Contact Center Leadership: Easy as 1-2-3

Leadership is an often-overlooked trait in any business, including the contact center. Every company has a boss, but not every boss is a natural leader.

One way to establish leadership, according to this article, is to adopt a set of best practices that help managers lead agents and achieve goals. But with so many other responsibilities (coaching, preparing management reports, dealing with unexpected occurrences), doing so can be a challenge.

Here is one three-step process for cutting through the clutter and focusing on what is most important.

1. Metrics

Utilizing metrics, particularly average handling time (AHT) is the best way to analyze how a contact center is performing, and where action needs to be taken. But there is a balance here – one can always cut AHT but shortening calls in the wrong way. A leader examines how agents can be instructed to correctly reduce AHT, keeping the customer’s needs in mind, and then introduces guidelines to the contact center so this becomes standard operating procedure.

2. Workforce Management Software

A WFM system helps leaders produce optimal schedules for staff, set targeted service goals and create centralized forecasts, among other functions. That reduces the workload on both agents and leaders, who now have more time to devote to other needs. WFM not only helps supervisors become better leaders, it helps the company perform better in both the short and long run.

3. Customers First

The article quotes a recent study reporting that highly satisfied customers are 174% more likely to make contact with the call center again. They are also 154% more likely to purchase again and 238% more likely to recommend the company to family and friends. Leaders put their contact centers into those positive categories by knowing (or finding out) what customers want.