If you have read our article, Important Call Center Skills For Agents, you may be wondering about the call center supervisor skills that are necessary.
The majority of supervisors in a call center have probably gained promotion from a customer service agent. And if they have, then it is likely that they already have the skills that we spoke about in the last article. However, there are more skills a supervisor requires. Firstly, you may have read our other article about reward schemes. If you have, then you may have seen that one of the top preferred “small” prizes is to have the supervisor do the agent’s work for a while.
The reason for that is because the supervisor already has the skills required to be an outstanding agent, and they can show the agent how to do it. But, what happens when the agent becomes the supervisor? Call center supervisor skills are undoubtedly different from the agents’ skills.
Before we can look at the Call Center Supervisor Skills, we need to look at what the responsibilities of one are. There are many different call centers, with different mentalities. However, the requirements and duties of a call center supervisor are going to be very similar in all of them. Those responsibilities are:
As you can see, there are a lot of responsibilities put on a supervisor. That means that having the right call center supervisor skills is imperative to get it right.
There are many skills that a call center supervisor needs to have to be successful. As you have seen above, there are a lot of responsibilities to a supervisor position, and there are skills that will help you along the way. Here is a list of the top skills that we think that you need. It may be more than you think, but it is undoubtedly better to aim for more than less:
Now, a list of call center supervisor skills is pretty useless without explanations of what they mean and how they affect the job. So, we are now going to look at each of the skills in a little more detail.
The first of the call center supervisor skills is creating a team and an environment that supports it. That is critical to any call center. Relationship building is how you create that team attitude and atmosphere. However, while relationship building between yourself and the agents is a must, it is certainly worth thinking about how your team works together as a whole.
Building the relationships between yourself and your team, and the team members themselves will have some dramatic improvements in three critical aspects of your call center:
Relationship building is one of the most crucial call center supervisor skills, and it is no wonder why.
The ability to lead a team is a lot like relationship building. However, there is a difference. Many people in the world get on with everyone they meet, but that does not make them good supervisors. That is where having the ability to lead comes in very useful. Some of the bullet points in this section are very similar to the ones above, but they only add to the effect that you get from relationship building:
Call center supervisors and managers do not get the work done all on their own. It takes a lot of dedication from the team as a whole to meet some of the demanding goals and deadlines that you can face. There are many ways in which a workplace can improve, and spotting those areas and making efforts to develop them is crucial.
Employees will enjoy seeing you are trying to make their job easier, quicker, and more enjoyable. The constant development of the workflow and processes is one of the best ways for that to happen.
Not only do they want to see the development of their routine, though. Employees also want to know that you invest time in their development as a person and as a colleague. Personalized training and coaching will show that you commit to them and their jobs.
Call center supervisors need to be very organized. It is a very well known fact that you even have to thrive off the organization. There are so many things that happen in a call center. As a supervisor, you need to be on top of all of them. There are going to be a lot of tasks that require completing, and you can not let any of them slip. Even the smallest uncompleted job in a call center can cause havoc.
If you miss a task, you are likely to disrupt the whole running of the call center, and that will reflect poorly on your leadership and management skills. Therefore, you will need to stay on top of various supervisor tasks as well as help your employees as and when they need it. Staying organized will keep mistakes at a minimum, and set an excellent example for your staff.
One of the upsides to working in a call center is that no two days are ever the same. It may look like they would be precisely the same every day to an outsider. However, if you have ever worked in one, you would know that they are never the same. Yes, there may be a lot of very similar calls, but you will encounter something different in one or more calls every single day.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to have a caller with strange requests or hugely angry customers. But if you work in a call center, you often have just the right number of agents for the number of calls you receive. That means that even if someone is ill, it will change your day dramatically.
It is in situations like irate customers, power cuts, phone line issues, etc. that you will need to be able to think outside the box. Surprises and inconveniences are all part of the job as a supervisor in a call center, and thinking outside the box is just another one of the call center supervisor skills thing that you need to thrive off.
Call centers are busy places. With anything up to 1000+ employees, you need to be able to communicate effectively. However, that does not mean shout at everyone. It means being approachable. No one likes to have a problem at the best of times. However, it is infinitely worse if the supervisor is unapproachable.
Approachability can involve anything, from a simple “good morning,” with a smile, and maintaining eye contact. To more important things like being reasonable when there are issues that were silly accidents. A proactive approach is always the right place to start. Make more time for your staff, actively ask if they have any issues or concerns, and do not wait for them to come to you.
Critical thinking is another one of the primary call center supervisor skills that you may need to work on. Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information objectively and then make a reasoned judgment on that information or data. However, it is not just the data that critical thinkers use. Being a great critical thinker will involve the use of other sources of information, data, and observable information.
There are five primary skills that we think are immensely helpful in becoming a great critical thinker:
As you can see, all of the requirements for critical thinking intermingle with all of the other call center supervisor skills in this article. That means that you will probably be an excellent critical thinker if you have got the other skills anyway.
Being the supervisor in almost any position will require problem-solving to some extent. However, I have known supervisors who come from different industries into call centers and still be effective leaders. However, they have still had a tough time getting used to the problems that require solving as a contact center supervisor.
Many different problems need solving in call centers every day. If you have ever been, or are a call center agent, then you will know how many issues you can come across in a single day. Now, let’s for a second think that you are a supervisor of fifty agents. You currently have all of the problems for 50 agents on top of your issues that need attention.
Having the ability to adapt to each of those issues quickly is the key to success.
Another of a call center supervisor’s skills that is closely related to problem-solving is reasoning. However, reasoning often requires the use of observation of information that is not always apparent to come to conclusions.
Moral reasoning between staff is also vital to getting the maximum performance out of your team. That can involve negotiation skills, staff meetings, performance evaluation procedures, and using verbal communication to make sure your team of agents complete their daily activities well enough to provide an excellent customer experience.
There is proof that supervisors with excellent leadership and reasoning skills will have groups that perform better, have better attrition rates, and overall staff performance than those who are not as good.
Call centers are fast-paced environments, and a center manager must make decisions just as quickly. There is no time for a call center supervisor to sit pondering about issues and resolutions – it can be a real uphill battle. Good supervisors will have the leadership skills to come to conclusions quickly and communicate those decisions effectively to the contact center employees.
Call center agents already feel the pressure a lot of the time, and that can be exacerbated by the inability of their supervisor to make swift decisions. However, decision making is not just about doing it quickly. You will also have to know when something needs more thought and then take the time to do so.
That, in contact center management, can be anything from dealing with customer issues to dealing with illness, or any number of contact center supervisor duties.
Call center supervisors, as you have already read, have a lot of responsibilities. There are customer escalations, agent queries, direct QA, performance evaluations, telephone equipment issues, completing performance reports, etc. As you can see, at the beginning of this article, there are seven main requirements of a call center supervisor. However, those requirements do not get put in a queue, they can all come at once, and they still need dealing with.
Multi-tasking will ensure that none of them fail and cause more significant problems down the line.
There are a lot of Call Center Supervisor Skills that will help you get the most out of your position, and the team as a whole. In this article, we have covered most of the skills required and gone into some details as to why. I hope that it has helped. If you want to have any more information, then please contact us.