Typical Roles in a Call Centre

Here are job overviews and descriptions for all call centre roles, from a Call Centre Advisor to the Manager.

What Are the Typical Roles in a Call Centre?

Within a call centre there are common roles: a Centre Manager, Team Leaders and Advisors. There are also other functions such as HR, Trainers or Operational Management that play a vital role. The following information could come in useful when trying to set up a call centre, or just familiarise yourself with the industry. The size of the centre will determine the number of Team Leaders and additional support positions.

  • Call Centre Advisor
  • Team Leader/Manager/Supervisor
  • Call Centre Manager
  • Head of the Call Centre
  • Customer Services Director
  • Digital Contact Director
  • Operational Manager
  • Resource Planning Manager
  • Human Resources (HR)
  • Trainer
  • Coach

For the typical skills each member of the call centre has, read this article on Skills and Competencies for Roles in The Call Centre.

Here is a typical organisation tree for a call centre:

A flow diagram of the typical structure of the call centre. At the apex of the hierarchy is the Customer Service Director, with the Contact Centre Manager below. Reporting to these roles are the team leaders or supervisors. The Call Centre Agent reports into them.

A flow diagram of the typical structure and roles within the call centre.

Roles Within the Call Centre

Call Centre Advisor

For a full list of names used to refer to this call centre position, read our piece: What Should We Call Frontline Call Centre Staff?

A female call centre agent smiles whilst looking away from the camera

In principle, this role is to handle telephone calls on behalf of an organisation, to fulfil customer requirements.

This generally involves customer calls coming into the contact centre, which are known as inbound calls. However, an advisor may also contact customers themselves, maybe for market research purposes or perhaps to sell them something. These are known as outbound calls.

In addition to phone calls, advisors often communicate with customers via email, webchat and post.

Advisors are often referred to by other names, including: Agents, Customer Service Representatives and Associates.

In this piece, we have compiled the best qualities of a contact centre advisors.

Main Duties Generally Include…

  • Providing customer service
  • Selling products or services
  • Undertaking customer research

Important Skills

  • Clear communicator
  • Problem solver
  • Listener
  • Empathetic
  • Good at building rapport
  • Adaptable

Additional Information

It is worth noting that an individual advisor is unlikely to perform all of the duties listed above. Instead, factors like the nature of the company behind the call centre and the advisor’s personality are likely to influence the duties that they might perform. Or, as is the case in many call centres, advisors may be blended, i.e. they both take inbound and make outbound calls.

However, if the roles are split, a call centre advisor who is primarily involved in selling may typically earn a lower base salary than those who provide customer service. But they will earn commission, so the overall salary could be much higher, if the sales advisor delivers results!

For more on this role, read our: Contact Centre Agent: Example Job Description and Duties

Team Leader

A Team Leader, often known as a supervisor or a Team Manager, is responsible for managing a team of advisors. Read more about the difference between being a manager and a leader here.

The Team Leader’s responsibilities are to ensure individual advisors are performing against targets, while reviewing their performance and coaching them to do so.

A group of white arrows, follow a yellow arrow

There is much more to the position than just that, though, as multi-tasking is very much central to the role. For example, Team Leaders are also expected to meet on a regular basis with their Manager, both to provide feedback and to receive instructions or actions. We have a article on How to be a Leader in the Contact Centre.

A general list of duties, including keeping advisors informed of what is happening in the centre and anything that may affect them, is listed below.

Main Responsibilities Generally Include…

  • Setting targets for both individuals and teams
  • Measuring the performance of both individuals and teams
  • Offering advisors guidance and feedback
  • Helping to optimise procedures
  • Finding ways to motivate advisors
  • Ensuring advisors adhere to company policy, e.g. attendance
  • Updating, and preparing performance reports for, the Call Centre Manager

Important Skills

  • Customer focused
  • Expert product/service and job knowledge
  • Dependability
  • Clear communicator
  • Multi-tasking
  • Organised

Additional Information

Despite the long list of duties that make up the job description, it is also not uncommon for Team Leaders to get involved in the recruitment of new advisors or to work on specific projects for the centre. For more information on making sure you pick the best team for your contact centre, read this article on How to Choose Your Contact Centre Team.

Also, many contact centres would view a Team Leader who is tech-savvy as a significant bonus, with a knowledge of relevant computer programs and telephone software. Speaking another language and being a good negotiator may also be helpful, depending on the nature of the organisation.

Typically, a Team Leader will look after a team of eight to twelve advisors.

For more on this position, read our: Team Leader: Example Job Description

Call Centre Manager

A man in a blue shirt talks to a group of people sat around a table

This is the person who is ultimately responsible for the overall performance and budget of the centre. They will make decisions regarding the people, the processes, the technology and the customers that are part of the call centre and the future strategy and development of the centre.

In addition to this, the Call Centre Manager is usually the person who liaises with other departments such as HR, IT, and, especially if it is a sales centre, Sales and Marketing. In this article we talk you through 6 Steps to Becoming a Confident Call Centre Manager.

Other duties include being responsible for recruitment, development and coaching. A full list is presented below.

Main Duties Generally Include…

  • Being responsible for performance management (e.g. setting objectives and reviewing KPIs)
  • Identifying areas of under performance
  • Creating performance improvement plans
  • Conducting internal reviews
  • Ensuring clear communication across the call centre
  • Putting together business cases for extra funding and technology
  • Creating and maintaining a positive culture
  • Championing quality

Read this article for 3 Essential Management Routines for a Contact Centre Manager.

Important Skills

  • Influential leader
  • Skilled report writer
  • Adaptable to changing business priorities
  • Tech-savvy
  • Self-motivated
  • Good communicator

Following on from these important skills, in this article we discuss 10 Essential Skills for Every Contact Centre Manager. 

Additional Information

From the duties listed above, it is clear that the role has a strong “hands-on” element to it. In fact, depending on the size of the centre, the Call Centre Manager will also have a number of Team Leaders (or Assistant Managers for larger centres) reporting to them.

This can be seen in , carried out in 2016, which reported the average agent to team leader ratio is less than 10, but the majority of team leaders have a larger team than this.

The results of a poll which show ratio of agents to each team leader, 11.2% have 0 to 5 per leader, 19.2% a 6 to 8 ratio, 22.2% a 9 to 10 ratio, 13.6% a 11 to 12 ratio, 16.6% a 13 to 15 ratio, 12.7% a 16 to 20 ratio, 2.1% a 21 to 25 ratio and 2.4% have 25 plus.

A poll showing that the average number of agents to team leader is 10.

Being in a hands-on role also requires other skills in coaching and negotiating, verbal English, as well as having a high work ethic, to lead the call centre from the front.

For more on this role, read our: Call Centre Agent: Example Job Description

Head of the Call Centre

Contact Centre Heads lead contact centre operations of various sizes. Typically this is a fast-paced area of business that is challenging and changing continuously.

Icons depicting the head of the department overlooking the team

Someone in this position would be expected to shape the future of the contact centre operation, to improve the customer experience through each available channel.

Take a look at whether your Contact Centre is Prepared for the Challenges of 2020.

Typically, the Head of the Call Centre would report to the Customer Services Director or Managing Director and would be held accountable for the performance of all call centre teams. Yet there is much more to the role, as highlighted in the duties listed below.

Main Duties Generally Include…

  • Budgetary / profit and loss management
  • Decision making regarding people, processes, technology and the future
  • Developing plans for the use of new tools and technologies
  • Coordinating the contact centre management team at all levels
  • Ensuring KPIs are met or exceeded
  • Overseeing recruitment and scheduling processes
  • Reviewing and clearly defining all contact centre roles

For useful information on managing your call centre, take a look at our articles about call centre management. 

Important Skills

  • People management
  • Budgetary management
  • Organisation and communication
  • Analytical with an understanding of complex data
  • Problem solver
  • Team builder/director

Additional Information

In addition to each of the duties specified above, the Head of the Call Centre often shares duties with the Call Centre Manager. This can include quality assurance and ensuring compliance to regulatory and legal obligations, as well as harnessing the voice of the customer and driving performance.

For more on this role, read our: Head of Contact Centre: Example Job Description

Customer Services Director

A person in a suit holding a conductors baton

The Customer Service Director is a key strategic and operational leadership role. Whoever is in this position will be responsible for the development, continuous improvement and delivery of customer service.

In addition, the Customer Service Director will be accountable for the strategic development of operational requirements, processes and technology, with aim of delivering key service outcomes for customers in either a B2B or B2C environment. Take a look at our articles on Customer Service Strategy, for some ideas to improve your contact centre.

The role has significant levels of responsibility and accountability for operational delivery and includes tasks such as those listed below.

Main Duties Generally Include…

  • Leading and developing a senior operational management team
  • Maintaining strong partnerships across the board and stakeholders
  • Negotiating the effective utilisation of resource
  • Developing strategies to improve customer service
  • Empowering and engaging customer service teams
  • Find ways to better First Contact Resolution, Customer Satisfaction and other customer-specific metrics
  • Reducing the cost to serve

Important Skills

  • Relationship building and management
  • Negotiator
  • Motivator
  • Collaborator
  • Strategist
  • Customer focused

Additional Information

Although the job mostly involves strategic and operational duties, a Customer Service Director also has an important responsibility of interpreting management information and developing strategies and making recommendations to further customer service.Take a look at these contact centre goals. 

For example, if First Contact Resolution Rates are perceived to be too low, it would be up to the Customer Service Director to develop ideas for improving the score. Ideas such as creating a survey, mystery shopping or improving calibration.

For more on this role, read our: Customer Services Director: Example Job Description

Digital Contact Director

The role is primarily responsible for the uptake of digital channels and customer contact efficiency across digital service lines.

A director chair, with digital contact written on a megaphone

Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the Digital Contact Director to deliver a service that does not compromise existing revenue, service and margin position.

Also, it is up to the person in this role to lead the creation/development of a digital contact strategy, researching, proposing and designing the correct digital channels that match brand image and ambitions. Click here for Ways to Improve the Effectiveness of Your Digital Customer Service. 

Main Duties Generally Include…

  • Gaining an understanding of digital market trends and opportunities that are relevant to the contact centre
  • Ensuring consistent delivery of service on email, web, live chat, video, social and other correspondence
  • Designing and implementing ways to develop various channels
  • Identifying and researching third-party suppliers
  • Securing executive/board level buy-in on projects

Important Skills

  • Digital design
  • Knowledge of how to improve the user experience
  • Researcher who is aware of market trends
  • Strategist
  • Tech-savvy
  • Problem solver

Additional Information

While skills in digital design are essential, it is also imperative that a Digital Contact Director is a customer experience expert who understands how technology can be used to improve the customer journey. Click here to discover how customer journey mapping can improve your digital customer service.

With this in mind, it would be expected that a candidate for this position would have experience of digital transformation in a similar organisation. This is so the contact centre has full belief in any digital proposition that the Digital Contact Director puts forward.

For more on this role, read our: Digital Contact Director: Example Job Description

Operational Manager

A group of cogs is in the foreground, with a man in a shirt behind them

As a support role in larger centres, the Operational Manager would tend to look after the operational elements of the contact centre.

A person in this role would also be expected to liaise with the Team Leaders and the Call Centre Manager regarding performance management information, and they would usually be the link with the IT department or technology suppliers.

So an Operations Manager would have to be good with statistics and technically minded, while communicating with all levels of the contact centre. Read this article to understand the Key Components of a Call Centre Operation. 

Main Duties Generally Include…

  • Leading operations to ensure KPI targets are met
  • Planning and implementing contact centre strategy
  • Working with Training, Recruitment and HR to plan resourcing campaigns
  • Designing continuous improvements of processes
  • Maintaining engagement with key client contacts
  • Setting and reviewing quality performance standards

Important Skills

  • Knowledge of operations and customer support
  • People management
  • Critical thinking
  • Business and technology management
  • Commercial understanding
  • Motivator

Additional Information

Being the Operational Manager also means being in charge of an operations team, potentially across multiple sites, to deliver a consistent customer experience. For a successful operation, read these 9 tips.

This factor alone means that there are additional skills required for someone in this role. Skills such as the ability to encourage, manage and inspire groups of people, while ensuring operational excellence, service improvement and engagement.

For more on this role, read our: Senior Operations Manager: Example Job Description

Resource Planning Manager

The primary duty of the Resource Planning Manager is to lead the team that plans the effective utilisation of the workforce, forecasting and scheduling.

Different areas of a business set out on a virtual floor plan

However, that is not all, as some Resource Planning Managers will also have responsibility for the production and delivery of MI (Management Information) and will carry out duties like those listed below.

Main Duties Generally Include…

  • Overseeing and developing a team of forecasting and planning analysts
  • Reviewing, analysing and measuring performance
  • Monitoring and proposing effective shift patterns
  • Preparing forecasts and budgets for call and non-call workloads
  • Making recruitment and software recommendations
  • Managing resource and planning teams

Important Skills

  • Data management
  • Analytical
  • Forecaster
  • People management
  • Tech-savvy
  • Coordinator

Additional Information

For some great resources for planning in your call centre, take a look at our articles about planning.

While the Resource Planning Manager will likely have to contribute to all the duties listed above, it is also important that their schedules, forecasts and plans are commercially viable. This requires customer focus and good communication with other contact centre departments.

So it may also be important for someone in this role to be business aware, have good customer knowledge and flexibility.

For more on this role, read our: Resource Planning Manager: Example Job Description

Human Resources (HR)

A puzzle where all the pieces fit together. The pieces have head outlines on.

There needs to be a very close relationship between HR and the call centre due to HR’s ongoing people activities such as recruitment and training. Depending on the company, there may be HR resources within the call centre.

Usually HR are responsible for ensuring that terms and conditions of employment and job descriptions are all in place, as well as organising recruitment and possibly training for the call centre. They also deal with issues that individuals may have personally or professionally.


A happy woman points to a flipchart board

Some centres have trainers as part of the overall team because of the high volume of induction and ongoing training that is required.

They are responsible for preparing and delivering training to the agents in the centre.


A compass points to the word coaching written in blue

In larger centres, in addition to the Team Leader, each team may have a team coach who will provide additional support and technical knowledge to the agents.

This is usually someone who has been a very good agent and has a good way of getting information over and helping someone to improve their performance. We have some tips on training the trainer, to help it work in your call centre.

Have we missed any common call centre roles on our list?

If so, please let us know in an email to Call Centre Helper.

Many thanks to Paul Weald for helping to provide some of this information.

Click this link to see skills and competencies for roles in The Call Centre

Published On: 24th Jul 2017 - Last modified: 11th Feb 2020
Read more about - Call Centre Life, , ,

  1. Very informative-

    Jessie Maima 18 Oct at 1:24 am
  2. Thanks for the information it’s helpful to me.

    H. Rekaiye Kowou 7 Sep at 12:52 pm
  3. cheers fam

    jeff 24 Feb at 11:27 am
  4. Job well done.

    Noel Vandan 3 Jul at 3:28 pm
  5. We’ve got an Engagement and Development Lead within my operation – they are responsible for our staff engagement strategy and ensuring all members of the team (140 staff) have bespoke development plans in place. They own succession planning for frontline staff and co-ordinate with L&D when we recruit/onboard new starters

    Matthew Metcalfe 27 Jul at 10:43 am
  6. Much helpful <3 Thanks for sharing

    Zayn 19 Aug at 8:25 pm
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