101 Lessons For GREAT Call Center Management
Dan Coen, Call Center Today
Call Center managers are busy people these days so training to better skill sets are usually the last thing on their minds. Learning unique techniques about how best to operate a call center can become more chore than treasure. Topics such as coaching agents, motivating dozens of staff, training management, and leadership quotients are important to the growth of call centers and management. But, where is the time to gain the knowledge? That is why Dan Coen’s 101 Lessons for GREAT Call Center Management is a terrific read to kick-off the 2005 year. It is a simple yet stimulating review of what it takes to operate a world-class call center. The key mission of the book is to offer practical advice that management can use to make a difference in their call center. Best of all, it is a quick read, so managers can begin implementing programs right away.
Mr. Coen’s book is a set of 101 straightforward lessons written specifically for a niche audience comprised of managers, trainers and team leaders. Throughout the book it is emphasized that this level of management is the cornerstone to overseeing operations and motivating call center agents and management. Easy to follow, concise and practical, the book is a complement to the busy lives of call center managers. However, there are three real differences which separate this book from others.
First, this book focuses entirely on the human engineering of people, such as the coaching, supervision and training. There is very little about technology. 101 Lessons for GREAT Call Center Management tackles the challenges that call center managers face in dealing with employees. The book focuses on such area’s as inspiring culture, managing numbers and building an environment to produce results. Several sections are devoted to hiring and recruiting the right candidates, and establishing first-rate quality control and training initiatives.
For example, in lesson 11, the message is crystal clear:
“Establish minimum goals for each agent and supervisor at the beginning of each month. Give them structure. Provide a roadmap. Sit with each member of the team and outline a plan”.
Today’s managers are panicked about reaching goals and supervising people. Therefore, they forget to do the little things that actually produce results. Lesson 11 is common sense that, if implemented, would produce exceptional performance and Return on Investment in the call center. Yet, for whatever reason, managers find it difficult to do monthly goals with agents and supervisors. They seldom follow up on a regular basis to ensure staff is on track to meet objectives. And they often don’t provide a roadmap. A simple, easy lesson every management team member should take to heart.
Second, this book does not come to the reader in a traditional book format. In the call center industry, most books are either a traditional hard cover or soft cover or an audio version. Instead, 101 Lessons for GREAT Call Center Management is an e-book, perhaps one of the first of its kind in call center publishing. Although written just like a traditional book, this e-book must be read on the computer screen via Adobe Acrobat. That means you can read it in the office, on your laptop or via other e-book readers that support Adobe Acrobat. Best of all, you can print any pages you want to keep, in order to hand out to your management team and staff. Because the book is only available via e-book format, each lesson is very short and a quick read. Each page numbers 30 words or less. We imagine management could print one or two lessons each week and distribute those lessons to its team as a way of assisting the learning process.
Finally, Mr. Coen’s book provides readers with a question to answer after most lessons in order to stimulate thinking and focus the reader on task at hand. Sure, a lesson can only present so much information, and the reader may not know what to implement after the recommendation. But, a question after the lesson to encourage further thought helps the reader learn even more. For instance, Lesson 47 says:
“Only promote agents to supervise when they are the best option.”
Following that, a question is asked of the reader:
“What type of agent to management programs do you have in place? Create a process by which agents can hone their skills to advance to management.”
101 Lessons for GREAT Call Center Management is a solid read to start the year. Even the busiest managers, team leaders and trainers can find time to pick and choose the useful advice for building performance in the call center. The book is available by going to www.CallCenterToday.com or by calling toll free 888-835-5326.
About Call Center Today
Call Center Today is a consultancy focused on sparking results within customer service and inside sales contact centers. Clients world wide consider Call Center Today an essential partner dedicated to accelerating performance. Our expert consultants deliver unparalleled solutions to ensure your inside sales and customer service call centers connect effectively with customers, prospects and opportunities.