mistakes call center managers

10 mistakes call center managers should avoid making

Miruna MitranescuLast updated on September 22, 2023
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The way call center managers and team leaders behave and communicate with employees has massive impact on the people within the business and, by knock-on effect, on the customers with whom they communicate.

As customer experience expert Colin Shaw explains employee engagement is a key aspect for the customer experience.


Mistakes call center managers should avoid

Here are 10 identified errors that call center managers and team leaders commit. These behaviours are toxic and can often cause psychological discomfort to call centre agents, which in the end affects the relation with the customers.

1. Being inconsistent in your leadership and attitude

There are two important principles in leading people:
Consistency – Being the same person every day, not moody or unpredictable depending on how much sleep you’ve had or how stressed you may feel.
Authenticity – True to your own personality, not trying to be someone else, being clear about your own values and principles and recognising when someone behaves in a way that contravenes them.

2. Lacking self-awareness

If you have the opportunity to gather anonymous feedback on your leadership then consider it a great opportunity. Even the most self-aware call center managers can benefit from a 360 feedback exercise.
But even in the absence of any formal survey process, you can encourage a culture of openness – and feedback – with your team.

3. Speaking in anger

Never approach any subject with negative emotions and anger. Noticing what that feels like is a key part of emotional intelligence. Instead, wait for those temporary feelings to pass and the heat to leave the situation.

4. Not setting clear KPIs and not making them visible by everybody

Make all KPI targets visible to all agents, alongside their own achievements. Allow the agents the knowledge to understand their own development needs and encourage them to approach the call center manager for help. It should not be the call center manager approaching the non-performing staff.

5. Taking credit for your team’s hard work

If you spend all your time looking for credit, not only will your team feel under-appreciated, you will look selfish. Build a great performing self-managed team by giving them full accountability and reward for their performance; this is the sign of great leadership.

6. Never forget to appreciate little things

Being appreciated is one of the most motivating things for employees. Be sure to notice many of the little things that your team does right and mention them out loud, whether you say it at a meeting, email them directly or even write them a handwritten note.

7. Not training your agents enough

Cross-training an agent is the backbone to great customer service. Training will also improve the agent’s involvement.
At the end of coaching sessions, offer the opportunity for the team members to give you feedback. Ask if there is anything you can do more/less/better/different.

8. Criticize your agents

As a call center manager, you need to ensure your staff do the right thing. However, focusing solely on this is not going to inspire your staff to work hard for you.
Don’t use phrases like: “Why can’t you…?” or “How many times have I told you to/to not.. ?”

9. Trying to look like you have all the answers

Like any relationship, the one with your employees is based mutual trust and loyalty. So managers think that to get their employees respect them they have to have all the answers. If you are always striving to appear like you can do it all and know it all, then you are eventually going to reveal the exact opposite.

10. Overlooking to set clear goals

Set goals for the following day, week or month– what will define this period as a success? These three things should be the main focus of your priority, and this should be clear for everyone in your team.

Over to you. What are some of the toxic behaviour you have identified in the call center? Meanwhile

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Published on May 4, 2016.

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