My Way Or The Highway Call Center Leadership Approach

Call Center Leaders

Call Center Leadership that does this __________ can kill energy, momentum and engagement.

Are you curious about what I’m talking about?

Sit back, enjoy a beverage and let me tell you about an incident that personally happened to me, and the effect it had on my engagement and enthusiasm, and it will all become clear.

I learned a long time ago that you can even learn from poor leadership.   So from a “glass half-full” perspective you can use the experience you have with these inexperienced and unknowing leaders to understand what NOT TO DO.  🙂

Call Center Leadership Failure


Let me set the stage for the project that led to the top down call center leadership fail…

One of our large competitors entered Bankruptcy.  Subsequently, my company purchased a large piece of their telecomm business.  It was my responsibility to work with a team to identify their global IVR call flow and terminations points to make sure we could have our line of business calls directed to our global call center.

Needless to say this was quite an undertaking.

Every couple of weeks we would report up to the ultimate stakeholder on our status.  However, during one of our status updates, questions came up regarding several call types and how they should be handled.

So he suggested that we use one of the conference rooms and diagram out the entire call flow for all of the lines.

Zapped of Enthusiasm, Commitment, and Engagement

Call Center Call FlowSo my team and I had already identified the call flow and we simply printed and diagramed the entire process in the conference room.

The documents took all four walls of the conference room (BTW – this was a medium sized conference room.)

This entire process took a lot of work to put together and we diagrammed the process on the wall using common call center flow chart principles.

During our review of the process we all took turns explaining parts of the flow.  Then the stakeholder looked at me and told me that he didn’t like how it was diagrammed the call flow and told us how he wanted to see it.  talk about majoring in the minor! 🙁

Wow, that was a very tactical responses to our strategic objectives.”

My initial thought was “wow, that was a very tactical responses to our strategic objectives.”  However, the more I thought about what he said, the more agitated I got.

This type of control only hurts an organization because it sends a message of “lack of trust”, and by doing so reduces the buy-in effect of the players involved.  And I become more agitated because I firmly believe that when you hire the right people, you shouldn’t control the process – you should only be concerned with the objective that it achieves.

Contact Center Leadership Lessons Learn

You as a call center leader need to understand the ripple effect of your actions.

Why spend so much time and energy on your hiring process and then not trust your people.

Call Center LeadershipAnd if you have some feedback to help them in a process make sure you frame your feedback in such a way that it doesn’t insult them or make them feel less valued.  For instance, instead of telling them a better way to do something, ask it in a question.  Solicit their feedback.

This creates buy-in and employee engagement.  And a employee that takes accountability and is passionate about what they are doing is going to be an asset to your organization.

Leaders that conduct themselves in this manner will build an organization of free-thinkers, action-takers and those that get this done.  What are your thoughts?

I hope you enjoyed this article…

If you did, please share it and if so inclined, leave a comment.

To your success!

Greg Meares

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About the Author: Greg Meares

As a Sr. Consultant for Performance Connections, Inc., Greg's primary objective is to provide value to organizations that are focused on raising brand awareness. Additionally Greg works on improving the customer experience, through business process re-engineering, and call center best practices. Greg is an industry expert and is often called upon to provide his analysis and solution oriented approach to improving performance in the BPO and Call Center industry.

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