04.06.2021

Hero’s Code: Memo to Contact Center Manager

How to organize work if you are the head of a contact center, how to manage effectively, basic techniques and tips.

Hero’s Code: Memo to Contact Center Manager

Managing people is an art that takes a lifetime to learn. And the contact center is even more complex than people: the field of management at the intersection of mathematics (waiting lines and WFM), IT and psychology (from sales to staff retention). The good news is that a set of simple principles can be formulated for the management of CC, which the author and his colleagues discovered by stepping on their own rake. The list, of course, contains the necessary, but not sufficient. Collected main. Filmed based on real events.

  1. The best friends of the head of the contact center are the head of the HR department, the chief accountant and the head of the secretariat. HR knows where the people are, the accountant knows where the money is, the secretary knows everything about everyone. Be friends with them.
  2. Be basicly literate in the technical aspects of CC management. Know the characteristics of the software and hardware complex: how many places it supports maximum, what communication channels and to what extent it uses, what codecs and protocols are used for data transfer, what are the features of specific implementations of Preview / Progressive / Predictive modes and MIA / LOA algorithms, etc. Minimum – you can shine at meetings, maximum – you will not lose half of the incoming traffic in A-blocks.
  3. In a good way, don’t trust programmers. These guys are able to do a lot for a company or a contact center, but they have a lot of tasks and they can make mistakes (and they don’t know the formulas for calculating KPI CC). Check each new report until the length of the audio recording of the conversation and Talk+Hold match. Time the post-call with a stopwatch. Check call details with provider billings. Carefully accept the work of the IT department.
  4. Never use summary reports without the ability to check the details for them. Programmers are not only talented guys, but also save their time: some of the data in the summary report may well be displayed not from the actual situation, but from some temporary storage, to which the unoptimized SQL query is slowly working out. Always check the summary data with the details and only then include them in the report for your boss.
  5. Avoid rounding in reports, even if required by an internal or external customer. There should be two columns: with rounded numbers and without rounding – for verification. Rounding errors are one of the most common errors in the preparation of CC reporting. If a column gets in the way, you can hide it in Excel. But always leave unrounded in the report.
  6. If you are preparing a report, a commercial proposal or an explanatory note, remember: you are writing them so that someone will read and understand. Therefore, save your partner’s brain, do not make puzzles. UTZ according to COPC and UTZ according to ISO18295, just like ACW (Average Contact Waiting) and ACW (After Contact Work) are not the same, although the abbreviations are the same. Explain the ambiguous and incomprehensible, add units of measurement to the column headings. A good report or presentation does not require clarifying questions about the content, but only about the conclusions.
  7. Prepare management documents for your department only yourself, do not download ready-made, do not ask colleagues to share. First, there is a 90% chance of copying someone else’s mistake. Secondly, if you describe in detail the duties of a supervisor, there will be more than 50 (fifty) of them. Where can you find such a detailed job description template? At the same time, CI is a reason to ask a person for his work. Therefore, do not be lazy.
  8. The first signs of disloyalty or burnout of subordinates begin with “A”: “they didn’t tell me”, “I didn’t know”, “but this was not my shift”, “but here it is …”, “why should I”, “ and my working day is over” and the like. Unfortunately, when these symptoms appear, the employee is most likely already looking for another job. Help him leave quickly and with dignity.
  9. Gossip and rumors in women’s groups are a common occurrence. It is practically useless to fight, but do not allow gossip in front of you and do not gossip yourself. From false or unconfirmed information, only false decisions are obtained. If you are acting on a lie, then you are lying to yourself.
  10. Your unbelief is the basis of your peaceful rest. After all, at three o’clock on New Year’s Eve they can be pulled out of a nightclub and taken to the office to fix the problem. Do not believe the reports that everything is fine, demand to show evidence. Don’t trust programmers that there are no mistakes – they will be. Don’t trust that the shift schedule is correct – run drills on Saturday morning, see how the supervisor closes the shortage of at least three people due to an artificially created scheduling error. Do not trust the one who is in charge of safety – let at least one young girl who signed the magazine demonstrate the use of a charged fire extinguisher. If subordinates are at another site, do not be lazy to go and talk. It is not always possible to notice a production conflict over a video conference, but in a conversation it is easy.
  11. If you see a production conflict within the team, stop immediately by any available methods, up to the conflict commission and the dismissal of one of the participants. Choose the gentlest way to solve the problem, but remember that “talking” and “pulling participants into corners” usually does not work.
  12. Be a model for subordinates – this is correct, but trite. So constantly show them something new. I learned a new sales technique – run it in and let your people listen to the record. I read about a foreign contact center – make a written translation or report for the guys.
  13. In times of uncertainty, trust your intuition. But remember that uncertainty is associated with fear, and fear makes you twitch. Do not make critical decisions until you realize that the situation has become critical. If the lights went out in the office of a large CC, and your management and city council do not answer calls, wait 40 minutes. Usually, if they don’t fix it during this time, then you can slowly let the operators go, but with the condition to stay in touch. If the CC is small, for example, out of 15 places, you can wait for more, the salary losses will be non-critical.
  14. Do not drink with subordinates, no matter how much you would like to “look at them.” At a corporate event, it is correct when employees of the same rank communicate with each other, but not with subordinates. Congratulate your people and go to your fellow leaders.
  15. Remember that “people come to the company and leave the leader” is only half of the proverb. The second sounds like this: “they take the beautiful ones, but they fire the smart ones.” So every time you have to put it down on someone’s resignation letter, think for a minute. And yes, try to dismiss under Art. 77 p.1 (agreement of the parties), and not under Art. 77 p.3 (own desire). In the event of a disputable situation upon dismissal under Art. 77 paragraph 1, the court will take the side of the employer.

What important points do you think we missed? Did this list help you?

Reporting in Oki-Toki

Reports are an important part in any call center. They help you see if the campaign is “going” right, if KPIs are being met, how the day has gone by, and what to expect at the end of the month. Reports in Oki-Toki can be received in CSV and EXCEL, uploaded via API, remember their settings, and for supervisors, all reports are provided with hints and cross-references to other reports. Read more about reports and their types of reports on our blog .

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