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Are You Developing Contact Center Leaders?

Customer success is only possible when you have a motivated, engaged team to serve customers. Without this, you’ll find there’s dissatisfaction internally and externally. How do you cultivate an engaged team? It all starts with building contact center leaders.

Those in leadership roles oversee other agents, coaching them and helping them expand their skillsets. They also are part of developing strategic initiatives to optimize operations. That often means they interact with sophisticated technology solutions that collect data on agent-customer interactions.

So, how can you ensure you’re developing leaders in your contact center? What processes and technology do you need to enable these people to become champions for your customers, employees, and brand?

Skills to Cultivate for Contact Center Leaders

The path to leadership involves mastering skills that enable these agents to be successful.

They Have a Pro-Customer Vision

Being pro-customer doesn’t correlate exactly with the “customer is always right.” It actually means that the person is an advocate for the customer. They want the best resolution—one that’s fair and equitable.

Much of this skill set comes from empathy. They can put themselves in the shoes of others. Empathy is a learnable skill developed by being a part of an empathetic organization as a whole and with training that includes scenarios to act this out. When you have a compassionate leader, this sets the tone for how all your other contact center agents will act.

Coaching Comes Naturally

One of the essential jobs of a contact center leader is coaching others. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all task. Different people learn in different ways, so anyone in a leadership position has to personalize their approach as much as possible.

While general coaching on interacting with customers is great, supervisors can coach better when they have the right tools.

There are two features of contact center software to support coaching you should leverage:

  • Live call monitoring: Supervisors can listen to live calls. Neither the agent nor the caller will know there’s another person on the line. Your supervisors can gain great insights into agent performance that provide context to their numbers. They can then make a plan to coach the agent based on specifics.
  • Contact center whispering: If monitoring a live call, a supervisor can press whisper, which allows them to speak to the agent to help them in a challenging situation. The caller doesn’t hear this. Your leaders can offer immediate instruction to agents, leading to better resolutions.

Continual training of agents is necessary. Adding regular coaching with this training will ensure that your contact center is continually improving its ability to meet customer expectations. Plus, the impact of coaching is measurable with contact center analytics. Supervisors can look at the data and see if metrics improved for the agent after coaching sessions.

Leaders Need to Be Versatile and Flexible

Versatility and flexibility are skills every person should have because the only constant is change. After 2020, we all know this to be true. Your contact center may have gone completely remote due to the pandemic, which meant your supervisors had a new environment to work with. If they were still able to lead their team successfully, they can certainly call themselves adaptive.

If you want to support better leaders for your contact center, you have to give them autonomy. Empower them to make decisions, and they’ll continue to strengthen their agility. Ultimately, it means that no matter the environment, they can still lead with confidence.

They Understand Your Business

It’s hard to develop leaders if they aren’t fully aware of your business model. They should have deep knowledge of your solutions and products. They also need to be privy about things that will impact your customers. Finally, they need to have access to information to be strategic in how they position agents to support customers.

Being a great call center leader requires foundational skills around customer service and communication. However, don’t leave them in the dark about the company’s vision. Including these people in discussions is also beneficial for the business because they have insights from being on the front line.

They Have an Eye for Great Talent

Supervisors of contact centers are also responsible for recruiting and hiring in their bucket. Turnover can be a problem for contact centers, and that costs money. The best leaders build great teams. For your supervisors to excel here, they need an eye for talent, which means they can identify people that will fit your culture and have the right skillsets to be customer-facing.

Once agents come on board, your leaders should continue to hone their skills with training and coaching. As a result, they’ll earn the respect of their team, which can improve job satisfaction and overall retention.

They Are Pro-Technology

Technology is vital to every business unit in your organization. Your contact center is no different. Contact center software is a must-have, but not every platform is the same. Contact center supervisors should be tech-savvy and have experience with such a solution. If you’re considering upgrading yours, make sure your leaders are part of the conversation.

Overall, you want to look for a system that provides a host of features that make it easy to manage contact center queues, design call flows, combine voice, chat, and email into an omnichannel experience, and provide analytics.

Your supervisors should be masters of the technology and use it to improve operations. These platforms collect a lot of data about contact center operations. Your leaders need to know how to work with this intelligence to discern actionable insights. Contact center analytics and reporting can be very valuable in the right hands.

Contact Center Leaders Can Be Valuable Assets

Those in charge of contact centers play a pivotal role in your organization. When your company prioritizes developing leaders, it pays off for all parties. Employees are happier and more productive. Customers get a better experience, and the C-suite sees the impact on the bottom line. Just remember to give them autonomy, the right technology tools, and support to grow their teams and careers.

About Darcy Mekis