Our contact center supervisors spend most of their time taking escalations and answering agent questions, rather than working with their teams. Could adding team leaders help?
Team leaders (or team leads, senior agents, lead representatives, etc.) play a very important role in contact centers by providing much-needed back-up for supervisors and handling several tasks on their behalf. Off-loading some of the most time-consuming functions to team leaders enables supervisors to devote more of their day to coaching and developing their agents. Team leaders can assist agents as the first level of escalation, serve as subject matter experts, answer questions, and provide informal coaching to the team. Team leaders can also help coordinate team activities, assist newer employees in navigating the organization, serve as liaisons with back-office or other enterprise departments, conduct up-training classes, and represent the supervisor or contact center on special projects.
Candidates for team leader positions should not be chosen based solely on tenure; having the most experience as an agent does not necessarily mean an individual is well-suited for the role. Team leaders must demonstrate excellent work habits, good judgment, thorough knowledge of products, procedures and processes, and possess excellent interpersonal skills in order to handle external customers and to engage their peers. This position is often part of a career path for future supervisors or managers; therefore, team leaders should exhibit some of the characteristics associated with those roles. Although a “supervisor-like” function, the team leader role is a discrete position that should be well-defined in a job description that clearly differentiates it from the supervisor/manager position.