23. July 2020 Blog

7 tips for call center management to improve team performance

A call centre can both be your business card and a guarantee of your client’s loyalty. Actually, 61% of people tend to stop doing business with brands that have poor customer service. Not to fall to this group, the call centre manager has to be a virtuoso in his field.

An army without a commander isn’t worth a single penny, even if it consists of undefeatable soldiers - just like a great sales team without a skilful leader. 

However, call centre management isn’t a piece of cake, as it requires constant market monitoring, quick actions, and creating a friendly, yet professional work atmosphere. Luckily, there are a few things call centre managers can do to achieve that. Let’s start from the basics, though:

Why exactly is call centre management vital?

Since the customer-oriented era started, ‘selling satisfaction’ has been key for generating satisfying income and a strong brand image. 59% of people have higher expectations for customer service now than they had a year ago, so living up to their expectations is a real challenge. 

As a call centre manager, you probably take care of your own tasks and still have to be a latch of the whole team. And rightly so. 

We put together a downloadable step-by-step buyer's guide on how to choose the best call center software in 2020.

Managing a call centre - best practices

To boost the performance of your agents, you might want to try something new to make your call centre services unrivalled. Here are 7 tips that might help you have the best team on board in the long run. 

#1 Don’t save money on workshops

It should come as no surprise that engaged workers who feel good at their workplace tend to drive better results than others. 

According to the survey employees who are committed to their job are said to be about 20% more productive and gain 10% more customer loyalty

If you want to have a team that will work beyond your expectations, you need to give them something from yourself first. Knowledge is always key to making your employees more effective and self-aware of their actions. It is not an expense, as companies that invest in customer experience observe an improvement in work engagement of about 20%.

What can I do as a  call centre manager?

Soft skills are essential in this type of work, so organizing workshops for your staff will definitely pay off in a twofold way - you will boost the performance of your employees and show them your respect towards their job. 

Before you decide to implement new training methods, do your research and determine which specific needs of your employees should be covered. Training is effective only if it’s relevant for the trainees (you can use for instance call recordings from the successful agent).

Create career paths, so that your employees will be up for a challenge to constantly improve. This can prevent staff fluctuation and make strong bonds between your team members and the whole company.

#2 Create a friendly atmosphere at work

Creating a pleasant atmosphere is important in call centres, where stress occurs on a daily basis. Agents face clients’ problems and they can soak up unintentionally with this negative attitude, which might affect their (and their co-workers’) mood.

The role of a manager is to take care of the workplace and the team’s wellness.

What can I do as a  call centre manager?

Try to get to know your employees personally and think of organizing regular meetings where they can exchange their experiences. Be open to receiving feedback, but make it clear that you are the person in charge. Nonetheless, by knowing what are the burning issues, you might be able to prevent conflicts from arising.

#3 Be the core of the whole team 

As a manager, you have to be someone your team can lean on unconditionally. You should also be able to help them with valuable knowledge and advice. It requires being up to date with all the novelties from the industry, so you have to be deeply engaged in the field you’re working in.

What can I do as a  call centre manager?

Don’t forget about your own development. Constantly learn and gain new knowledge to build authority within your team. Search for courses, read valuable managing blogs, books, or magazines, and talk with other reps of your level to compare your experiences. Go beyond your limits to become a role model for your co-workers and lead by being the living example.

#4 Gather and analyze data within your team

Where would we be at without all the data we are provided with? It’s crucial to analyze your results and draw conclusions in order to improve your team’s work - but you probably know that already.

Learn what are 5 call center metrics for successful benchmarking

There are two types of data, which are essential to know for a call centre manager:

  • data concerning your team’s performance. By picking the right metrics to track you have more control over your teams’ performance. You can read about the 5 most effective of them here in our blog post.
  • data concerning your clients’ history. 76% of people want you to know the customer journey which they went through and seek a specific answer to their issue. Collecting such data within one tool makes communication quicker and more relevant, so be sure that your team is provided with such information.

What can I do as a  call centre manager?

Set goals and track the relevant metrics to know what you should change or teach your agents and track the results regularly. Set realistic KPIs to be able to have a realistic view of the call centre performance. Creating a satisfaction survey within your clients would be a good idea to gain insights from your own playground.

As it’s overwhelming to handle all the information, don’t try to handle it alone. Tools are there to prevent you from overstimulation

CloudTalk, for example, is integrated with popular e-commerce and CRM tools that synchronize automatically, so you can be sure that your customer won’t pop out as a blank page in your client base.

#5 Encourage your team to think out-of-the-box

Make sure that every client doesn’t feel as if they were just another caller - think about him as individuals who are important to your business. 55% of customers become attached to a brand and remain loyal thanks to good support, 73% because of friendly customer service reps, and 36% thanks to personalized experiences.

Make a scheme of replies, so that every employee could work similarly and deliver the core of the brand’s message - but don’t make it dehumanized. 

Even though sticking to the pattern is easier to monitor, it makes customer experience a lot worse. Sometimes it’s better to drop the script and make a conversation more personal, giving more freedom to your representatives.

What can I do as a  call center manager?

Give your employees guidelines but don’t expect them to stick to them whatever it takes, because sometimes it can cost you a client. Besides that, you should customize the automatic replies, which your clients face when agents are unavailable. 

By using tools with features such as call flow designer, you can set customer greetings or provide them with special information thanks to multi-level IVR (Interactive Voice Response). Take care of your clients 24h a day by adding messages to be played outside the working hours. 

#6 Try to be as easy to reach as possible

Bringing down the borders between the client and your employees is a key to gain additional points in the eyes of your customer. Budget and distance shouldn’t be an obstacle in your communication. 

Being easily reachable through landline and mobile is essential, as without it your lead won’t even contact you. 

What can I do as a call centre manager?

Give clients a helping hand by using toll-free numbers. Choose a green (0800) or blue (0850) number to enable your clients to call you at very low rates or even for free, no matter where they live. Also, if possible, try to use short or easy numbers to be remembered.

#7 Make sure you always call back

None of us likes to be left behind and forgotten. As customers, we expect to be respected and heard. As managers, we have to guarantee that those expectations will be met. It’s not only about taking care of missed calls but also shortening the lengthy waiting.

33% of consumers are most frustrated by having to wait on hold and 40% of clients want customer service reps to take care of their needs faster. Most of them also prefer to get a response within a day (66% of buyers expect a response within 10 minutes), so leaving an unanswered call is an unforgivable sin.

What can I do as a  call centre manager?

Encourage your agents to plan their tasks efficiently, so that no client would be neglected. Most importantly - provide your workers with an infrastructure that aids with callbacks, as we’re just human and multitasking might be overwhelming at times.

Make sure that the tool you’re using supports callbacks and adapts to your call centre’s needs, exactly like CloudTalk does.

Start improving your call centre’s performance 

When managed properly, call centres can generate sales and become a game-changer for a company’s budget.

In fact, being a manager creates an amazing opportunity to make long-lasting changes that will skyrocket the results, but instead of trying to take care of everything at once, make a plan and bring it on step by step.

To help yourself with multitasking, do your research and choose the right tool that would fit your team’s needs. It’s useful to go for robust call centre software like CloudTalk, as it allows you to handle many tasks at once - just like will you do every day.