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The role of the call center team leader

What is the role of a call center team leader and what are the things he has to keep in mind in maintaining quality...

standards? First, congratulations on asking the question in the first place. The fact that you're concerned about continuous quality improvement enough to proactively seek new ideas is a big step toward achieving that goal. Keep the issue top of mind and you'll likely find you're ahead of the curve just because you've made it a priority. The most important issue in keeping quality standards high in a contact center is agent morale. Seek new and creative ways to keep agents motivated. They are the heart of the contact center and if they feel they are adding value, quality will remain high. It sounds obvious, but many managers take this aspect of contact center leadership lightly and quality invariably suffers as a result. There are other things that you can do to assist agents in maintaining a high quality standard. 1) Training Nothing demoralizes a person more than being put on the spot. How would you feel to have a customer ask you about a product your company advertises and you have never seen any information about? You would be embarrassed, frustrated and would feel you obviously do not matter in the eyes of company management. So make certain your agents have adequate training on new products, new marketing campaigns, etc. 2) Attentiveness Much like agent morale, this may seem obvious yet many contact center leaders do not pay close attention to subtle and not-so-subtle changes in their center. This generally means monitoring all aspects of the contact center and continually looking for new ways to monitor quality. It means watching volume trends to sure that you are properly staffed at the right times of the day, week and year. It also means tracking and correlating call times with various products - if one product is causing agents to spend a long time on phones with customer, perhaps an auto response can be generated or improved documentation with the product. These are just a couple possible trends to regularly monitor and act upon. In addition to improving service, this makes the agents feel you understand what they are dealing with. This also means being attentive to individual agents needs. If an agent has just had an extremely difficult customer, give them a few extra minutes to decompress. It's very difficult to be pleasant and helpful 10 seconds after getting screamed at. It's also a good idea to regularly solicit quality improvement ideas from the agents themselves - they are often overlooked as a resource. 3) The physical environment A final suggestion is to take a fresh look at your physical environment. Or ask an outsider to come and do that for you. Have you ever noticed that you do not tend to notice the small cracks or paint scuffs in your own house but they stand out like sore thumbs when you go to someone else's? The same is true of your contact center environment. You've become accustomed to the lighting (even though it is terrible) and you don't notice how dirty the carpet is (even though you can't tell what color it is anymore). A run down or dirty contact center environment has been shown to hinder agent performance and quality of service. Keep your contact center ship shape!

For more information, check out searchCRM's Call Center/Customer Interaction Center Best Web Links.


This was last published in September 2001

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