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15 Habits of Successful Contact Centre Team Leaders
Becoming or creating an amazing Contact Centre Team Leader takes a lot of work and it’s certainly not always easy.
But, the surprising thing is it isn’t the hardest thing in the world either, especially if Team Leaders learn and adopt positive habits that they consistently apply every day.
Over the past 34 years, I’ve been involved with Call Centres either as a Call Centre Owner, consulting with businesses or coaching and mentoring Call Centre Managers and Team Leaders, I’ve seen the best habits in action that amazing Team Leaders use to successfully nurture, coach and lead winning teams.
And, if they learn these habits and effectively apply them every day, in a few quick months senior managers, peers and team members will recognise them as a truly amazing contact centre Team Leader!
15 Habits of Successful Contact Centre Team Leaders
There are some great purpose-built training courses for contact centre Team Leaders (yes, I offer a couple!) and they can be a great way to accelerate learning for anyone starting in, or looking to optimise their performance in a contact centre team leader role.
But regardless of whether you undertake some training or not, there are some very noticeable habits of successful contact centre team leaders that I have witnessed over my career and I trust that many of these will resonate with you.
Habit 1: Knowing Their Numbers
The first of our Habits of Successful Contact Centre Team Leaders is that they are obsessive when it comes to knowing their team metrics.
They know their numbers and how they are measured every hour, day, week and month, so they keep track of where their team is in relation to their KPIs and sales targets (where applicable) every day and every hour of the day.
Habit 2: Setting Expectations
Great Contact Centre Team Leaders always remember they are the leader, coach and mentor and they set the direction and expectations for the team and team members individually early and often.
They set expectations on the key performance metrics and other areas like work behaviours and even dress code.
They also set expectations on what the team will get from them be it coaching, extra training or being a cheerleader and celebrating team and individual achievements.
Habit 3: Walking the Talk
They take calls each week to stay sharp and on top of any issues the team may be facing to show the team they’re invested in its success.
They know that taking calls earns the team’s respect, because if the team knows their Team Leader can do the job they’re more open to being coached and listening to suggestions and tips.
Habit 4: Clearing Roadblocks
Another one of the core Habits of Successful Contact Centre Team Leaders is that they find out what is getting in the way of their team members hitting their targets and doing a great job.
They know it’s their job to try their best to address these issues and fix them.
And, for any issues they can’t fix, they let the team know why because they know the team will accept an issue once they know why it can’t be fixed.
Habit 5: Helping Team Members Be Great
The great Contact Centre Team Leaders remember how scary it was and how unsure they were when they first started on the phones, how much there was to learn and take on board.
They remember how they needed reassurance and support from their Team Leader and how they wanted and needed constant feedback, especially in the beginning.
So, amazing Team Leaders evaluate team member’s efforts often and give corrective feedback and reassurance to help team members become really good at their jobs.
Habit 6: Effectively Onboarding New Members
When a new team member joins the team, the first thing successful Call Centre Team Leaders do is get feedback from the training team to get an understanding of what they were good at and what help is still needed.
They also want to check on the new team member’s attitudes, their attendance, how they participated in training and how they interacted with others to get a sense of what still needs to be worked on.
And, amazing Team Leaders ease them into the job by having them sit with an experienced agent for a few shifts to settle them into the job and into the team and get comfortable with the job by watching and listening to how the job is done.
Basically, providing a safe place to ask questions or bring up any concerns they may have regarding the job, and make connections with people in the team.
Habit 7: Getting Extra Help When Needed
When amazing Team Leaders notice a gap in certain call activities, procedures or processes, they look for help from the training or quality assurance teams by having them listen to extra calls or by giving extra training to the team to help them fill the gap.
Habit 8: Managing Absenteeism
Amazing Team Leaders work on absenteeism every day, seeing it as a tripwire, warning them there may be a problem with a team member who is thinking of leaving.
Apart from being concerned for their team member’s welfare and their duty of care to them, they see this as a great opportunity to fix a problem early before someone decides to leave.
They know often it can be a simple fix or these absences may be related to a more serious problem that can affect the whole team, so they want to find out what’s going on and if they can, fix it as soon as possible.
Habit 9: Showing They Care
Amazing Team Leaders develop a high degree of emotional intelligence by constantly showing they care about their team members by being genuinely interested in their lives inside and outside work.
Habit 10: Recognising Good Effort
Another one of the great habits of successful Contact Centre Team Leaders is knowing that genuine recognition and appreciation for hard work, even if someone just missed out on a target, is very rewarding and it can be as simple as a pat on the back.
Habit 11: Keeping Their Team Close
For the better part of the shift, amazing Call Centre Team Leaders manage their team by walking around their team, being available to answer questions, give tips or quick training sessions and fixing any problems people are having that comes up.
They know that it’s more efficient and easier to be accessible with the team is sitting around them, so they don’t have to wander all over the floor because when someone really needs their help, they need it right away!
Habit 12: Being Prepared
It’s probably no surprise but another one of the core Habits of Successful Contact Centre Team Leaders Team Leaders is that they work to a schedule for the upcoming week, and they follow their schedule.
They build their schedule with weekly activities they know come up every week and include any regular meetings they have with their boss and other meetings, and schedule time outside of peak calling times for admin tasks, answering emails, reading reports or updating them.
They especially schedule time to listen to recorded calls and coaching sessions to provide corrective feedback!
Habit 13: Efficiently Running Pre-shift Meetings
Amazing Team Leaders always have quick positive meetings for 5 to 10 minutes before a shift begins to share where the team is tracking against KPIs and targets and share any information on changes or updates to processes, systems or products the team need to know about, and hand out award certificates and providing recognition.
They also get each team member to commit to a personal target for the shift, and do a ‘check-up from neck up’ to make sure everyone has cleared their minds and is focused on their goals.
Habit 14: Learning Why a Team Member Quit
Considering all the time and effort they’ve invested in their team member, amazing Team Leaders really want to know the reason why someone quit and if it could have been avoided or corrected to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Habit 15: Investing In Their Personal Development
Amazing Call Centre Team Leaders want to enhance their skills and take advantage of any training opportunity or leadership seminars the company provides or further their personal development by getting their hands on as many books, articles or videos like this one to grow further.
They also speak with other team leaders and senior people in the company to find out what books, courses or training materials they would recommend, and join online call centre communities and the call centre associations to learn more and improve their skills.
The quicker a Team Leader adopts all these habits and applies them every day… the easier their job will become and the quicker they’ll be recognised as an amazing Team Leader who effectively coaches, nurtures and leads a great team – someone worthy of greater responsibilities and promotion!
Love to hear your thoughts on these 15 Habits of Successful Contact Centre Team Leaders, so please leave a comment below, and share them with your colleagues and friends!