No one remembers a bad boss. At least not for the right reasons. But everyone adores and remembers a good one.
Leadership is one of the fundamental pillars on which industries are built and successful teams are created. An individual’s values of good leadership will determine how effective he or she is as a team leader or manager. A common quality that all great managers and leaders possess is they inspire their employees to perform their best and be loyal to the organization. These qualities play an incredible role to achieve and maintain success in business over the long-term scheme of things.
Employees who have had the chance to work with a good manager often describe them as approachable, down to earth, and professional at the same time. But being a good leader doesn’t mean bending over backwards to please them all the time. People may take advantage, and this will affect other critical work that needs to be done. Having a balance is necessary.
We spend a significant third of our lives with our co-workers and employees, so why not try to create an environment where everyone is valued and productivity is supported in a fun way?
Leadership in The Call Center Domain
Clients and customers always look for well-trained and well-informed service agents for a quality call center experience. This could only happen when there is an effective management in place. A role as a team leader in a call center domain could be very demanding especially if there is a large team of agents looking for support and guidance.
A good team leader is capable of delivering both customer and employee satisfaction, if they can make the most of the opportunity on hand. In this blog, we touch upon everything one needs to know and implement to give their best as a team leader role and lead the entire team to make a positive impact.
Responsibilities of A Call Center Team Leader
Every job has its own set of duties and responsibilities that need to be carried out. Generally, a team leader will have to oversee a specific group of representatives or agents whose size may vary.
The following are some of the call center team leader responsibilities to bear in mind:
- Undertake and conduct workshops and training sessions to improve team’s performance
- Track how the team is performing and monitor the work to identify any issues that could slow down progress
- Act as the channel of communication between the call center management and agents
- Improve the overall workplace experience by taking the views and feedback of the agents
- Ensure that the company values and best practices are followed throughout the team
It may be a daunting job, but this is a natural progression of role and career development for service agents who have been handling customers and colleagues for a long period of time. A call center environment needs team leaders with extensive hands-on experience. So, any agent who fits this requirement can work well on the roles and responsibilities of a team leader. In order to fulfill these responsibilities a team leader must have strong interpersonal skills, a drive to succeed, a deep desire to learn and organizational skills.
Management will always expect team leaders to be able to motivate the service agents working under them and drive them to deliver the best customer experience. Therefore, team leaders need to work closely with the management to understand the call center team leader responsibilities and how they need to perform to meet the company expectations.
Challenges of Call Center Team Leaders
In a call center, team leaders have some tough challenges to overcome. Some of them include
There’s a lot to learn from unhappy customers. However, as a call center team leader, one must make sure that agents aren’t making mistakes in the first place. The service delivered to customers needs to be as simple, honest, and clear as possible.
Although it is nearly impossible to not commit mistakes, one can try to learn from the mistakes and use that to deliver better customer experience and service in the future. Individuals responsible for leadership roles in the call center have to educate their agents regarding the same.
At times, team members may have to face frustrated and upset customers who can be abusive as well. Agents might be doing everything in their power to deliver the result the customers want, but they will still be unhappy.
An important part of a call center team leader’s responsibilities is to intervene and talk to the customer to offer a resolution to their issues. Any negative publicity or online review resulting from the ill-handling of customers can affect the reputation of an organization. Hence, a leader needs to handle situations like this with a calm and composed demeanor.
Resistant Team Members
In a leadership role, one may have to face some resistance from certain agents in the team. Team members might feel the approach towards them is too strict or untrustworthy. Whatever might be the reason, resistant team members are a common challenge that team leaders face. The best way to deal with this is to build a strong bond within the team.
Start by candidly discussing any issues they might be facing that could be a possible factor for their dissatisfaction and resistance.
How to be a Good Team Leader?
Good leadership is everything in a call center. But what makes a good team leader? So far, we have already discussed what are the duties of a call center team leader and how they act as a crucial part of customer service environments by being the link between the agents and the management. But that’s not all of it. Here are a few tips to help you become a good call center team leader.
Staff and project management is the primary role of leaders and can be a challenging task. Therefore, newly promoted team leaders and professionals need to be trained well or the management may just be setting them up to underperform or fail once they take over their roles.
As a part of their leadership development initiative, call center organizations can direct their focus on cultivating the following skills among their customer service team leaders.
1. Shrewd Analysis
Team leaders have to ensure that they deliver effective coaching to their team of customer support representatives. Besides, they must be able to observe and analyze their team’s interactions with customers, identify the rights and wrongs, and communicate these to their management. To do this, they have to be highly analytical and keep an eye on the smallest details. It is also highly essential that they clearly articulate their insights and suggestions while coaching their agents.
2. Explaining Call Center Metrics to Service Agents
Clarifying the company’s expectations from the employees is an important part of the role of a leader. This will help to ensure that the agents set their goals right and align their team’s performance according to the priorities. Good leaders can explain these metrics that agents need to focus on and the way these metrics are going to affect the entire customer experience.
3. Dealing with HR issues
It is the job of the team leaders to establish a work environment that promotes fairness and equal opportunity among the employees. Leaders need to ensure that employees have a clear understanding of the company policies so that they can effectively deal with issues and build better relationships among agents. In addition to following company rules, it is also important to uphold transparency to build strong bonds and trust between managers and employees.
4. Prepare well for Team Meetings
Team leaders must always be thoroughly prepared whenever there’s a team meeting. Being prepared is one of the most important qualities of a good team leader. Writing down the topics or issues to be discussed helps keep a meeting short, informative and productive. This also saves a lot of time as there is no deviation from the main purpose of the meeting.
The involvement of the employees is also essential. So, leaders need to encourage their customer support agents to contribute their ideas and insights whenever possible.
5. Motivating Employees and Reducing Attrition
For overall company growth, employee attrition rates need to be as low as possible. Leaders must always strive to keep their team intact and minimize staff reduction. In call centers, customer service agents often quit their jobs due to stress and burnout. Therefore, team leaders should come with new ways to bolster employee engagement. Giving them incentives or organizing team-building activities can be helpful as well. Valuing and appreciating employee efforts also go a long way in lowering the attrition rates and motivating employees to remain a part of the team.
6. Hiring the Right Talent
All leaders need to keep this in mind while looking to hire applicants – a team of highly competent customer service representatives can contribute to the success of the call center team and company. While hiring, it is okay to pay less attention to their tech-savviness, technical skills or their proficiency in advanced tools. What matters more are their soft skills, such as effective communication, empathy, ability to understand team dynamics and work with the team.
7. Team Training
Training and development are one of the most vital processes in a call center environment. The training programs provide representatives with the required knowledge and skills to perform their duties while also meeting the company’s performance standards. All the training sessions aim at increasing the level of competence of the team leaders and their teams so that they can ensure better productivity and higher engagement.
8. Performance Assessment
The time of performance evaluation of employees can be a stressful one. As the incentives and bonuses that the employees will receive depends on the assessment results, team leaders should avoid inaccurate evaluations of members because it can diminish their morale. Therefore, leaders must be trained to be objective while measuring the performance of the employees. It can help collect employee performance data regularly instead of relying on memory alone.
9. Managing Shifting Schedules of Agents
At the end of the day, productivity levels should match the expectations. It is the job of the team leader to ensure this happens. A major factor that helps achieve this is agent scheduling. Team leaders need to understand the peak and idle hours on the operation floor. Once they are clear about that, they can schedule their agents accordingly and make sure that the operations run 24/7. This helps them to assign a task to someone else in case some agents take a leave of absence.
10. Supervising and Implementing Projects
Project management, especially in call centers, is a tough task that demands a lot of multitasking. It is a crucial responsibility for project managers because they have to find the balance between achieving the company’s goals while protecting the well-being of their employees. Hence, leaders must constantly think of creating new plans to delegate the tasks effectively and assign the right resources to handle certain tasks. This will enable them to handle any project, regardless of how big or small they are, and complete them successfully.
Tips to Become A Successful Call Center Leader
The following are some of the key call center management tips to keep in mind to become a successful call center leader.
Be ready to adapt
Flexibility is a crucial aspect of handling the duties and responsibilities of a team leader in a call center. A senior role, in no way, implies that the person has all the team handling skills to manage the entire operation of the call center. They might not have the solution to everything that’s happening in the company.
Therefore, they must be willing to recognize their mistakes and get accustomed to unlearning and relearning things. Although it’s very hard to eliminate every error while managing a call center team, being open to feedback will ensure potential mistakes don’t creep in. Take criticism constructively, and think of ways to adapt and incorporate them into day-to-day work.
Turn insights into actionable tasks
QA analysts are a great help when it comes to identifying flaws in working processes. It is critical to gain insights from these quality assurance findings and deliver the required training based on those insights. Having strong communication skills and earning the team’s trust will help the leaders ensure every member understands which area needs improvement.
Boost Employee Morale
It is a well-established fact that happy employees tend to be more productive. Team leaders must understand how important it is to have good morale within the call center. They should be able to listen to the complaints of team members and stay open to their feedback. Team members feel valued when their leader puts forth employee needs and voices their opinions to the management. It is the job of a leader to go the extra mile and make their workplace experience better. Reward schemes and incentives are a fantastic way to boost the engagement of team members.
Making A Difference
Good leadership is probably the most critical factor for successful operations and happy customers when it comes to call centers. Team leaders have a great purpose to fulfill in customer-service environments while serving as a key conduit between the service agents and the call center management.
The responsibilities and duties that team leaders have to perform presents its fair share of challenges. However, by focusing on building trust and establishing tight bonds with team members they will be well on their way to become a good team leader.
At ExpertCallers, we ensure our team leaders are the best-in-class, thanks to extensive training modules, mentoring and hands-on training that help them deliver the best customer experience to clients. To know more about our expertise, reach out to our representative for a quick chat.