Managing employees can be challenging. For call center employees, it is incredibly important to be able to manage them effectively as they are customer-facing. They need to create positive customer experiences. In this article, we provide you with some tips on how to effectively manage your call center employees.
Provide a thorough onboarding experience
Hiring the right talent for your call center is only a small portion of the equation. There needs to be a thorough onboarding experience – in fact, a great employee onboarding experience can improve employee retention by 82%. The onboarding process should cover what employees will deal with in their day-to-day activities, how to deal with customers, training they must complete, and the expectations the employer has for each employee. We encourage that there are multiple reviews at the beginning (such as a 30 day, 60 day, and 90 day review) to help ensure that your agents are getting the proper training and coaching they need from their managers. It also allows managers to identify problems early on and correct issues quickly.
Develop an effective management style & train your managers
Managers need to know how to help their agents. Part of this is routinely listening to agent calls, without which, managers will not be able to assess strengths and weaknesses of the employees. Having a streamlined internal quality assurance process can help assess how the call center – your agents, customers, and managers – are doing.
Moreover, having a strong performance management process is also crucial to help document performance progress and KPIs/objectives. It also helps increase alignment and transparency throughout the organization. As part of the performance management process, managers should be holding regular check-ins to discuss employee performance and suggest training where it is needed. Some questions that managers should be asking during their check-ins can include:
- Are you meeting objectives? What is in your way? What is stopping you?
- What are some action items that you can do today to meet/exceed your goals?
- What is something I can do to support you? What do you expect of me (as your manager)? What should I do differently?
- Are expectations and goals clear?
A good performance management software can help you document performance and monitor progress over time. Managers should be trained on how to give feedback on performance, how to monitor and document employee progress, and how to help their agents that need a little more training.
Foster high employee engagement
Call center employees can often easily become burnt out because of the potential repetitiveness of daily tasks. To ensure a highly productive workforce, managers need to make sure that their employees are engaged in their work.
Frequent recognition and feedback is something that is relatively inexpensive that managers can implement to engage employees. Managers can also incorporate some employee well-being questions into their check-in conversations to better understand the employee (ie., what burns you out? If you could change one thing about your day-to-day, what would it be?). At an organizational level, engagement surveys are a great tool for organizations to better understand their agents at large. There are also simple company culture activities such as happy hours, team lunches, and game nights that can help revitalize your employees and make them feel like valuable members of the team.
Managers have a difficult job, but they can succeed, and help their call center employees succeed with the right strategies in place. While some employees will need more guidance than others, it is important to help each employee perform to the best of their ability.