When an organization, like a call center, is strong from within, it reflects in the success of the business’ functions, i.e., better customer support, higher lead conversions, etc. And this success is built on a well-structured hierarchy which brings about order and facilitates smooth functioning across departments.
Such a hierarchy is essential because it allows the employees to acknowledge the chain of command, understand the responsibility of various call center positions, and use it as a reference for their decision making process. A company that doesn’t follow a stable hierarchy, won’t hold its employees, managers, and executives accountable for their actions.
In simple terms, a call center organizational structure functions like the human body. The head will instruct various body parts on what functions they are supposed to perform and react to various situations. Similarly, in a call center, the top-level management will provide a list of tasks and projects that have to be completed by the rest of the employees; and assigns specialised roles to each team.
The Role of Management in the Call Center Hierarchy:
As mentioned before, the top-level management roles like supervisors and executives are responsible for setting goals and directing the employees towards achieving that goal. The top-level and mid-level call center positions are responsible for getting the job done, either on a monthly or daily basis.
Accountability in a hierarchy:
The core principle that makes a hierarchy work is accountability. Without a stable structure and accountability, the call center management (on various levels) won’t be able to perform their functions properly. When there is an effective hierarchy in the company, the management can hold employees accountable for their performance. This way there is proper work assessment, enhanced productivity, and positive performance-based results.
Hierarchy Helps Provide a Clear Career Path:
An authoritative hierarchy helps provide a clear career path for each employee, at a call center. The outline of an executive, managerial, and supervisory position can help the employees figure out their career goals and plan out their climb up the corporate ladder. The hierarchy can also be used as motivation or employees who want to get promoted in the company at a high level of productivity.
Inside the Modern-day Call Center
Here’s a detailed look at the various call center positions within the modern-day call center, and how they help in the creation of a company’s hierarchy:
- Team leader/manager/supervisor
- Call center advisor
- Call center manager
- Head of the call center
- Customer services director
- Operational manager
- Resource planning manager
A team manager, also known as a team leader, is mostly responsible for directing and managing a team of agents. The team leader’s responsibilities include ensuring individual members perform well enough to meet targets, reviewing their performance and encouraging them to sharpen their skills and boost productivity. Multitasking is an essential skill that all team leaders are required to possess. They are expected to hold regular meetings with their managers to provide feedback and receive instructions on their actions.
Some of the General Duties Include:
- Set individual and team targets
- Measure individual and team performance
- Offer guidance and feedback to members
- Help optimize various procedures
- Look for ways to motivate team members
- Ensuring agents follow company policy, for instance, attendance and arriving to work on time
- Preparing performance reports
Team Leads need to have Some of the Following Important Skills:
- Job and service knowledge
- Customer focus
- Clear communication
Call Center Agent:
Call center agents form the face of a call center’s operations. They are actively involved in reaching out to customers as part of outbound call services as well as addressing customer queries and questions as part of inbound call services. Additionally, call center agents also communicate with their customers through email, webchats, and chat depending on the company’s capabilities and service offerings. The call center agent is also known as a customer service representative or associate.
The 2 main duties of these call center positions include:
- Providing optimum customer service
- Selling services or products
Important Skills that Call Center Agent Jobs to need to have are:
- Problem-solving skills
- Clear communication
- Listening skills
- Being empathetic
- Good at building a positive bond
- Ability to think on their feet
Call Center Manager:
The manager is responsible for the overall performance and budget of the call center. They take on the call center roles and responsibilities that influence the decision-making process, the people, technology, and the customers. Additionally, the call center manager is also the one who handles liaisons with other departments like IT, sales, and HR. Some of the duties involve supervising recruiting and development activities.
Some of the Additional Responsibilities are:
- Identify areas where an agent is underperforming
- Taking on the responsibility of performance management
- Creating plans to improve performance
- Conducting reviews internally
- Accumulating business cases for extra funding and technology
- Creating and maintaining a positive culture
- Maintaining the quality of the organization
- Good motivation skills
- Customer-focused mindset
- Ability to collaborate
Call Center Head:
Every call center organizational structure features a head who leads the operations. An individual in this position will be required to shape the future of the contact center operations and find ways to improve the customer experience across available channels. Usually, the head of the call center will have to report to the managing director and also be held responsible for the overall performance of the call center team.
Here are the Main Duties of the Head of a Call Center Organization:
- Budget management
- Decision making in terms of people, technology, processes, and the future growth
- Coming up with efficient plans that leverage new tools and technologies
- Coordinating with call center management at various levels
- Ensuring KPIs are met
- Monitoring scheduling and recruitment
- Clearly defining all the roles within the call center
Essential Skills Include:
- People and budget management
- Communication and organization
- Good understanding of complex data
- Team building
Customer Services Director:
The customer service director is an individual who is involved in key strategies and operations. He is involved in a leadership position that is responsible for the continuous development and improvement in customer service delivery. Also, they will be held accountable for the strategic development of any operational needs, technology, and process, along with meeting the aim of delivering key service outcomes for customers in either B2B or B2C environments.
The Main Duties of the Customer Service Director are:
- Developing and leading a senior operational management team
- Maintaining strong and positive partnerships across the board, including the stakeholders
- Developing strategies to enhance customer service, while reducing costs
Important skills include:
- Customer focus
- Negotiation skills
The position of the operational manager is one of the essential call center positions. The responsibilities include looking after operational elements of the call center. The operational manager will have to meet with team leaders and call center managers to talk about performance evaluations and information, especially if it’s linked to the IT department or technology suppliers. They have to be strong in technical knowhow and statistics, especially when communicating with all the levels within the call center.
Their Main Duties are:
- Leading various operations to ensure meeting KPI targets
- Planning and executing the call center strategy
- Working with training, recruitment and HR to plan any resourcing campaigns
- Designing continuous improvements or processes
- Maintaining engagement with key clients
- Setting a quality standard and reviewing accordingly
Essential Skills Include:
- Knowledge of operations and customer support
- People management skills
- Critical thinking
- Motivation skills
Resource Planning Manager:
Their primary duty is leading the team that is responsible for planning, scheduling, forecasting and ensuring the effective utilization of the workforce. Some of the main duties include:
- Overseeing and developing a forecasting and planning team (comprising of analysts)
- Reviewing, analyzing, and measuring performance
- Proposing and monitoring effective shift patterns
- Making any software or recruitment recommendations if needed
- Data management
- Analytical skills
- Tech-savvy nature
- Coordination skills
Call centers are places where there is always a constant influx of new recruits. How do managers that these employees fit in with the organization’s workflow and vision right from the get go? Enter the trainer. Trainers handle multiple teams and conduct induction programmes to ensure new recruits are aligned with the company’ expectations and principles. They have the responsibility of delivering and preparing training sessions to agents and getting them up to speed with the tools and tech used in the call center.
Large scale call centers, especially those who cater to overseas clients, have team coaches who will provide additional support and technical/linguistic training to the agents. While trainers ensure the overall performance of a team, the coach acts on a more microscopic level and engages with each member individually. The coach is usually someone who is personable and has a unique way of providing information that will help agents improve their performance and self confidence.
Call center positions at every level need to work seamlessly to ensure maximum productivity and performance efficiency. Reputed call centers like Expert Callers have multiple teams across the world that are brimming with talented and skilled individuals at all levels. Together, we work as one single entity to help business owners like you with all your outsourcing needs.