3 Major Challenges Facing Contact Center Management Today
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The work of a contact center agent can be rigorous and stressful and the day of a contact center manager tends to be unpredictable. As the leader, it is the contact center manager’s responsibility to handle all the affairs that the agents can’t control, whether that be a difficult call, technical issue, or office politics. The manager’s duties extend to guaranteeing that the office team is working efficiently, in a comfortable space that they enjoy working in.
If you’re able to handle the task of creating a happy and efficient work environment, customers will recognize that on calls and respond positively. Pleasant calls and a stable work environment will provide a happy agent, manager and even happier customer.
Creating a Dream Team
The most significant challenge a contact center manager has is building and maintaining a strong team to rely on day to day. Without a strong team, it is impossible to run an effective contact center. It is imperative you create a positive and pleasant work environment. Not to say that you shouldn’t hold your agents accountable because making sure everyone is doing his or her work to the best of his or her ability is essential. It is necessary to praise your employees when they have a great call and when they hit goal. If you can create an atmosphere of trust, confidence, accountability, and family, then you will rarely find yourself looking for new agents.
Every day, contact center agents are jumping ship for the promise of better pay, and work environment. When you find yourself with agents who believe they will be taken better care of elsewhere, then you will also find yourself with new seats to fill. So how do you change this?
If you create an environment that encourages friendship and teamwork, then you will find yourself with employees who like being around each other. If your employees see they aren’t just working with other employees but friends then they will be more comfortable coming into the office every day. It’s a lot easier to quit when you don’t know who is sitting in the chair next to you. When your employees get to know the people around them, then they will find it a daunting task to leave them.
Friendships and teamwork are not going to resolve all the issues that come from working in a high-stress atmosphere. Let’s be honest- the job of a contact center agent is not for everyone. It is one thing to handle smooth sailing and another to handle treacherous waters; whether those waters be unhappy customers or not hitting goals.
Technology Stops for No One
If it’s not broke, don’t fix it but don’t skimp on the tune-up.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Your phones are probably dated and so is the technology running them. If not, then consider yourself one of the few who updates his or her software and technology every day. Week after week, new technology and software come out that makes the life of telecom managers and agents easier.
With so many different vendors and systems to choose from it’s almost impossible to stay up to date on all the technological advances happening. Luckily for you, the changes occurring are not significant enough for you to have to revisit your technology every day.
If the time permits, you should revisit your current operations once a quarter. Set a time in your calendar to chat with your agents. Ask them if they have any issues with the systems you are currently working with and if they think anything could be improved. After all, they are the ones using the phones and software, and they will be able to provide the best feedback on what works and what doesn’t.
By checking in once a quarter, you will provide yourself with the knowledge required to make any changes to your operations in the future. The more information that you have, the more capable you will be to help your agents and customers.
Not Enough Support
Contact centers don’t have to be sexy, but they do need to run like a well-oiled machine. Executives in your organization may not see the contact center as important as some of the other aspects of the business. However, if an executive were to take a day to sit in the trenches, he or she would see how vital the contact center is for the current and future state of the business.
Contact centers provide the backbone and support for the organization. As managers, we must ensure that all of our agents have a solution for every question and problem a customer may have.
Make sure to set times each week to review calls with your agents. If you can set up a weekly or monthly email or meeting with your agents to discuss some of the most significant challenges you hear about and address best practice for handling these issues.
We know contact center managers face far more than three challenges and it’s impossible for us to account for them all in a single blog post. To simplify, a great place to focus on is ensuring you are creating an atmosphere that invites positive and open communication between agents and managers. If you can do this, then it will trickle down into positive interactions with customers.