The problems you may be experiencing—customer churn, agents’ absenteeism, and bad customer experience—may actually be rooted in weak leadership.
Strong leadership is the foundation of a progress-oriented company. In call centers, leaders are responsible for propagating a customer-centric culture by setting the standards agents must comply with.
So, what happens when leaders slack off or fail to acquire the qualities they ought to?
The repercussions of bad leadership are wide and far-reaching, affecting the entire operations of the call center. When employees don’t have a smooth working relationship with their leaders, there’s a barrier that prevents them from communicating clearly with one another. Messages that must be handed down to the team members aren’t properly relayed, while agents feel as though they can’t approach their superiors regarding their concerns. These are factors that will eventually reflect on the agent’s performance, therefore negatively affecting the customer experience.
The following are performance red flags that point to poor leadership.
1. Inconsistent way of handling transactions
You’ll know whether a call center executes its customer service management well if its transactions are handled in a consistent manner. This means that within departments, the same protocols are being followed and thus, all customers are treated fairly.
Ineffective leadership can undermine the process of standardizing problem resolution. If the proper steps in dealing with customers’ concerns aren’t communicated clearly, there’ll be a lot of confusion within your team. This can slow down your services and may even ruin a brand’s reputation.
2. High attrition rate and low staff engagement
Weak leaders have poorly performing teams, and it’s not because the agents lack the necessary skills. Rather, it’s because their leaders fail to create the necessary team dynamics that would enable them to execute their tasks well. Over time, agents may feel burnt out or stressed, as their needs are not being addressed. This results in alarmingly low engagement and high attrition rates.
3. Poorly handled escalations
The typical call center escalation path starts from the frontline employee, to the team leader, and then to a supervisor or manager. Those who are in a leadership position are authorized to make decisions that the agent sometimes cannot make. This means they must have a firm grasp on their role in customer service management. Otherwise, they’ll be incapable of making sound actions that address a customer’s specific needs, therefore resulting in dissatisfaction.
4. Faulty workforce scheduling
Aside from engaging and motivating agents, workforce scheduling is another crucial part of team management. Organizing agents’ work shifts ensures that tasks are well-distributed throughout the day. Aside from helping avoid redundancy, this allows call centers to deliver uninterrupted services, which is now a common requirement of most brands.
However, organizing agents’ shifts isn’t just about making sure that somebody’s holding the fort 24/7. Team leaders also have to check if their agents have no problems working in changing schedules. As much as possible, try to give them consistent schedules, or avoid altering their routine abruptly and without notice.
5. Lack of growth and improvements
Poor leadership can result in an organization’s long-term stagnancy. In a call center, this can happen if customer feedback isn’t integrated into the organization’s operations or if the mechanisms for gathering customer insights aren’t being implemented. Ideally, leaders must constantly look for ways to update the way they provide services in order to uphold a branded customer experience.