By Melissa Kovacevic
Choosing the right agents to promote to front line Leadership roles in our contact centers and our customer facing service offices is often a challenge.
Most studies link poor Leadership to not only Employee Satisfaction drops but also declines in Customer Satisfaction.
From a high level view, we need to find a candidate who will provide our business with a positive mix of employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction and business results.
As proactive Managers, we should have a plan in place for both promoting Agents and supporting them by providing the training and coaching needed to be successful.
First, we need to establish expectations and goals for Agents to achieve on the path to Leadership.
We should explain to our Agents what is needed, why, and how to get there.
We also need to determine which skills are “must haves” and which are trainable. Length of employment should not be the prime factor in selection, but sadly this often happens as I see in the “Mary’s been here a long time and we don’t know what else to do with her” syndrome.
It’s important for us to review our job descriptions and update as needed:
- Does the Supervisor or Team Leader job description truly reflect the current job and skills needed?
- When was the last time you “shadowed” them for a day to see what the work really entails?
- Do you want new front line leaders to do some other work activities that require additional skills beyond current expectations?
When you are looking at ways to identify some good Agent to Leadership candidates, how do their Agent skills demonstrate these key Supervisor skills?
- Follow-through: Calls back customers on time, completes tasks as requested
- Time Management: Aware of time control on calls & project deadlines
- Coaching: Mentors with new hires, offers to help with training
- Analytical Thinking: Considers all possible ways to help customers
- Motivation: Has positive “can-do” attitude & encourages others
- Work Ethic: Good attendance, focused on customers and business results
- Decision Making Empathetic but firm with necessary customer decisions
In future posts, I’ll focus on some other areas of Agent development and promotion.
Let me know what you think and what your own experience has been in selecting Agents who became great Leaders.
Other great reads:
Is it Possible Frontline Employees Don’t Understand Service?
Overtime Pay Blues
Work at Home: Move Ahead
Work at Home: Make It Work for You
Source: Customer Service Power Turn On
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