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Call Center Supervisors: Your Strategic Resources

Call Center Supervisors: Your Strategic Resources

Call center supervisors are essential to the success of your call center operation. They are the primary management interface with your agents and customers. They set the center’s tone and establish principles that guide your agents’ interactions with customers. Consequently, they profoundly influence how the public perceives your company. To do their jobs properly, supervisors need strong management support, as well as the right tools, best practices and training.

Call center supervisors have day-to-day responsibility for customer and agent satisfaction, staff productivity and service quality. The supervisor’s mission is a complex, challenging and highly valuable one, the proper execution of which results in increased customer satisfaction, revenue and loyalty, agent retention, higher productivity and an outstanding customer experience. It’s essential to recognize and reward these talented and dedicated employees, who routinely combine the roles of expert service provider, coach, trainer, mentor, motivator and manager. It’s equally important for management to provide ongoing support to call center supervisors to help them perform their critical roles.

Supervisor Support Tools and Best Practices

In order to build a positive, encouraging and collaborative operating environment, managers must work closely with supervisors to establish departmental standards and to create processes that incorporate best practices. For example, when establishing a quality assurance program, managers and supervisors should work together to establish program goals, create evaluation criteria and scoring methodology, and define frequency and number of evaluations to be conducted. For a performance management initiative, managers and supervisors should jointly review all call center performance expectations and goals, including all key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics (productivity, quality, sales, revenue, customer satisfaction, attendance/ punctuality, etc.) that pertain to agent and supervisor evaluations.

The sheer volume and complexity of call center supervisors’ responsibilities require corporate executives to equip them with technologies to efficiently view, track manage, and report on call center staff and initiatives. Applications such as QA/recording, performance management, surveying, eLearning, and coaching automate many administrative tasks, freeing supervisors to concentrate their efforts on the core strategic function of ensuring service delivery excellence.

Coaching is a challenging area for supervisors, many of whom were promoted for their expertise in interacting with customers and providing outstanding customer service, but lack formal training and have not had the time to learn best practices. Coaching ability is generally not an innate skill, and has to be taught. As coaching is critical for successfully managing, motivating and improving agent performance, all supervisors should be given the opportunity to attend training to learn the best practices for interacting effectively with staff members.

Final Thoughts

As front-line managers, supervisors have direct impact on the success of a call center. They are responsible for keeping the department operating smoothly, meeting service delivery and quality goals, handling customer complaints and escalated calls, as well as assisting and managing agents. But their most crucial role is to foster a culture that inspires behaviors that drive individual and organizational achievement. It is essential to recognize and reward outstanding supervisor performance, and to invest in and develop these employees who are responsible for taking care of your customers.

For an in-depth examination of Call Center Supervisor Best Practices, I invite you to take a look at DMG Consulting’s white paper on this topic. This comprehensive and actionable analysis, based on decades of real-world experience in hundreds of call center environments, can be accessed by clicking here, or by contacting Deborah Navarra at 516-628-1098 ordeborah.navarra@dmgconsult.com.

Ask the Experts

Question:
I’ve heard there’s some confusion about an order the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released concerning automatic dialers calling cell phones. What’s the issue?

Answer:
On July 10, 2015, the FCC issued a Declaratory Ruling and Order regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) in response to 21 petitions for TCPA clarification. While the order was intended to clarify several issues regarding the use of dialers, it has resulted in greater confusion for companies that sell and use dialing solutions. One area addressed in the order concerns the use of an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) to place calls to cell phones… Read More

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DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.