Ongoing training in the call center is extremely important -- for call center agents and call center managers. While most call centers spend a lot of time and energy training call center agents, they don't always focus on the next level: call center management training.
We've gathered these tips and advice on call center management training to help you train current and future call center managers in your organization.
Call center managers in training
The call center team leader and subject matter expert positions are often used in the call center as a low-risk way of training future call center managers and supervisors, says Donna Fluss, call center management expert and president and founder of DMG Consulting. The team leader position, usually filled by the most senior agents, serves as second-in-command in the call center and provides support for the call center manager.
Call center team leaders should ideally possess the following skills, according to Fluss:
- Good judgment for dealing with difficult customer service situations
- Thorough knowledge of the company's products, procedures and processes
- Excellent interpersonal skills and effective customer service skills
- Excellent call center work habits
The subject matter expert role in the call center is to provide expertise to call center managers and agents on a specific area or areas. Subject matter experts can also serve as team leaders. This position is often used to promote call center agents who are performing well but not yet ready for a management position.
Is your call center team leader ready for management?
According to Fluss, there are 10 ways to tell if your call center team leaders are ready for call center management positions. If the team lead meets these expectations, they may be ready to be considered for a call center manager position.
Below are the top five criteria to use when evaluating call center team leaders, according to Fluss:
- Managing agents -- Can the call center team lead manage other call center employees?
- Coaching in the call center -- Does the team leader put on effective coaching sessions for call center agents?
- Understanding call center trends -- Can they identify business trends and opportunities?
- Call center work ethic -- How well does they prioritize and manage multiple tasks?
- Motivating staff at the call center -- Does the team leader motivate and support call center agents?
Visit Fluss' expert response on how to tell if your call center team leader is ready for a call center management position for the rest of the top 10.
Call center management job description
Running a call center operation is a complex and difficult task that not everyone is cut out for. The call center manager position requires a variety of skills and certain personality traits. The call center manager must be a strong leader, have the ability to manage, evaluate and motivate call center agents, work well under pressure and understand the business as a whole. Call center managers should also be able to understand and use a variety of call center metrics.
Call center manager certification programs
A great way to train call center managers is through call center certification programs. There are numerous certification programs for managers that can provide them with the skills and training they need to run their call center operation. Fluss recommends the Customer Operations Performance Center (COPC) for call center manager certification.
Browse the call center manager learning guide.
Learn about call center performance management.
Find call center expert resources in the Ask the Expert section.