The Winning Mindset for Call Center Management

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Ok, so you are extremely busy, moving from one meeting to another, from one project to another, checking on the status of this system and that process.  You have barely had a chance to breathe throughout your hectic day.  Ahhhh, just another business day in the life of a call center manager. But amidst the normal hectic nature of your day-to-day routine in call center management, you know there are important concerns and issues that are falling through the cracks.

You understand that there are things that you should be doing to enhance the effectiveness of your team, their interactions with customers and, of course, the excellent customer service skills that you and your team have been tasked with executing. How can you find the time to pay attention to the most important things when you have so many seemingly urgent fires swirling all around you?  And how can you make sure that your daily schedule reflects the things that really matter? Here is a very simple test for call center management to apply to their activities to make sure they stay focused on the worthwhile things.  We call it the EYE test (Employees, Yourself and the Experience)

To get started, try at the very least to make some sort of impact in each of these three areas every day. Employees.  The front line is where the real action is, right?  Everything you do in some form or fashion is on the line every single day when your front-line employees use their good customer service skills to interact with and engage the customer.  To be completely successful with every call, chat, e-mail, or tweet your employees have to say and do the right things, keeping the customer’s needs at the heart of everything they do.  But the front line needs you – desperately, in fact – to be effective and successful.  They need your support, your direction, your coaching and your accountability.  Regardless of what is on your plate each day, spend at least some time with and on your front-line employees.

Continually ask yourself these kinds of questions:

  • What can I do to help my employees today?
  • How can I advocate for my employees to make their job more effective?
  • How can I take my employees into account when given a directive from above in the organization?

Every day think about something you can do to make your front-line employees successful.  This mindset will pay you back in multiples and in countless ways. Yourself.  Focusing on yourself as a call center manager is not selfish; to the contrary, it is both prudent and necessary. Take a few moments and think about who you are as a call center manager and why you have chosen call center management as a profession.  You play a vital role in the strategic efforts of your company. 

You are responsible for creating and driving the brand promise and critical aspects of your company’s relationship with its customers – the lifeblood of the organization. That means you need to focus on doing the right things all the time.  How is your attitude, your motivation and yourown accountability? And, to go along with those questions, how are you holding up?  What is your stress level?  It is essential that you take of yourself and make sure you are doing all of the right things effectively and efficiently before you can ever expect you employees to do the same. 

So take a step back every day to look in the mirror and check on your mindset and your … heart-set.  Are you taking care of yourself?  Experience.  Short for excellent customer experience, of course!  Do you spend time each day thinking about the excellent customer experience?  Not just as a topic of business conversation or an agenda item at a meeting or a company initiative.  But do you, as a call center manager, have a clear line of sight to the actual experience that your customer encounters with your call center on a daily basis? 

Are you focused every day on those good customer service skills demonstrated by your front line and the ways to make the customer experience even better?  If not, then all of the meetings you attend and all of those swirling fires you extinguish every day don’t mean much.  Everything that a call center manager does should be centered on the excellent customer experience.  That’s the reason you’re in call center management, isn’t it? 

The excellent customer experience is what creates satisfaction, loyalty and promotion.  It means countless present and future dollars to your company. Are you thinking excellent customer experience?  Does it feed every activity you’re involved in?  Or are you scampering all around it. A football coach whose team was winless once said: “I see eleven guys out there playing on a football field … but I don’t see any of them really playing football!”  Are you really focused on the excellent customer experience, are do you simply work in call center management? If you can apply this simple EYE Test every day, examining your activities around Employees, Yourself and the Experience, you will find yourself doing the things that really matter.

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About Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey, CEO, heads Pretium Solutions’ Customer Experience & Sales Area focusing on Customer Loyalty, Brand Loyalty and Customer Retention Strategies. He directs Pretium’s revolutionary customer loyalty program, the Golden Touchpoint™. Pretium Solutions is a premier provider of cutting-edge, sustainable and globally-recognized customer experience management solutions and customer service, call center and sales training, consulting and leadership programs. Pretium shows companies how to create, build and maintain customer loyalty, the most important measure of a company’s success with its customers and the most profitable customer service outcome.

6 Responses to “The Winning Mindset for Call Center Management”

  1. Pam Pupatelli March 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    Great article on what is truly important in the daily life of a good Call Center Manager.

    • John Miller March 30, 2012 at 5:38 am #

      Thanks Pam – glad you enjoyed reading the article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Hope it helps you in some way. John

  2. customercontactapps March 29, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    you touch on the heart of the issue; mind-set and heart set. they are a product of motivation, attitude and beliefs (knowledge/experience). well done

    • Pretium Solutions March 30, 2012 at 5:50 am #

      Thank you for this comment. Couldn’t agree with you more about how critical the three components you refer to (motivation, attitude and beliefs) are to creating an excellent customer experience. Interestingly, those components are difficult, if not impossible, to train and coach. Skills, methods and techniques can be learned, practiced and applied. We encourage our clients to be mindful about this when assessing their new hire strategies and approach.

  3. Mcnative March 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more. For me, I always tried to remember that the most valuable asset of the company left the building each and every day and it was my responsibility to ensure they would come back for their next shift and be successful. I tried very hard to make sure the agents had what they needed to be successful and not place unnecessary stress on them. When there are expectations set and everyone is held accountable to them, it makes life so much easier.

    • Pretium Solutions March 30, 2012 at 6:02 am #

      Wow, you hit on so many of the key ingredients to call center leadership excellence in that comment – treating the agents as the valuable assets they are, positioning them for success, setting expectations and holding them accountable. Sounds like you were really doing it right!

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