How to Develop Team Leaders in the Contact Centre


Orit Avital, General Manager at Ottorita, shares her advice on how best to support team leaders when managing contact centre advisors.

A key role of the team leader is boosting advisor happiness. It is the duty of the team leader to lead professional development processes for advisors, support them during calls, maintain their motivation level and their connection to the contact centre etc.

A manager who fails to notice this and doesn’t invest time in the development of these team leader skills will be unable to create a positive culture in their contact centre. This will damage the quality of service that is given to customers, while it may also create problems in terms of attrition and absenteeism.

Therefore, contact centre managers must recognise the importance of the team leader and invest time in the development of their personal skills, to help spread a good culture.

So, let’s take a look at what messages should be passed down to team leaders, so they can best influence advisor performance and happiness.

Key Messages to Pass Onto Team Leaders

Here are four key messages that your contact centre managers should (hopefully) be already passing on to their team leaders.

Be Prepared to Have Difficult Conversations

Avoidance and disregard of difficult conversations with an advisor will quite possibly escalate into a severe issue, which demands an even more complex confrontation.

Don’t be shy of confrontations, prepare for them. Use these conversations for learning and drawing conclusions for how you could better handle such an issue in the future.

Treat Each Member of the Team as an Equal

You are bound to have more personal chemistry with some of the advisors than others. But there is no room for favouritism.

It is very important to ask yourself: am I providing each advisor with all of the tools that I can provide them with? Am I choosing to give certain individuals less or more of my time and effort than others?

This is an ethical approach and, by following this, Advisor Satisfaction – which is being deemed an increasingly important contact centre metric – can be kept stable.

Create a Team Feedback Loop

After every interaction with an advisor, make sure that you respond with feedback. Whether this is praising or correcting feedback, both are useful for the advisor to fulfil their duties.

After every interaction with an advisor, make sure that you respond with feedback.

Feedback loops are essential for your success, so use feedback frequently and on a routine basis. This applies not only to scheduled quality/coaching sessions, but to ad hoc conversations also.

Get to Know Your Advisors Personally

Think about these questions on an individual level:

  • What are your advisors like?
  • What is important to them?
  • What is their professional and personal background?

Use this knowledge in each advisor’s regular management and contact centre involvement. Make use of an advisor’s hobbies in the contact centre to strengthen their bond with their job.

For example, if the contact centre wants to redesign its walls and you know of an advisor who likes painting, why not ask them for a creative contribution?

Activities That Can Help Improve a Team Leader’s Skill Set

Just giving team leaders messages, like the four above, may not be enough. Investing time into developing their skill sets is also important.

Here are five activities that will be useful to help assess team leader performance and help them to progress their skills.

Give Team Leaders a Contact Centre-Wide Project

Give team leaders responsibility for an activity or project on the entire contact centre level. This could be through something as simple as running a campaign to improve healthy eating, recycling or so on.

By doing this, you will be able to view and perceive their decision-making processes and greater involve them in wider contact centre operations.

Ask Team Leaders to Find a Daily “Positive Point”

Ask team leaders to come to you once a day and feedback a positive message regarding one of their team’s advisors. This may be in terms of performance, good customer feedback, job satisfaction and so on.

Having this daily “positive point” will encourage team leaders to focus more on the performance of their advisors and their happiness within the role.

Also, asking the team leader to feedback this “positive point” to the advisor as well as to yourself may be a good idea, to ensure that the advisor feels valued and that their hard work has been recognised.

Make Sure Team Leaders Create Activities for Their Teams

Make certain that team leaders are holding activities for their teams. These activities should ideally be fun and have the purpose of improving performance.

Ideas could include contact centre-related motivational games, knowledge quizzes and team-building activities.

By doing this, you can emphasise the importance of advisor happiness and team cohesion. If your team are all happy and friendly, managing them becomes a whole lot easier.

Hold Learning Meetings Between Team Leaders

Holding regular meetings where team leaders present actions that they initiated at the team level to one another. This will help spread best practices across the contact centre.

Holding regular meetings where team leaders present actions that they initiated at the team level to one another. This will help spread best practices across the contact centre.

In turn, this will also encourage team leader innovation and allow them the space for their development. Also, it will enhance your message regarding the importance of their role.

Give Team Leaders Enough Time on the Floor

This final point isn’t so much an activity for the team leader as one for you. Allow them the space to be on the floor with advisors during the shift to listen to conversations, provide advisors with support and just be involved.

By doing this, you’ll get team leaders engaged with their primary duty – the ongoing management of the contact centre’s advisors.

Too often in contact centres, when work builds up, team leaders choose to reduce the amount of time they spend on the floor. So, look for other areas (such as time spent on emails) where time can be reduced.

For more on the topic of saving time, read our article: Being Super-Busy: The Modern Excuse for Not Coaching Staff

Summary

Orit Avital

Orit Avital

Management of team leaders is one of the primary tasks of every contact centre manager. So, finding practical ways of helping them to support advisors should be integrated into the daily schedule of every manager.

The activities listed above will help to develop team leaders and encourage them to build a positive culture, while the messages – which should come directly from the manager – will also hold them in good stead.

I hope that you find some of these ideas practical, useful and effective. Good luck!

Thanks to Orit Avital at Ottorita for sharing this article with us.

Published On: 29th Aug 2018 - Last modified: 11th Sep 2018
Read more about - Call Centre Management, , , ,


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