Training Contact Center Frontline Managers

Posted: 03/02/2015 - 09:48 | Inova Solutions

In a recent article at Contact Center Pipeline, Jay Minnucci discusses “an introductory approach to enhancing frontline leadership skills.”  As Minnucci aptly points out, many of those working supervisory roles in contact centers “landed” in those leadership positions, often without any formal training.  Frequently, leadership training programs often struggle because of resource or time constraints on the employees or because of a lack of formal and clear training plans and programs. 

From Minnucci’s perspective, a “comprehensive training program is the ultimate goal” for contact center leadership, but an introductory approach is a reasonable place to start.  With this strategy, you can offer content in three areas:  basics, metrics, and technology.

To cover the basics, he recommends that you ask a few questions at the next supervisory meeting:  Who has heard of Erlang C, and what is it?  Gauge how many are to articulate a clear answer, “along the lines of, ‘it’s the statistical calculation used in workforce management to determine staffing, and it helps explain the queuing process.’”  If not many can provide an answer with that level of detail, then your training should focus on some of the basics.  (Minnucci even provides a longer list of ‘basics’ questions in his article.)

Regarding the metrics, it is important for your contact center supervisors to have a full grasp of the critical numbers that they focus on every day.  Many can tell you the objectives and the consequences, but they should also understand the calculations that supply each metric.  This level of detail can provide supervisors with a better picture of overall performance.  Successful supervisors can provide “clear feedback during coaching session.  They get the what and the why…they get the how much.”

The final component to consider in an introductory contact center training strategy is the technology used on the call center floor.  Evaluate all of the technology available in your contact center (e.g., WFM, dashboard displays, quality monitoring, etc.) and decide if your supervisors are taking full advantage of each capability. 

Offering learning opportunities to current or potential call center supervisors is a critical component for successful frontline leadership.  “The time and effort made to help educate our frontline leaders is often the best investment you can make.”

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