Since my early days working in Contact Centers, I have always viewed Contact Center management as if I was a zookeeper trying to keep order between all of the different animal populations. We need to make sure not to put the flamingos in the same enclosure as the lions so that we can continue to have flamingos.
Although we aren’t managing animal populations in our Contact Centers, sometimes it feels like it’s not too far off. Our responsibilities cover everything from staffing to strategy, human resources to profitability. In many cases, we don’t even realize we do these things until someone brings it up, and we think to ourselves, “Yeah, I do that too!”
For many, it is a point of pride to reflect on mile-long lists of responsibilities. But in our quest for the most impressive list, are we hurting our contact center’s performance? Could we become a more effective contact center with some delegations?
Here are a few tips to help you with the game plan for your contact center:
Contact Center Management is People Management
Contact Centers can vary in size, but the one thing is true about them all – people are the heart and soul of your interactions with your customers. Despite everything we use technology for, people will be our key to success. Given this, we will need to make sure to leverage our team to help with people management as much as we can.
What Does your Day Look Like?
As a leader, it can become easy to get lost in everything that happens during the course of the day. An agent calls you over for a quick question, and 15 minutes later you’re dealing with an off-shoot of that original question, but now with new and different details. If this happens just a handful of times, the day will be over before you know it. At CPI, we believe the first step is assessing what your day looks like, not what you planned for it to look like, but what it actually looks like. Use a sheet of paper or notepad. Every time you go to do something with your contact center, write down the reason and the time. Collect a week’s worth of logs. Many times it becomes interesting to see how many of these activities are your planned events and how many of these activities are imposed on you from your team.
Come Up with a Plan
Now that you’ve had a chance to see what a few of your “normal” days look like, you can determine if there are any responsibilities you can delegate to another capable team member. For example, you determine you spend 40% of your time supporting the Contact Center agents with customer questions. That equates to 16 hours a week for this task alone. The important point to remember is that although this appears as if we are saying you should increase your labor by 16 hours weekly, this really means there are 16 hours a week you are not doing work related to your own role. There is flexibility in how you fill those 16 hours. They can be filled by a supervisor role where her sole responsibility will be to make sure the team gets support with their customer concerns. The key is that those hours are not fulfilled by you.
Work your Plan
Once you’ve settled into your plan, it will be important to stick with it. There may be some hiccups along the way. It should be expected. What will be important is that you have a plan. It is impossible to change a plan and improve upon it if you don’t have one.
CPI has been working with Contact Centers for the last few decades and we have been able to help our clients through many different situations. If there is something you’re experiencing and you just need a little or a lot of assistance, CPI can help. Please reach out to me. I’d love to learn how we can help!