Learning to become a good contact center leader can be a challenge, particularly because many of the skills needed to succeed in frontline contact center work can only be learned on the job.
However, the rate at which skills are acquired on the job often depends highly on the methods and mindset with which you approach day to day challenges. Learning how to structure your own learning is the only way to get 100% learning out of each and every situation.
Here are a few important tips on how you can do just that.
1.Discover new things to be a great contact center leader
The biggest mistake that many contact center leaders make when dealing with the ins and outs of leading is the misconception that they know everything there is to know. However, even among the greatest leaders in any line of work, there is always room to improve.
Openness to new things is a critical skill that anyone can learn but not everyone wants to learn. The ability to admit gaps in knowledge and explore new things can be challenging, but it is a sign of curiosity and humility that peers and employees alike will appreciate.
2. Set goals to be a great contact center leader
A common indicator of competence and exceptional leadership is the ability to set goals. In fact, strong leadership is impossible without this critical skill.
Setting and achieving goals is not necessarily a difficult skill to master, but it is not as simple as you might think. For example, one aspect of goal setting that many people overlook is the first and most foundational: evaluating your current status. Without a view of where you started, determining how far you have come is an impossible task.
Additionally, the achievement of goals is also aided by periodic check-ins or mini goals in order to guide your progress and help you re-calibrate along the way. Think about the time between these short term goals and what you want to see at each step.
Finally, make sure to do a final evaluation after completing a goal. Think about what you did right and what could be improved. In fact, this step is important even if you never manage to achieve the goal. Learning from both your successes and mistakes will make future goals more attainable.
3. Consistently coach yourself and your team
Success for better contact center leaders hinges on the ability to continuously move forward. One of the main ways to do this is to consistently coach not only your team, but also yourself.
What makes a great coach? In many cases, the most important aspect of a successful coach is observance. An exceptional leader is one who is able to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of others and teach to those. Everyone on your team will bring a certain set of abilities, and it is up to you to challenge each individual in the right way.
However, this doesn’t apply only to others. In fact, the person who is most in need of keen observation and coaching is yourself. Pay attention to your own strengths and weaknesses, and try to focus your daily efforts on building up the areas where you are least confident.
4. Measure your progress
Especially when taking on long-term projects, it can be easy to accidentally get sidetracked. When taking on the task of becoming a better contact center leader, it is crucial to take note of milestones in order to effectively progress as a leader.
A great way to do this is to get others involved. Often, our own perceptions of ourselves are skewed by the circumstances, making it difficult to notice subtle changes that happen over time. Making a plan that involves other people helps you track your own progress more effectively. Actively soliciting feedback from employees and peers is a great way to involve others and hold yourself accountable for growth as a leader.
5. Practice what you learn as well as what you preach to be a great contact center leader
There is an old saying that all contact center leaders should keep in mind: practice what you preach. As a leader, it is up to you to make sure that your employees see you working to live by example. Once you are able to show employees that you demand as much (or preferably even more) from yourself than from others, they will be much more willing to put themselves out there and prove to you that they can live up to any expectation.
Leading by example
Simply practicing what you preach is not enough. It is important to put into practice what you learn as well. If you are able to demonstrate to your employees that you are the kind of person who can learn on the job and move forward, it will motivate them to follow in your footsteps.
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- Every successful contact center leader does these 5 things- Click to Tweet
Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.