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5 Things You Need to Know About Managing Call Center Agents

Managing Call Center Agents

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Author: Abbie Tabbilos

Complacency in your call center agents will almost certainly lead to you getting left behind. By sticking with original processes, you chance your competitors’ innovation to overrule your own. Consistently seeking new ways to improve is a non-negotiable quality of the modern contact center.

However, if you truly want to see improvement, you cannot focus on just your software platform or just your agents. To offer best-in-the-industry service, you need the perfect combination of technology, agent training and support. 

1. Start with a solid foundation

Having an all-inclusive call center software platform with stellar customer service is the foundation of any successful call center. Outdated and unsupported technology makes for frustrated agents and poor customer service. Up to date, supported technology makes agents’ jobs easier, which will translate into an improved customer experience. 

Having a solid software platform will also allow you to clue into actionable insights and target specific areas to optimize your operations. By tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) like call arrival rate, first call resolution, average handle time, right party contact rate and even revenue per successful call, you can avoid being in the dark about what areas of your call center need improvement.

2. Don’t stop training after onboarding

Once you have a solid foundation, you have to create one for your agents by putting all of the right tools in their tool belt. Debriefing agents on your culture, giving thorough instructions on processes and setting clear expectations are all important steps during onboarding–but the true key to success may be continuous training designed to finetune skills. For instance, with TCN Operator, call centers can evaluate agent performance through agent scorecards, allowing managers to help agents zero in on actionable, easy-to-digest improvements. 

3. Maintain open communication channels

Making help available and easily accessible for agents whenever they may need it can make or break agent success. TCN’s Room 303 makes this possible. Whenever an agent needs assistance, all they have to do is send a message in an online chat to get the help they need. By making it easy for agents to ask for help, agent morale will increase and a positive working environment can be created and maintained. However, open communication only goes so far if you can’t provide solid examples to answer questions and supplement training with helpful material.

Using call recordings can clarify muddy situations by illustrating an agent’s tone or showing more efficient ways to handle situations. Additionally, if you are wanting to pinpoint your focus in your training or become more aware of specific issues, you can set up call flagging to alert you and then decide to use the material for training or assist agents in real-time with manager whisper capabilities. 

4. Don’t be afraid of Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Let’s face the facts: when it comes to your call center, sometimes it isn’t possible to solve all problems efficiently by manpower alone. If you are consistently receiving calls about the same issue, perhaps it would make the most sense to let IVR take the reigns so your agents can focus on more complex issues, have more time to reach their goals and boost their efficiency.

By allowing IVR in your call center, you have the opportunity to increase your contact center’s professionalism because IVR doesn’t pose the risk of becoming frustrated or impatient and you can load it up with the knowledge that you won’t have to worry about it forgetting.

5. Utilize management tools to make the most of your efforts

TCN’s Workforce Engagement suite is the ultimate all-in-one tool for managing call center agents because it tackles issues from collecting and using data to empowering agents to handle scheduling conflicts independently. Within this suite, call center managers can leverage TCN’s Workforce Optimization and Workforce Management tools. 

Workforce Optimization is all about turning data into actionable insights in real-time to help you recognize areas where you can make changes to boost productivity. Discover how much downtime your agents are experiencing and find ways to minimize it by tackling disengagement to completely transform your call center’s efficiency.

With Workforce Management tools, your job as a call center manager can be simplified. Advanced forecasting tools will help you decide how many agents to have on hand so you can eliminate the need for seasonal hires. Agents can become more self-reliant by handling shift swaps independently. Ultimately, you shouldn’t have to handle management alone–let TCN help.

Don’t go it alone

Managing a call center is no easy feat. But the good news is that simplifying the job is not impossible. Solutions like Room 303, real-time data processing, IVR and the Workforce Engagement suite can complement a solid call center software platform to optimize your management efforts. Request a demo today to learn more.

About the Author: Abbie Tabbilos


Abbie Tabbilos is a Marketing Content Writer for TCN, a worldwide leading provider of cloud-based call center technology. As a Brigham Young University-Hawaii graduate with a B.S. in Communications & a minor in Professional Writing, she enjoys arranging elaborate ideas into precise sentences. When she’s not at work, Abbie enjoys working on her memoir and refining her public speaking skills.