The Call Center Job Description
Revising your Call Center Job Description Tells Call Center Employees Where They’re Going.
It takes a thorough understanding of the big picture call center business. Few managers know that actually communicating that understanding is also the best way to hold onto employees.
Long gone are the days of the dead-end, “slacker-heaven” call center job.
Today’s call center manager needs to be providing expertise, not only to callers, but to the workers taking the calls.
As the call center industry develops and changes, so too does the job description that keeps your positions filled. These are just some of the points you should be making in your job description to find – and keep – the right people. They know, perhaps better than you, that these are the skills that will keep them advancing over a career that lasts a lifetime.
Each of the following is also a path that opens up for your representatives. So even for low-skill workers, the more they are learning, the more likely they are to extend their now profitable relationship with your firm.
1) Help Desk & Tech Support
This was perhaps the original life-line dropped into the “going nowhere” despair of the call center worker. Even if they’re just helping visitors to navigate your “otherwise perfect” website, experience with technical support and help desk is important. Play it up. No matter how distant your company is from actually developing apps, online products or services, accessing the information and providing assistance is an important part of any center service. Assembly, use, warranty registration, and all kinds of related customer service make yours a Help Desk and the service your operators offer into a Tech Support role.
2) Brand Advocacy
We’ve written in the past about employee advocates, and converting listless disengaged employees into advocates who happily promote your brand. You can only expect people to really advocate for your brand if they truly love where they work. For that, you better be providing them with an incentive beyond salary for doing this grueling and difficult work. Start with making call center workers love where they work. Then make them love who they’re representing. Then strategize ways to make the message real and the point will sink home. Here are five more tips for doing just that.
3) The Ultimate Support
Support staff have gotten the short end of the stick. In the change from secretaries to “admin assists” somehow the word “support” has gotten a raw deal. It’s an important role whether you’re ops are investigating billing statement charges, the finer points of policy or new interest charges. Any number of these support roles could prepare your op for a future in administration. Funny enough, that’s exactly where a proven phone manner is often a most valuable asset.
4) Collections Savvy is Sales Savvy, too
Some of the toughest jobs on the phone are also some of the most rewarding. Yes, people walk away all the time. Preparing people to walk away is, funny enough, one of the best ways to keep them from actually walking. Even if your managing a call center as a third party collections agency, your people are sales people. Nothing prepares phone ops and agents for a career in sales like tough-nosed collections calling. The techniques are the same. The atmosphere can be brutal if you’re not careful and the rewards are next to none. That means, management needs to be on top of doling out the rewards. Collections pros are natural sales people and your organization would be wise to consider them as such – and not as disposable human fodder.
5) Communications Everything
Take a look at revising your company FAQ with the call-center front and center in your research. They’re experts in wording, explanations and the finer points of what, how and why. If they need to explain away some troubling truth, ask them how they do it. Call centers do get called “Nerve Centers” at times, but thinking of them as intelligent “Brain Centers” is often the truth too. Continuous improvement, innovation on steroids, and employee engagement are all possible when you let your ops do some talking, and you do some listening. The true communicators, those gifted enough to accurately record (write) what they experience, have a future in communications, marketing, or even strategy and planning. Tell them and help them to get there.
6) Reputation Management
Take it the other way, from number two above. Some firms (perhaps yours?) have work cut out for them just to keep off of customers’ hit list. They’re their own worst enemies and having friendly, knowledgeable and competent voices on the phone is a huge plus. Otherwise they’d drive into the ditch and stay there. Reputation management starts with the very next interaction. Even the ignored interactions – like countless call center calls – make a fast and important impact. You better believe, too, that phone conversations get noted on the internet (where Reputation Management matters most). Your ops who make big improvements in parent company reputation. Make sure employees are reminded that this is an important growth area for all kinds of communications areas and all kinds of companies.
All these points are, in fact, growth areas. Call center employees don’t like feeling stuck and going nowhere. Giving them a future is a very important way of keeping a bit more of their future intertwined with yours. All the other things you do with them are more profitable when they’re more profitable for your employees too. You don’t need expensive raises and bonuses if you’re working with real promises – and real understanding. Are your managers?
Photo this Page: Call Center © by Vitor Lima, Creative Commons / Flickr