Improving contact center team performance is vital to improving the customer experience. But the employee and customer experience are negatively impacted when the leadership skills of the supervisor are neglected.
Questions to ask about the lack of Supervisor Skills Development
The issue of employee engagement and workplace morale in contact centers has been problematic for decades. And as most contact centers were forced to operate remotely, the root problem of the lack of leadership skills has created its own form of pandemic chaos.
Once again, contact centers are experiencing a peak in turnover and skilled staff shortages. And for many, this peak is the largest we’ve experienced. Many insiders have shared they are running as much as a 30-40% deficit in optimal staffing levels. And there’s little hope of short-term relief.
So why are supervisor leadership skills overlooked? Here are several questions and thoughts that require consideration.
- We have a leadership development program. Does it build competency in the six core areas people need to develop?
- How long is our leadership development program? Leadership skill development never ends.
- When is leadership development needed? How many agents will leave while they learn?
- When do they need development? Do they have access to learning quickly when the moment arises?
- Are they able to gain different perspectives? Peer learning is the most powerful form of adult learning.
- Is it modeled? Are senior leaders building their own leadership development skills?
These are merely a few of the reflective thoughts and questions that have been left unanswered and/or considered in the contact center industry. The forward thinkers have answered and resolved these problems.
Supervisors carry a massive burden
The customer has to be served. Yes. But the people with the most direct frontline reports make that possible. We all know this. And despite knowing it, the industry fails to fully grasp the enormity of the burden they carry and the value they bring. I consider them the linchpin in the entire customer experience.
Customers: Supervisors are the linchpin between the entire organization and the contact center agents interacting with your customers. If they struggle to build collaborative relationships, the customer suffers.
Competition: They are the linchpin to understanding your competition. As they manage agents, they capture a wide variety of insights about your competition and where you are winning and losing in the marketplace.
IT: They are the linchpin connecting the frontline to IT. All companies need systems to improve the customer experience and contain costs. The Supervisor captures insights on system function and dysfunction and gives insight to IT for planning and action.
Legal: Supervisors are the linchpin between you and risk mitigation. Supervisors have the opportunity to capture information on products, policies, customers, and employee actions that can, if left visible, can expose your company to legal risk and law suites.
Performance Management: The Supervisor is the linchpin in agent productivity and delivering on the contact center’s performance management standards. Quality assurance, evaluations, reviews, feedback, discipline, promotion, and terminations are all part of the Supervisor’s responsibility.
Human Resources: Supervisors are the linchpin to Human Resources. In many companies, the contact center is the largest employee group in the company. The Supervisor must be aware of federal, state, and local laws about employment and company policies.
Senior Management: Even though they struggle with senior management, supervisors are the linchpin between senior management and the frontline. Your mission, values, and purpose all must be disseminated effectively to boost employee engagement.
In my opinion, the Supervisor job is a vital role that requires more diversity in skills than that of senior management. What do you think?
Improving Contact Center Team Performance Requires a Supervisor Success Path
Improving contact center team performance is an ongoing effort. To move forward in the journey, a supervisor success path is required.
We’ve created a guide that guide teaches you about a system that rapidly advances and continues to build supervisor leadership skills and, ultimately, team performance.
Inside, you can see a defined path with critical-to-success behaviors and skills that are immediately impactful. You’ll learn about the six core competencies to develop and four vital questions that enable supervisors to gain wisdom in decision-making and action-taking.
Improving Contact Center Team Performance Resources
- Podcast: Louis Carter – Leading Great Companies and Sparking Peak Performance
- Podcast: Douglas Gerber: How do you create high-performance teams?
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.