Call Center Management-Controlling the First 30 Minutes of an Associate’s Day
We educate all our middle management that the first 30 minutes of an associate’s day must be totally controlled by the supervisor. We believe it is one of the most important tips that we can give any call center manager. If you know what to do during this time and your supervisors are trained in this aspect it will allow every day get off to a great start and solve many problems before they even have a chance to start!
IT BETTER BE LOUD!
First thing is that the call center room needs to be a dynamic place! The call center should be loud, music can be playing at the beginning of the shift, your supervisors must have energy and be very positive, and you should be out there leading. Maybe you have balloons or special charts/pictures up. Whatever you do, do not have a dull, boring room. Electricity must be pulsing through the room, especially in the morning.
WELCOME WITH ENTHUSIASM
All associates should be greeted as they come to their teams by their supervisor. I understand that in an outbound world that can be much easier as they have standard start and stop times for the most part. Inbound can be a little more difficult as you will have reps that come and go all day depending on how their schedule is made which is normally based on volume. IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE!!! Your associates are important; they need to be treated as such.
All associates get greeted with a handshake and a SMILE and a GOOD MORNING/AFTERNOON, maybe you are a high fiver like I am, don’t be afraid to dole those out if that’s your personality!! I like to have a little personal talk here as well (So Janie how was Austin’s birthday over the weekend). This is the time when we can see who is in a great mood and ready to work and who we need to work on to get in a good mood (humor works well here, more on that later). You cannot be a good supervisor and be blind to personalities and moods. Doing this as your associates come in shows that your supervisors care about their team members and hopefully is one small way to help respect to be given to your supervisors as well.
TAKE THE TEMP AND RECAP
Now that we have greeted our associates and understand the daily mood we can get on with the day. Daily team recaps are a MUST. Each of your supervisors should know the KPI’s that their team needs to hit. They should recap yesterday’s production, any great monitoring/goal performances. Keep everything positive here. If you need to talk about a lackluster day that’s fine but do not do it in an angry or disappointed manner. Remember that was yesterday and you don’t want that same vibe to attach itself to today.
Individual rep recaps should be done here as well focusing on yesterday in a one on one setting. Talk about the individual goals that were given out yesterday, where they did well and where the opportunities for improvement are. We also will need to be giving out individual goals for the present day to each rep. This is a 30-60 second talk with each rep that should be done at some point during the first half-hour. Some of my supervisors like to hand out post-it notes with an individual’s goal on it so they could look and focus on it during the day.
(A quick note on individual goals) Whether your KPI’s run the range of just being quality based too hard nose sales based goals, each should be given out to the skill level and personal plan (see previous blog) that matches each rep. Every center has a few stars, mostly average employees, and a few laggards. You can’t make a goal for someone who is struggling that is equal to the stars on your team. If you make everyone’s goals the same you will frustrate certain employees who are struggling and you will see higher turnover. Stars are not born they are created. Some will get there quicker than others but know your reps.)
Now we have greeted our reps, recapped the day from yesterday on the team and individual level and now have daily goals for the team and each individual to aim for. We have focused our team on what we need to them to accomplish.
I like to make sure that two more things are talked about to each rep during the first 30 minutes as well. The first one being…
ENJOY YOUR JOB!!!!!
HOW ARE WE GOING TO HAVE FUN TODAY!!! Each supervisor on my production floor must have a game or competition going at all times. This is not the same as a week-long or month-long motivation to give away baseball tickets to the room for the top performer or highest quality score. This is something that each team likes to do and the personalities on the team dictate these types of motivations. These are just little things we can go during the day to make work fun. Little things such as the top rep for the hour get to sit in the supervisor’s comfy chair. Have bingo cards that are made up with KPI’s. I will have a whole section coming up on games that can be played in the call center that cost no money. Your supervisors will have awesome ideas for this as well. Keep a library for all your supervisors to get ideas from. I was up to over 125 games all from my supervisors!!!
Last topic for the first half-hour is going over any issues/topics related to the program(s) they will be running. I like to do this last and right before they take their first call of the day so it is fresh in their minds. Our company has an intranet program called “Coaching Briefs” this is updated all the time with program information. Things like “Yesterday a mailing went out for XYZ bank that was an accident so expect calls on… ” This way we all know what was going on and how to deal with the situation.
As you can see we place a huge responsibility on my supervision to be PREPARED and to be ready for a shift.
I hope this helps you get your center off to a great start every day!
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