Call centre services are tricky things to manage. Constant deadlines couple with multiple projects, so at any given moment several tasks need careful treatment. As outsource suppliers, this inevitably means managers have a shed load of conflicting priorities to navigate. Frankly, sometimes it can seem like mountain climbing.
Some managers feel it takes longer to explain a task to somebody than just doing it themselves. Others feel it’s their role to do certain things. Whatever the reason it’s not just call centre services that miss out when managers are not able to delegate effectively. In fact, whole organisations, as well as individual team members and managers can benefit from delegation, provided the right tasks are handed over effectively.
Call centre quality management
Managers who put new skills and responsibilities into the hands of the right team members do a huge amount to help a business. Call centre services have a lot of complex control systems. How many dials reach how many decision makers, data, efficiency metrics, and messaging, to name but a few. Placing some of the control levers with selected team members helps share the burden of quality management, it builds important tools like expertise and specialisms, while enabling the quality motive to become more widespread. Hence more people are more engaged with what good performance and service looks like. The goal of quality excellence becomes something more people have a hand in. As a result, the mission and objectives of the business are more widely cascaded. Delegation also helps managers ensure company resources are stretched further, by investing the time of more highly paid staff to educate and energise more junior contributors, helping them build new competencies. As well as freeing up management time for more important tasks, delegation helps develop team members for bigger roles and in doing so increases their confidence, trust, and job satisfaction.
When done well, delegation enables managers to effectively clone themselves across different areas of their floor. As haughty as that concept may sound, there are times when we all wish we could be in two places at once. Whether we manage call centre services or something entirely different, the premise is the same. It’s one of the biggest causes of workplace frustration, for new managers particularly, and is a contributory factor for mental health conditions like workplace burnout. One of the best ways a call centre service manager can learn to delegate effectively is to first prioritise their workload. A simple list of tasks organised into four categories is all that’s needed to understand where and what to appoint to somebody. The four categories can be arranged to suit an individual workplace. For call centre services they’re likely to look a lot like these:
- High urgency and high importance – don’t delegate
- High urgency and low importance – maybe delegate if you can do so safely
- Low urgency and high importance – maybe delegate to someone experienced
- Low urgency and low importance – do delegate
How to delegate
Managers should take a view on when to delegate, and what needs to be communicated in order to facilitate success for the team member that is doing the task. Tasks that are very important should stay with the call centre service manager to ensure that they are not putting the task, or the team member at risk, or placing unfair pressure on someone to perform. Delegated responsibilities should be development opportunities, not simply things that the manager dislikes doing. They should never be confidential or of a sensitive nature, and team members should never feel compromised by something they have learned as part of the delegation exercise. Finally, check-in points and completion timescales should be clearly shared in the instructions that come with the task that’s being delegated.