Team Leader Skills Audits
Industry Content Supporter:
One of the easiest ways for Call Center Managers to identify any skill deficiencies with their Team Leaders is to conduct a Skills Audit that covers all the team leading, functional and technical skills they need to be amazing leaders.
Regularly conducting skills audits is a great way to identify training and coaching priorities that managers can implement to make sure Team Leaders have the skills they need to coach, nurture and lead winning teams.
Another benefit of conducting regular Skills Audits is that it’s much easier for you to identify if there are any skills areas that a number of Team Leaders need help in, so you can decide whether to provide individual face-to-face coaching or group training sessions.
When you create your Skills Audit form use a spreadsheet and break all the skills areas you’ll audit into 2 areas, such as: Team Leading and Functional/Technical skills. And, list all your Team Leaders along the left column.
Then simply go along the row for each Team Leader and either place a tick in the cell under the skills area if you’re comfortable that they are on top of that skill, or place an X in the cell if you’re not. If you place an X against any skill area be sure to add a note to remind yourself what you feel the problem is that needs to be addressed.
It might only take a little feedback to get your Team Leader back on track, which you can do quickly, or you may need to have them attend some specialized training if it involves product knowledge or working with your systems or processes.
Using a form set up this will be useful if a few Team Leaders need the same type of training or coaching because you’ll be able to quickly see that, and then decide to handle it with either one-on-one or group coaching or training.
You should do a Skills Audit every quarter and include it in any reviews and feedback sessions you have with your Team Leaders. And, if you have any new Team Leaders come on board in between quarterly audits, give them a month or two to settle in to their role then conduct their audit.
How to Prepare and Manage Discussions on Your Team’s Poor Performance
Industry Content Supporter:
Do you get a little stressed or anxious about having that ‘chat’ with your boss when your team misses its monthly target?
Most Call Centre Managers and Team Leaders get a little stressed or anxious because they’re
afraid of coming across as defensive or just making excuses.
Here is a simple 4 Step Process I’ve coached Call Centre Managers and Team Leaders
mentored over the past 35 years that relieves the anxiety around these chats and, more
importantly shows your boss you’re on top of the problems and have an action plan to fix them!
Step 1: Identify What Went Wrong
The first step is to be very honest and clear about why your team didn’t hit its target.
Don’t look for excuses because this only makes you look defensive and unaccountable, or even worst – unaware of what’s going on with your team and that you don’t know how to fix it. You don’t ever want your boss thinking that, do you?
So, identify the real reasons why your team missed out by asking yourself a few questions like:
How close were we from hitting our target?
Was the month such a disaster that your team requires a major overhaul or if you were only off by a little, think about what you can do to make sure your team hits its targets next time.
It may just involve some specific coaching or training or introducing some games tied to
performance to get the team back on track or a combination of all these things.
Then ask yourself: Who fell short, and why?
Identify all the team members who didn’t hit their targets that you need to work with to get back on track. Think about why they fell short do they need more coaching or training on certain aspects of their call skills or more product knowledge?
INDUSTRY SERVICE TIPS
1. Define your contact center’s leadership needs. What does leadership mean in your contact center? Be specific. Vagueness breeds more vagueness. Build a program around the specific needs.
2. Practice. When managers are away let leadership development trainees step in and get some practice. These hands-on experiences will prove to be invaluable with lessons learned.
To sustain a viable pipeline of managers, contact centers want to invest in a Leadership Development Program. Companies prefer to hire from within but many times don’t have the right leadership talent available internally, which forces companies to look outside. Implementing an LDP can change that scenario. Leaders are developed over time with the proper structure, leadership and direction.
The best LDP programs include real-world work, education, training and coaching guided by a structured curriculum with tests or accountability checkpoints along the way. Providing Leadership Development Trainees with the opportunity to learn all aspects of the business backfills their experience. The program should include self-study as well as group training and discussion. Assign the trainee with a project; something they can call their own and are responsible for managing and reporting the results.
Developing a Leadership Development Program is a wise investment for long-term staffing and growth. Well-led organizations tend to attract quality applicants, produce satisfied employees, incur less unwanted turnover, cultivate loyal customers, and yield impressive financial returns. Sounds like a tall order but it is possible with a well thought-out program that is committed to its people.
Should You Reprimand or Redirect?
Industry Content Supporter:
Before you give someone a reprimand, you need to think before you act!
You know with all the constant changes happening in Call Centers today, team members are continuously learning new skills involved with processes, technology and ways of handling calls, There can be a lot going on and mistakes are bound to happen and because of this, in many cases, it’s much better to redirect team members, rather than reprimand them.
Over the past 35 years I’ve owned a call center and been involved managing them or consulting with business with call centers, all around the world, and one of the things that inescapably comes up is providing reprimands.
I came across an interesting conversation with Dr Kenneth Blanchard a few years ago that Call Center Managers and Team Leaders should know about when considering giving reprimand.
To begin with, Dr Blanchard suggests when someone does something wrong the first thing you should ask yourself is: Should this person have known better?
If the answer is No, then the team member is still in a learning stage and obviously unfamiliar with their responsibility or task and needs redirection.
He stresses that you should never reprimand a learner, whether it’s a new hire learning the ropes or an experienced team member working on a new task because it will only cause confusion or outright discouragement.
In these situations your role as a leader is to help, or redirect, the team member who is having a problem. Here are the 5 Steps Dr Blanchard gives for an effective redirection:
1. Give the redirection as soon as possible after the problem happens. Prompt feedback is very important.
2. Explain specifically what went wrong and how it could affect others.
3. Take on a bit of the responsibility by saying something like: I must not have made it clear enough… This reduces the pressure on the employee who is simply in need of supportive redirection.
4. Reiterate the importance of the task, and
5. Reassure them you still have confidence in them to help them move toward success on the task. The purpose of redirection is to set up, as soon as possible, an opportunity for a praising to occur.
If the team member should have known better, then you have to ask yourself:
Did this person make the mistake deliberately or because of a lack of confidence?
And, remember that you only reprimand deliberate or unusual regressive behavior. If the problem revolves around a lack of confidence, then you need try to figure the reason. It could be that a new situation exists that is unsettling them.
For example, let’s say you’ve changed a few of your dispositions for call outcomes and an experienced team member is making a lot of mistakes disposing their calls. The reason is most likely a lack of confidence due to a change from what was familiar.
They don’t need a reprimand; what they need is training on the new dispositions, with support and understanding. This isn’t cause for a reprimand.
However, if you have good reason to believe they are not disposing their calls correctly on purpose, a
reprimand may be appropriate.
And, when you deliver the reprimand, remember these four steps:
1. Similarly to redirection, deliver the reprimand as soon as the poor performance or behavior is detected. A reprimand should never be saved for an annual performance review.
2. Be specific about what was done incorrectly and the impact it could have on you or others.
If you don’t dispose calls correctly it really affects our call strategy and puts the business at risk of fines by having calls made that shouldn’t be made in the case of Do Not Call, or reducing our data pool by in correcting disposing a call as not interested when they were just too busy to talk to you.
3. Share your exact feelings about the situation. If you’re frustrated, disappointed or surprise, tell them.
4. Finish by speaking about their past good performance and letting them know the reprimand is not about them as a person, but about their behavior or actions. Say something like:
This upsets me because it’s so unlike you. You’re one of my best people and you usually dispose all your calls correctly.
This last step is very important because you want them to walk away thinking about what they did wrong, not about how poorly you treated them.
And, always remember to catch team members doing something right and praise them at every opportunity. Every time you do, you’re building up deposits goodwill.
So if you need to make a withdrawal for a redirection or reprimand in the future the sting won’t last long and they’ll be that much more motivated to do better next time.
VIDEO FROM OUR EXPERTS
Established in 2009 to provide consulting services to businesses involved in B2B and B2C lead generation and telemarketing activities.
With 30 years of direct marketing experience as a call centre proprietor, senior marketing executive and consultant Marc has been employed or provided consulting services to a wide variety of businesses involved in B2B and B2C activities in such diverse markets as Australia, Canada, Fiji, México, The Bahamas, United Kingdom and United States of America.
Companies out team has worked with – Accor Vacation Club, Club Noosa Resort, Diamond Resorts International, Elkhorn Resorts, GeoHoliday Club, Groupo Costamex, Holiday Resort Properties, Interval Property Management LTD, Resort Hotels of Australia, Shell Vacations LLC, Telstra Australia and the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra among others.
NETWORKING FOR CONTACT CENTER PROFESSIONALS
NACSMA brings together like-minded professionals focused on advancing the customer contact industry and creating career growth.
Management of a best-in-class contact center sites require the continuous review of Agent Sourcing Models, Organizational Training and Management Development Programs.
NACSMA is a professional, non-profit association whose members represent customer contact organizations and the vendors who support them.
When a contact center organization expands to an additional site or requires new space, the steps to properly implement are unique to each organization but do have standard phases.