Congratulations on becoming a new supervisor! This is a great leadership position to be in, but it comes with its own set of challenges.

If this is your first time leading a contact center team, you’re going to need to set some goals in order to begin. The following should be three of your priorities, which will establish your relationships with staff, implement an effective coaching program and confront the issues agents face.

Goal 1: Establish a relationship with your agents

Agents don't always feel confident speaking with their new call centre supervisor, which makes forming relationships step one.Friendly relationships can close some of the gaps between manager and agent.

Forming relationships with your agents can build trust and help them feel comfortable communicating with you. Additionally, Deloitte’s senior call center manager Sarah Stealey Reed recommends introducing yourself when you first start so agents know who you are and what you stand for. You should also listen to co-workers in order to find out more about the issues they face.

  • Key takeaway: Introduce yourself to everyone when you start, sit down for one-on-one chats to learn more about them, and shadow their customer interactions every now and then to better understand their abilities.

Goal 2: Establish a culture of coaching

Another good tip for new call center supervisors is to implement a performance management initiative with a focus on coaching. A panel organized by Call Center Helper said that coaching sessions can help staff achieve their full potential. You won’t be alone: major companies across the world are turning to coaching as a means to improve staff performance – including Adobe Systems, Microsoft and GE, according to McKinsey research.

  • Key takeaway: Take time to think about your agents’ development and how you can coach them into improving their skills. If you aren’t sure about performance management, talk to a company that offers performance management training, like Call Design.

Goal 3: Challenge existing business practices

It’s important to challenge the norm in your company and use your new influence to help make agents’ lives easier – especially now that you know more about them. However, the Call Center Helper panel advises supervisors remind themselves that they don’t know all the answers. Reed also agrees with this: Talk to agents, learn why things work and don’t work, and use their detailed knowledge of processes along with your own expertise to find a fix that works for everyone.

  • Key takeaway: Don’t try to make a system work that you already know doesn’t. Use your newfound relationships with staff to find out the root cause of their issues and combine it with your own experience to implement a logical, effective solution.

If your discussions with staff lead you to believe you need a better workforce optimisation platform, or a training course to upskill before you tackle performance management on your own, talk to the experts at Call Design today.