What qualities should a team leader display to be recommended as a future call center manager?
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The team leader plays a high-impact role in the call center. As a role model, the call center team leader must demonstrate excellent work habits, good judgment, thorough knowledge of products, procedures and processes, and possess excellent interpersonal skills for handling both staff and external customers. However, when evaluating a team leader's potential for a higher-level call center management position, I recommend that the following 10 criteria also be taken into consideration:
1) Agent management:The team leader should demonstrate the ability to effectively manage call center agents.
2) Coaching: The team leader should be skilled at delivering instructive, supportive, collaborative and motivational coaching sessions that foster open communication. He/she should accurately diagnose performance issues and develop effective action plans to address the root cause of issues.
3) Analytical ability: The team leader should be able to identify business trends and opportunities, the underlying cause of issues, and provide well-developed suggestions for improvements.
4) Goals: The team leader should consistently exceed all established goals and complete tasks in an outstanding manner and on a timely basis.
5) Prioritization:The team leader should demonstrate the ability to prioritize tasks based on urgency and scope of impact. He/she should be able to effectively manage multiple projects.
6) Ability to motivate: The team leader should know how to create a strong sense of job satisfaction and keep call center agents motivated by recognizing, communicating and rewarding performance excellence. He/she should be able to accurately assess agents' potential and identify ways to provide opportunities for them to develop and enhance their skills.
7) Leadership ability: The team leader should reflect a positive "I'm on board" approach and support management goals and call center initiatives through words and actions. He/she should be able to see the "big picture" and identify and communicate how individual roles are tied to corporate goals.
8) Initiative/ownership: The team leader should volunteer to participate in or lead new initiatives. He/she should take ownership of tasks and successfully see them through to completion.
9) Communication: The team leader should have the ability to effectively and professionally communicate with subordinates, peers, and senior levels of management. He/she should reach out to build and foster excellent working relationships with other areas of the organization. And, he/she should serve as a contact center "ambassador" who professionally represents the call center's interests in cross-functional meetings.
10) Personnel skills: The team leader should maintain confidentiality and address personnel issues sensitively, appropriately and in accordance with established HR procedures. He/she should demonstrate the ability to handle difficult situations with professionalism and a well-documented plan for resolution.
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