Out Of All The Tips On Call Center Management, 5 Are Legit

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Managing any type of call center involves much more than overseeing day-to-day operations and managing your workforce. It’s about creating an environment where customers are satisfied, efficiency is the norm, and your agents never feel burned out. 

That’s a lot to manage. And there’s no shortage of tips on how to best manage your call center. 

But there are only five that actually make a difference.

1. Assign Agents One Product a Month and Require Them to Become Experts On It

Too many call centers spread their agents too thin—especially when deep product knowledge can be the difference between satisfactory and exceptional customer service.

Instead of having a team where all of your agents know a little bit about a lot of things, create a team where all your agents possess in-depth product knowledge on a few specific products. The best way to do this is by assigning agents one product to learn each month and requiring them to become experts on it.

This comes with a ton of benefits; not only will they become experts on the product, but it keeps them from becoming bored. 

And they’ll also have enough deep expertise on any given product to take their customer service skills to the next level. 

Done right, the process can also foster a culture of continuous learning and teamwork. 

Here’s how to get started:

First, divide your agents into small teams and assign each team a product to learn thoroughly each month.

At the month’s end, each team should present their assigned product to the rest of the call center. This presentation covers key features, common customer questions, and troubleshooting tips. This can be a super valuable way for the entire center to benefit from the deep dive each team has taken.

Over time, this will put every agent on track to becoming a product expert. Plus, this approach guarantees that agents have more than a superficial understanding of the products they support.

And by giving agents the responsibility for leading a presentation, you’re ensuring that the knowledge sticks. After all, one of the best ways to learn is to teach. This opportunity transforms passive learning into an active, engaging process.

But there are also benefits beyond the training. Agents familiar with the ins and outs of a product can provide tailored, insightful support to customers. This leads to quicker resolution times, higher customer satisfaction, and a reputation for in-depth product support.

2. Incorporate A Skills Test in Recruitment and Role Play in the Interview

Of course you need to train your agents. 

But to build the best possible team, you should also ensure you’re hiring the best candidates from the start. 

This goes beyond scrutinizing resumes. If you want to find individuals who can truly embody your customer support standards, there are a few key things to keep in mind while searching for new hires. 

Specifically, you should incorporate skills-based testing in the interview process after your initial phone screens. These tests might include situational judgment assessments, where candidates are presented with hypothetical customer service scenarios to see how they would react in situations they’re likely to face on the job. 

Typing and Multitasking Tests

Typing and multitasking tests are an easy way to evaluate how well a candidate will perform on the job, as agents need to do both on a daily basis.

This is especially important if you’re hiring for roles involving live chat support. In that case, you could also simulate specific live chat scenarios to help gauge a candidate’s problem-solving skills and their ability to remain professional under pressure.  

For example, during a live chat simulation test, you could create a scenario where a customer is asking for a product recommendation based on specific needs and budget constraints. The candidate would need to ask the right questions to gather more information, suggest suitable products, and handle any objections or additional questions the customer might have—all while typing notes to go into the customer’s file.


As a final test, role-playing can give you a glimpse into how candidates will respond in realistic call scenarios. How do they manage conversations, navigate challenges, and maintain customer service standards? 

For example, you could set up a role-playing scenario where one candidate acts as the support agent while you play an upset customer who just received the wrong order. Your candidate’s task would be to not only solve the issue at hand but also to de-escalate the situation, empathize with the customer, and ensure the customer feels heard and valued throughout the interaction.

By getting to see all this process play out in real time, you’ll be able to ensure your new hires are a match with your customer support philosophy. It will also set a high bar for the level of service your team is expected to deliver. 

And one more tip—pay attention to how the agent responds to your request to role play a customer support scenario.They’ll likely be caught off guard, and their response tells you a lot about how they’d handle these types of situations on the job.

3. Listen In On 1-2 Calls A Week For Each Agent

There’s a lot to be said for quality assurance. But what’s the best way to actually go about it in your call center?  

The key is to implement regular checks in an effective and non-intrusive way. Here’s how.

  1. Implement unannounced call monitoring: Allocate time each week to listen in on 1-2 calls for each agent. Do so without prior notice. Why? This ensures you’re evaluating their natural interaction with customers, giving you genuine insight into their service quality. Block this off on your calendar to make sure it gets done.
  2. Listen to how agents build rapport with customers: Pay attention to how agents create a relationship with customers and address their concerns. This insight can help tailor future training programs to reinforce effective strategies and address common pitfalls.
  3. Schedule feedback sessions: Beyond monitoring, schedule bi-monthly meetings with each agent to discuss the feedback. These sessions aren’t just about pointing out areas of improvement but also recognizing their strengths and encouraging them. Try to end on a positive note.

By blocking off time to monitor calls and focus on each agent’s strengths and weaknesses, you can proactively improve the customer experience across your call center. 

4. Take Away Scripts During Calls

Scripts are useful tools for consistency, but they can also hinder genuine connections between agents and customers. Customers today crave authenticity and personalization. They want to actually be heard. A script can often be a blocker that gets in the way of the authentic connection between an agent and the customer.

If you’ve ever talked to an agent on the phone and it was obvious they were reading from a script, you probably didn’t love it. Your customers likely feel the same way. 

Here’s how to strike the right balance. 

  1. Create good scripts for common calls and objections. A good script should detail exactly what you want the agents to say if a call follows a predictable path.
  2. Distribute these to agents and allow them to study these scripts when they aren’t taking calls. 
  3. When your agents start taking calls for the day, take away the scripts.

In other words, your agents should still familiarize themselves with scripts for common calls and objections during their downtime, which allows them to internalize standard responses and guidelines. 

But they should be able to communicate with callers without relying on their scripts. 

This will help agents adapt the standardized knowledge from the scripts in real-time, so they can engage and be fully present. Eventually, you’ll find this fosters a more natural and personalized interaction with each customer. It strikes a balance between adhering to a consistent script and employing on-the-spot problem-solving skills. 

This approach also shows trust in your agents’ training and knowledge. If they truly have a comprehensive understanding of your products and policies, they should be able to handle most calls independently. 

Again, it’s important to monitor these calls and incorporate continuous feedback. This gives you the chance to further refine the balance between script usage and free-form interaction. 

5. Implement a “Reset” Process for After High-Stress Calls

Handling difficult calls is an inevitable part of working in a call center. But too many of these calls can be emotionally draining for agents—especially when it isn’t their fault and the situation they’re put in is especially difficult to navigate.

Eventually, too many of these difficult calls will affect your agents’ performance in subsequent calls.

Too many high-stress calls without a “reset” also risks agents burning out. High turnover means potentially losing good people, not to mention more time and money spent on training and hiring.  

Here’s how to help your agents bounce back after high-stress calls:

  1. Establish a reset protocol: Create a simple, quick process that agents can follow to decompress for a few minutes after a tough call. This might involve stepping away from their desk, taking a brief walk, or engaging in a short mindfulness exercise.
  2. Build a notification system: Allow agents to signal the need for a reset by sending a direct message to you or setting their status to “away” within the call center software. This alerts supervisors without drawing unnecessary attention.
  3. Create a designated quiet space: Dedicate a space in the office where agents can go for a few minutes of quiet time. This physical separation from the work environment can help them mentally reset.
  4. Encourage supportive conversations: Encourage agents to have a brief chat with a supervisor or a peer if they feel the need. Sometimes, simply talking about a challenging call can help them release tension and gain perspective.
  5. Ensure a fair distribution of calls: Regularly review how calls are routed to ensure that no single agent is disproportionately receiving high-stress calls. Utilizing call center IVR systems to evenly distribute calls can help manage this balance.

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