Attracting and Retaining Customer Contact employees is an on-going challenge faced by our industry. We all want to see more of those who choose to start a Customer Service and Contact Centre career, stay, prosper and where possible, go on to achieve the progression they can. You may remember one of our earlier posts Contact Centres – The Future Leaders Training Ground which showcased some of the opportunities available to aspiring Agents, so how can we help them get there?
We wanted to share this post with you by Melissa Kovacevic. Melissa has over 27 years of Contact Centre & Frontline Retail Team Consulting experience in improving process, procedures, strategy, technology and skills. Melissa’s Contact Centre & Service Tips Blog was also voted one of the Top Call Centre Websites 2011 by Call Centre Helper Magazine. Over to Melissa :
Much has been written about what Contact Centre and Customer Service Leadership should do to motivate, mentor and be successful with their teams. But what should an Agent or Customer Service Rep do to be successful in their quest for promotion?
1. Be willing to volunteer for projects
When there are opportunities offered and you make excuses or avoid them altogether, you send a clear signal about your initiative (or lack of it). Ask if there is anything you CAN help with. Even if there isn’t anything extra to do, your Manager will take note of your willingness to help.
2. Mentor others by being positive and encouraging
Are you the Agent the new hires like to sit with because you are knowledgeable and motivate them? Or, are you the Agent the new hires avoid sitting near because you complain about the customers or your work? Be welcoming and motivating and help your teammates succeed.
3. Stay out of the internal conflicts on your team and gossip mill
When people work together in large groups under high pressure as we have when the calls are coming in back to back, there are some who will take out their frustrations on co-workers or talk badly about management. Stay clear of these folks or you may find yourself accused of “stirring the pot” too.
4. Demonstrate the Customer Experience focus needed and Learn more about the Business
Ask for ways to improve your service skills and customer interactions. Don’t just wait for feedback and coaching. Show that you are open and willing to take feedback. Review the company goals, mission and educate yourself on how the business operates.
5. Suggest ways to help the business be successful and increase customer satisfaction
This is not complaining. This is, “I see an opportunity for ________ and I have a suggestion which will help by ______”. Don’t bring complaints. Bring solutions and ideas. When you do have suggestions, make them in a positive, factual manner, not using emotional talk.
6. Show up for work!
7. Express your interest in moving into Leadership
Ask your Supervisor to share ways you can reach your goal via classes, book recommendations, advice on skills needed. Improving your skills in Time Management, Coaching, Verbal and Written Communication, Dealing with Difficult People, How to Motivate, Team Building and How to create a great Customer Experience will help you get a jump start on what you’ll use in Leadership.
8. Self Honesty: Why do you want the promotion?
Be honest with yourself. Is it because of the new challenge and opportunity to grow or just the money you feel you “deserve” after working there for a while? There is a big difference between being a co-worker with your Agent friends and overseeing their schedules, quality issues and perhaps delivering “bad news” to them as a Supervisor. Do you feel you have what it takes to be successful?
What do you think? If you have some more ideas to help Agents and Team Leaders develop the skills needed to develop into a senior management role, please do let us know and share them here.