When your company implements cloud contact center software across multiple business units (e.g., sales, marketing, support, etc.), it’s important to clearly define contact center roles and responsibilities at the beginning of the process. If your employees and contact center users have a clear vision of expectations and measurable KPIs, your company is far more likely to reach operational targets, and provide the best experience for customers.
In this blog post, we’ll cover:
- Who the key Contact Center users are
- Best practices for enforcing Agent roles & responsibilities
- Roles & responsibilities for Supervisors
- Considerations and tasks for Administrators
Key Contact Center Users
Before we define which roles and responsibilities that companies should implement, it’s important to understand the key players in typical contact center environments. Generally speaking, 3 main groups will play a role in daily contact center operations (agents, supervisors and administrators), each equally dependent on one another. Within a standard contact center layout, these groups generally play the following roles:
- Contact Center Agents – As the customer facing arm of the company, agents (whether they’re sales or customer support) are the workhorses tasked with keeping customers happy. Since agents are the direct link between customers and your business, employing quality agents should be your primary focus.
- Contact Center Supervisors – Acting as the liaison between your agents and upper management, contact center supervisors must be qualified to oversee operations to ensure customer needs are being met and the agents are acting as efficiently as possible. If gaps exist within the contact center, your supervisor must identify and resolve them without any adverse effects to daily operations. Multiple supervisors can play a role in the organization, depending on how many teams or business units are using the software and interacting with customers.
- Contact Center Administrators – Within a cloud-based contact center, administrators are responsible for constructing the various components and workflows of the contact center (such as IVR, queue routing, workforce management), and apply real-time changes as necessary.
How to Enforce Contact Center Roles and Responsibilities for Agents
Throughout our various implementations at Contivio, one of the fundamental mistakes we see companies make involves the lack of contact center roles and responsibilities for agents. Without setting clear expectations upfront, contact center environments are at risk of struggling. As we can never underestimate the role agents play in driving success, we recommend you implement and enforce the following responsibilities and KPIs for your agents:
- Daily interaction targets – To set agent expectations, analyzing baseline measurements will provide the quantitative data needed to set daily interaction goals. When agents are held to measurable standards, keeping consistency across the board is far easier. When agents are on-boarded make sure they clearly understand what is expected on a daily basis. If needed, set benchmarking goals based on your top agents.
- Set Schedules – Finding the right balance within a contact center can be challenging, but with the right tools, mandating schedule adherence can be managed on-the-fly. Advanced contact center solutions provide a workforce management platform, which locks agents into particular media channels at designed times (i.e., forced schedule adherence). By pre-generating an agent schedule, contact center roles and responsibilities can be applied and enforced.
- Leverage tools and resources – Always educate your agents on what tools and resources are available to them. With contact center features like instant messaging, call scripts and call whispering, your agents should have everything they need at their fingertips to succeed. For example, a quick instant message from a colleague or supervisor can provide the advice needed to dissolve a sticky situation. The key takeaway is to instill in your agents the benefit of reaching out to supervisors and other agents who have the experience needed to calm the storm.
Taking for granted the role contact center agents play in driving future growth of a company can be disastrous mistake. As the customer-facing aspect your company, contact center roles and responsibilities act as the security blanket for companies to mitigate the risk of negative customer perception.
Contact Center Roles and Responsibilities for Supervisors
When shaping your work environment, remember that contact center roles and responsibilities for supervisors should directly correlate to contact center goals. Common KPIs and goals include shortened sales cycles (i.e., improved sales), and increased first call resolution rates (i.e., enhanced customer service).
Contact center roles and responsibilities should never be randomly distributed, as it’s most effective to shape them based on your customer expectations and needs specifically. As it relates to your supervisors, the following contact center roles and responsibilities for supervisors are critical:
- Agent Monitoring – As the contact center supervisor, one of the best ways to analyze strengths and weaknesses amongst agents is to monitor calls, chats and any other communications the agent is participating in with customers. When supervisors leverage monitoring functionality, they can mold agents to interact with customers in a way that builds a long-term rapport and a healthy, lasting customer relationship. If the supervisor notices that certain agents are falling behind, they should also monitor the daily activity of the agents to understand why they’re not meeting expectations. For example, if you find that agents have been taking frequent breaks throughout the day, or are online less than they should be, you will have a data-driven record of their hours to address the issue with them.
- Call Recording – Recording agent calls & interactions is not only useful for quality assurance monitoring; it also helps supervisors on-board agents dynamically using audio recordings as the context. After agents complete their calls, they can access their recordings with supervisors to address any weaknesses discovered.
- Agent Reviews – Utilization reports provide supervisors with quantitative data to track the volume of daily, weekly, monthly, etc. interactions. With data to compare and contrast agents, supervisors can set up individual meetings to ensure agents are handling their fair share.
As leaders of your contact center, supervisors must be skilled enough to multitask, manage and coach their team, as well as handle escalated customer complaints. The end game should be hitting service levels and objectives set forth by management, which is why contact center roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined and understood.
Contact Center Roles and Responsibilities for Administrators
If you’re having trouble with your contact center operations, take a hard look at your roles and responsibilities for administrators. As the super-user of the software, administrators are tasked with managing how the system operates through IVR configurations, queue assignments, call routing, etc.
Although your administrator will be working in parallel alongside your supervisors, decisions that they make can put your entire environment at risk. Not only is it important for the administrators to have an understanding of your goals and expectations, it’s vital that they understand how each change impacts the organization. Common administrator tasks include:
- IVR Management – Deploying an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solution that’s tailored to the voice of the customer is one of the most important factors in any contact center. IVR solutions are derived via call scripts managed by administrators. Scripts are typically generated in real-time through GUI-enabled drag & drop functionality. Because scripts are so simple to generate and access, administrators should always work in draft versions, never adjusting in-service scripts until they’re 100% sure of the changes.
- Routing Rules – One of the fundamental contact center roles and responsibilities for administrators is to manage routing rules. Setting after-hours prompts, queue voicemails, and call overflow are extremely important for deployment. Administrators must recognize the value in setting and managing routing, and should be review the settings each week to account for any changes or upcoming holidays.
- Report Generation – As outlined above, it’s important for Supervisors to receive call center metrics for their agents. Administrators must ensure reports are sent to the correct supervisors without fail, daily, weekly and/or monthly depending on preference. The administrator should also stay in tune with how the overall call center is performing from an efficiency standpoint and measure the true impact the system is making on the overall business.
Contact center roles and responsibilities are only as strong as their enforcement. Like anything else, your operational framework is useless without enforcement from team leaders. By laying the foundation for success, and forcing widespread adherence, contact centers are bound to effectively operate for the long-term.
For more information on Contivio’s cloud contact center offering for supervisors and administrators, book a demo with our Sales team.