So, you want to be a call center manager? Maybe you’ve worked in the customer service industry for years and you’re finally ready to take the next step, or perhaps it’s what you’ve always aspired to do. Regardless, there are a few mission critical things you should know before taking on this huge responsibility. The job of a contact center manager is no cake walk, and the role has changed dramatically over the last few years. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of important questions that will test your wits about running a contact center. Wait…don’t run away, we won’t tell anyone your test results! This is simply a great way for you to determine how much prep work needs to be done before entering your new role. If you score well, give yourself a pat on the back – it’s probably a good indication you’re ready to take the leap. If not, don’t give up; see these results as a way to improve upon your knowledge and skills. Heck, we bet even the most experienced call center managers will get stumped.
Answer the following 10 questions in under 10 minutes without using any cheats (i.e. Googling the answers, or taking a sneak peak at the answers). The results at the bottom will provide a review of your score and some next steps to help you on the path to becoming a call center manager — Good luck!
Your time starts in 3…2…1, GO!
1. What are some important contact center metrics?
a) Service Level, ICR, OCR
b) Abandon rate, FCR, RPC
c) Cost-per-call, OCR, Quality Score
d) Both b and c
2. What should you do if these metrics change?
a) Don’t worry about it; they’ll go back to normal
b) Blame it on poor agent service and hold a meeting
c) Observe closely and consider potential solutions
d) Deploy the lowest cost solution you can find
3. How can you reduce abandon rates and improve customer satisfaction?
a) Proper staffing and training
b) Using a call-back solution
c) Being active on more than one channel
d) All of the above
4. What is the “best” channel to handle complex customer questions?
a) Social media
b) Live chat
5. What is the most “popular” customer service channel?
a) Live chat
d) Social Media
6. How can you help agents escalate a conversation from chat to voice?
a) Proper training and skillset
b) By integrating a CRM software solution
c) Provide a call-back option that saves the context of the interaction
d) All of the above
7. True or False: “As long as I have enough agents on staff, any contact center can handle spikes in call volume”.
8. What are some solutions that minimize the impact of unforeseen events such as power outages or other events that can affect speed of answer?
a) Multichannel communication
d) All of the above
9. True or False: “Individual agents report directly to their manager at any given time”.
10. What are some successful agent retention techniques?
a) Career growth
b) Working remotely
c) Integrating proper solutions to simplify and enhance their work
d) All of the above
1. What are some important contact center metrics? d) Both b and c
Abandon rate, First Call Resolution (FCR), Right Party Connects (RPC), Cost per call, One Contact Resolution (OCR) and Quality Score are all measurable call center metrics
2. What should you do if these metrics change? c) Observe closely and consider potential solutions
Managers should pay close attention to fluctuating metrics. It’s important not to ignore, blame agents, or make rash decisions when this happens.
3. How can you reduce abandon rates and improve customer satisfaction? c) All of the above
Ensure your agents are superstars, integrate the proper call-back solutions and be present where your customers are.
4. What is the “best” channel to handle complex customer questions? d) Voice
The voice channel is best suited to handle complicated customer support issues. In fact, 58% of customers need to switch from web to phone to complete a transaction.
5. What is the most “popular” customer service channel? c) Voice
The voice channel still handles 68% of all call center communications and that number is still growing.
6. How can you help agents escalate a conversation from chat to voice? d) All of the above
The proper training on contact channels is a necessity for any agent. Integrating a CRM solution also helps agents to reply in a more timely and efficient manner. In addition, a call-back option such as Fonolo’s Web and Mobile Rescue preserves the context of each interaction so when an agent needs to escalate from web or mobile to voice the context of that conversation is maintained.
7. True or False: “As long as I have enough agents on staff, any contact center can handle spikes in call volume”. b) False
No matter how much staff you have on hand unforeseen events can cause a serious backlog of callers. It’s best to always have a backup plan in place, such as a self-service or a call-back option, rather than unnecessarily overstaffing.
8. What are some solutions that minimize the impact of unforeseen events such as power outages or other events that can affect speed of answer? d) All of the above
Have agents available across multiple communication channels, allow your customers to correct an issue on their own, and provide the option of a call-back – there are all good solutions to minimize a crisis situation. Used in conjunction with one another is even better.
9. True or False: “Individual agents report directly to their manager at any given time”. b) False
Managers should divide agents into teams or sub-groups who report to a leader in that group. A manager cannot field every single agent request and leaders should be trusted to present important concerns at the appropriate times.
10. What are some successful agent retention techniques? c) All of the above
Agents are more likely to remain loyal when there is: Potential for growth, freedom in the workplace and systems that positively enhance the customer experience, making the job less stressful.
If you answered 8-10 questions correctly: Way to go! You’re a natural born leader and cut out for life in the fast lane (or as a contact center manager). But be sure to look into these questions and answers in a much more granular way before entering your new role. Here’s some further reading that may help: The Call Center Guide to Managing Spikes in Call Volume
If you answered 5-7 questions correctly: Not too shabby…But we recommend you spend some time on the floor with front-line reps and shadowing other call center managers before becoming one yourself. Check out this whitepaper to get you scoring a little better the next time: Call Center Metrics: 4 Pitfalls You Need to Avoid
Answered less than 5 questions correctly: It looks like this may just be the beginning of your journey to becoming a contact center manager. Spend more time learning the basics before taking the next step. Take a look at this further reading to start you off: The New Customer Service Lexicon