We define seven key areas when considering contact center support functions. While the nature of these functions can vary greatly based on factors such as size, number of sites, type of business and business goals, culture, and other organizational roles and responsibilities, any center should be able to point to these functions and know how they are supporting the center’s operation.
In reviewing many centers over the years, some common themes emerge as opportunities to improve.
- One or more critical functions are missing. Even the smallest center needs some level of each of these functions to operate efficiently and effectively. Take stock of how you’re handling these functions and then define who is going to do what to fill any gaps.
- Training and technology tool effectiveness suffer from a “loose” connection between HR, IT, and the contact center. It’s OK for support functions to reside outside the center, but they need to be accountable to the center with a clearly defined role in helping the center achieve its goals and objectives. Effective collaboration, communication, and coordination among the groups are crucial.
- Support roles may be tempting candidates for front line career paths, but they are not roles into which any good CSR can grow. They require an analytical mindset and proper training in the tools and processes they will use every day. Centers need to invest in careful placement (whether hiring outside resources or screening inside staff for promotions), formal training, and good mentoring to ensure the staff can succeed and add value.
- Finally – place the right tools in your support team’s hands.