile those with high achievement motivation may be glad to further their career through extra training.
  • Research has shown that non-monetary incentives are more attractive than a cash equivalent. Cash rewards tend to end up as part of the housekeeping.
  • Any incentive should be seen as a reward for hard work, and not as a bribe.
  • Make sure that rewards are presented personally by a senior member of staff, perhaps at a team meeting or conference. A public pat on the back does wonder for morale

Contributed by Clare Rutherford, business incentives manager at House of Fraser

Communicate with Marketing
Go and speak to Marketing and make them your best friend. They are probably trying to figure out what is on the customer’s mind today. You probably have this information.
Contributed by Bill Durr, Witness Systems

Communicate regularly using more than one medium. Think about company e-mails, weekly and monthly meetings. Update participants regularly on progress, reminding them of the rewards available to maintain enthusiasm.
Contributed by Clare Rutherford, business incentives manager at House of Fraser

Empower your team
If you want to improve customer service, give agents the authority and tools to provide the right way to treat customers – don’t beat them over the head with Average Handling Time (AHT).
Contributed by Oscar Alban, Witness Systems

Feedback on performance
Contact centre performance is often thought of at too generic a level, but it’s the ability of every representative to delight the customer while managing the cost to serve that makes the difference. Let them know how they’re doing without the need for any managerial intervention.
Contributed by Tim Burfoot, Managing Director at Teasel Performance Management

Forget status
Forget status. Management information should help people manage the contribution they are making, regardless of their role in the organisation.
Contributed by Tim Burfoot, Managing Director at Teasel Performance Management

Know your team
Improve the teamwork in the call centre.  How well do the team leaders really know their teams? On a Tuesday ask your team leaders to tell you what each of their team did at the weekend. Hint. You will be surprised at the results. We have often seen that the best performing team leaders know what all of their teams did, while the lowest performing often had very little idea.
Contributed by Clare Rutherford, business incentives manager at House of Fraser

Making information available
Think about which groups of people really influence real-time performance, and about what information they need. Start by making management information available to them.

Making management information relevant

  • Make sure the information you receive is directly related to the operational performance you are trying to deliver. If it’s not, change it.
  • Ask yourself what action you can take personally to improve performance as a result of the information you receive.
  • If there isn’t a direct relationship between the information you receive and your ability to change what you do for the better, you’re probably receiving the wrong information.
  • Be clear about ‘what good performance looks like’ for supervisors, team leaders and individual representatives, as well as centre managers. Once you’re clear about this, it’s much easier to define the management information each group needs to support the delivery of high performance.
  • If an individual can’t actually do anything with a piece of information, it’s the wrong information.

Contributed by Tim Burfoot, Managing Director at Teasel Performance Management

Management information
It’s not just for managers
Contributed by Tim Burfoot, Managing Director at Teasel Performance Management

Measure the correct information
Develop a culture where ACD statistics do not get in the way. Measure attendance, and total time on the phone and available time rather than the number of calls and the average handling time.
Contributed by Anne-Marie Stagg, Co-Op Financial Services

Motivation Schemes

  • The more you know about them, the easier it becomes to choose the right reward. Would personnel welcome holiday vouchers, for example, or do their interests and hobbies preclude going away? How would they feel about vouchers for an ‘experience’ or adventure? If they’re older, the chance to go white-water rafting may not appeal.
  • If you decide to run a motivation programme, make sure you create a lot of interest around the scheme. The use of posters, newsletters, e-mails and so on will help communicate details and keep people informed and updated. Ask heads of department to brief their teams.
  • Consider theming the scheme to make it fun. A theme could be something topical, for example, linking in England playing Australia for the Ashes, or around Wimbledon. Alternatively, you could link it to another sport such as snooker, and design progress charts to look like snooker scoreboards and use snooker terminology in the copy. Contributed by Clare Rutherford, business incentives manager at House of Fraser
  • Introduce an ‘air miles’ scheme to reward agent loyalty. Customer service reps could accumulate air miles for the number of hours they work every month which they can cash in for extra time off, flights abroad, etc.
    Contributed by Simon Pell, Chairman, Pell & Bales

Relevant Training

  • Give your calling staff professional voice training. Ensure they think of themselves as ‘voice professionals’. (Drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks, be aware of ‘voice enemies’ and ‘voice friends’).
  • Immersion training: ensure every agent has direct experience of the client’s organisation, product and services – and empathy with the client’s brand.
  • Do more workshops with callers on improvisation and conversational skills.
  • Play agents recordings of their own calls. Ask them to critique them and encourage them to find their own areas for development. Contributed by Simon Pell, Chairman, Pell & Bales
  • Capture and record conversations that are marvellous and use them as a training aid.
    Contributed by Brendan Nugent, O2 Ireland

Suitable break areas
Create a designated quiet zone where agents can truly rest their voice during breaks.
Contributed by Greg Duffy, ICT Solutions, BT Business

Team Leader Investment
Invest in your team leaders – they are the most important resource in your call centre.
Contributed by Anne-Marie Stagg, Co-Op Financial Services

Working together
Customer service representatives are most likely to be the first people to feel the effects of service degradation. With the right kind of management information, they can act quickly to manage the customer impact and support the organisation’s wider objectives.


Author: Jonty Pearce

Published On: 8th Feb 2007 - Last modified: 7th Apr 2021
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1 Comment
  • Some very solid and empowering comments on this thread. Well done and so easy to do, yet so overlooked within daily operations (unfortunately).

    Thanks for the good reading.

    Bob Brigaitis 11 Dec at 02:57