Life as a Team Manager / Leader

My perceptions prior to taking the role:-

My initial feeling was one of Oh Sh…..ger why me?

Then when I had time to think in real time, I realised I had mixed feelings about the why’s and wherefores of undertaking this challenge. This produced various reactions in my emotions. Some were positive and some were negative.

My first real thought was with reference to how difficult will it be and how am I going tackle this project?

What resources do I need and what am I going to bring to the role?

I was informed from various sources that I would be facing a real challenge and that I had my work cut out as they were deemed to be a no hope case and that I would be spending my time in 121′s all day long!!!!

I spent the weekend prior to taking over the team, planning and thinking about what lay ahead and how I was going to maximise this opportunity. Once the dust had settled, I actually became quite excited, plus privileged to have the chance to work with the team and implement my skills into the role.

I thought about the best way to interact with individual team members, to make sure I was firm but fare, whilst being able to make changes and improve performance. Also I reviewed the type of difficult situations that may arise and how to address them. Problem solving could well be the key to moving things forward, whilst developing and motivating individuals at the same time. This compared in reality:-

Well the next three months certainly challenged me and made me rethink particular aspects of my perceptions.

I have a very different outlook towards the role now, than I had prior to doing this project. I have to acknowledge the role in the current climate is very challenging.

And it is difficult, no matter how well prepared you are or what skills you have, to handle and complete every task that is required of a manager.

In order to achieve the desired results on time every time, a manager has to have excellent organisational skills as well as good time management abilities. They also need numerous other attributes / skills, such as communication, influencing, approachability, diagnostic, goal setting, feedback, coaching, and etc.etc.

Especially when there are so many potential obstacles and distractions, which are out of your control and may have an impact on the way, you work or get in your way – big style.

The best laid plans and all that?  Well as they say, it is easy to judge from the outside.

Now that I have experienced being a team manager, I feel that it has given me a better understanding of the trials and tribulations that affect every manager and I have now taken appropriate steps to reflect this within my own coaching sessions with fellow team managers.

Now that I have worked from inside a call centre, rather then as a national coach working on the outside, looking in. I am very surprised at the lack of ability to manage, develop and motivate staff to the degree that sees individuals achieve the desired performance levels for them and the business.

Where fire fighting and quick wins seem to be the order of the day, rather than identifying the underlying problems and creating long term fixes. There is a need to examine previous and present practices and then to breakdown the elements in a way, that allows you to objectively decide, what is best for the business. Then you can produce true brand values that everyone understands, wants and strives to achieve.

I keep asking myself the same old questions, which I have done now for nearly nine years. Why aren’t people and resources looking at the bigger picture?

The focus of attention should be to reduce costs, reduce attrition rates, increase profits, increase customer client base.

Work is becoming an uphill struggle rather than a place that is challenging, exciting, and gives you the opportunity to have plenty of fun; this would create an environment that everyone could benefit from. 

What were the major challenges:-?

Attitude – Overcoming suspicion from agents, i.e. who am I, why am I here, what is he up to and etc.etc. Changing/challenging/reviewing current beliefs & values i.e. can’t sell, won’t sell, don’t know how to sell.

Skills – Identifying existing skill sets / current capabilities and what level these are it.

Knowledge – Know the current level of understanding and ability with regards to sales, processes, systems, products and PRP targets.

Aptitude – Is anyone struggling and unable to cope, if so identify why and check to see if they are in the right job?

Review Neurological Levels:-

Identity – Who

Beliefs & Values – Why

Capabilities – How

Behaviours – What

Environment – Time or Place

Further Challenges:-

Key issues and objectives:-

  • Overcome barriers – Remove the pressure element / focus on what is best for agents and customers – Results will follow.
  • Change mind sets – remove the winger (Mood Hoover) from the current climate
  • Change assumptions / perceptions.
  • Make sure I do what I say and mean what I say (in other words lead by example).
  • I need to demonstrate I am doing the right thing.
  • Spend time with agents – let them know I care and have their interests as my focus.
  • Focus on quality.
  • Improve performance on all KPI’s.
  • Goal setting – get everyone setting goals for themselves.
  • Have fun – create the right atmosphere.
  • Agents to take responsibility for their performance and actions.
  • Set actions / coaching plans for each agent.
  • Focus on sales through excellent customer service –
  • Do the right thing for your customer.

 Other issues:-

  • Team performance
  • Qdos/setting up accounts/leaving – closing accounts
  • Time keeping
  • Sickness
  • Return to work
  • Occupational Health
  • Hub / Resources
  • Fare
  • Incentives
  • Own development?
  • Support/backup
  • Communication
  • Planning
  • MI data/reports
  • DPR’s
  • Team meetings
  • 121’s
  • Agent records/files
  • QA’s
  • Complaint handling
  • Training/arrangements
  • Recognition/incentive/rewards
  • Co operation

KPI’s

AHT – Reduce call times without impacting on customer service.

PARTICIPATION – Get sign on from all agents.

CONVERSION RATES – Gain commitment from agents.

SALES IMPROVEMENT  Focus on what is best for customers.

Achievements –

  • Achieved best ever team performance.
  • Provided proof that time spent with agents produces increased performance.
  • Built relationships with all departments and personnel.
  • Earnt respect from agents.
  • Improved relationship with agents.
  • Improved individual performances.
  • Sign on from agents.
  • Resolved ongoing problems / issues A.S.A.P.
  • Provided ideas for incentives and how to drive them.
  • Gained insight into how managers work and interact (CCM – DPR’s etc.etc.)

I changed the display boards to reduce the amount of information on them, because to much detail reduces the impact it was meant to have.

I showed the key KPI’s that everyone needed to achieve and when anyone hit any key targets they were identified as success player and were highlighted by luminous cards with smiley faces on. This also had the desired effect of showing who was doing the right thing for their customers, them and the business.

It was fun colourful and allowed everyone the opportunity to focus on what was needed as well as knowing how they were doing.  Without having to wade through too much detail that may confuse or look like to much trouble and effort to achieve.

Sharon  Improved performance with her AHT, Sales and Conversion targets. I have managed to gain her an opportunity to take up a P3 position from May / June.

Jackie – Improved her AHT, promoting ratio and actual sales performance. I have invested time with her to address performance and issues affecting her work and well being. She has applied for a more suitable position – and has had an interview for a position on the HUB team. Currently off work on long term sick.

Su – Changed her mind set and she is producing sales on a small but regular basis. I now have her respect (She as dropped her guard and has opened up to me). Although at any given opportunity she would revert to type and then wants to fight system again.

Tommy – Changed his mind set which has resulted in him being proactive with regards to promoting to customers whilst reducing his AHT at the same time. This has had the added impact of increased sales.

Taqueer – He has been a real challenge, and I need to spend additional time with him to direct his focus towards setting goals for each and every day and monitor the outcomes. His buzz word is I am trying?

He has just attended a sales training course, which has confirmed and identified what he needs to do when dealing with customers.

With the sales training and support from me, Taqueer has turned the corner and his performance has improved with increased sales which as impacted on the other KPI’s. In a positive way.

Paul - He is a new comer to the team, and has only been with the team for approx seven weeks. We have been focusing on his AHT to build good habits, before moving onto any other targets. He is consistently smashing his AHT target and we are working on introducing sales into his call structure. Which has resulted in Paul setting himself goals, around sales targets? He is gradually working towards his agreed goals / targets.

Heather – Again she has potential to achieve results, has no problem with regards to sales. I am working on her attitude and looking for a sustained and consistent approach in performance. I have started coaching around perception and how this is impacting on her and her future plans to progress further within British Gas.

Heather has shown improvements in her performance and has even sold care products i.e. KAC for the first time, after stating previously that she could not sell KAC as she did not believe in the product and thought was a load of K……

She also helps to drive up team performance by setting challenges amongst her team mates. i.e. her against them to see who is the best at achieving results.

The key is to keep Heather focused at all times, if she is allowed to get board, she stops performing purely because she needs to be kept stimulated at all times.

Lorraine – This has been an on going challenge, to change her attitude relating to sales and the pressure received from management. She has increased her sales performance and for the first time has been earning money through her QDOS (£33). Her AHT has been reducing and she is now hitting her AHT target on a more regular basis. The aim now is to achieve consistency, because her performance fluctuates daily and there are highs and lows in the same week.

Naveed - Again I have been working on her attitude towards management, she is a very competent agent who has produced results in the past and lacks the motivation to strive towards producing results now, due to pressure from previous managers. Since working with Naveed, she has actively been one of the best performers on the team and has responded well to my style of management.

She has just undergone SAP training and is having problems adapting to change?

Sajid – Attitude has been the main focus, I have invested time with Saj, because he is a person who needs to have trust and respect for his managers before he delivers results. He has increased his sales performance and is also cross selling whilst keeping his AHT to an acceptable level. His participation and conversion rates have also improved due to this.

Mohammed – I have had to work on his attitude and resulting behaviors. He likes to focus on himself and not listen to others. Which gives him a label of a difficult individual and gets a negative response from other managers? I have managed to review his perceptions in relation to his role and confirm what I will deliver as a manager and what I expect from him.  This has resulted in an all round improvement in his performance and he has started to sell on a regular basis and is also cross selling. Without having any significant impact on his AHT. Where he struggled to achieve any targets and was only focusing on his AHT when I arrived. He now hits participation on a regular basis, improved his conversion rates as well as sales.

There have been many issues during the three months which have impacted on me as an individual as well as the team. I have enjoyed working with everyone in the team and have identified what is important to each individual and what makes them tick.

Working reduced hours / time due to travel commitments between Cardiff and Manchester on a weekly basis. I was unable to cover the full role and had to leave certain areas for others to oversee and manage.

The only problem with the last point was that invariably due to various reasons, i.e. staff shortages, holidays, training etc.etc.this did not happen.

A lot of the good work I had undertaken during the days I was available, went to waste and I had to continually rebuild and re affirm and allay any fears or concerns each individual had as well the team collectively.

Also a lot of details regarding performance management, sickness reviews, back to work interviews, informal and formal stages, fare, recording and updating files etc.  Were new to me and I had to have a crash course and self teach myself.

Another issue which plagued me through out the whole process was gaining access to systems and obtaining the correct permission and passwords to used them as well.

And whilst all this was happening, I was in the process from changing computer systems from NT to XP. And if that was not enough, my log / sign on’s changed from Cardiff to Manchester Talbot road, adding further confusion.

What would help in the blue sky scenario:-?

Start at 10am have a 2 hour lunch and finish at 2pm, be able to watch Sky sports and Sky movies whilst helping yourself to the tea trolley.

Or the next best thing would to have:-

Have regular DPR’s, ideally daily.

Have regular Team Meetings again ideally weekly/fortnightly

Have regular 121 times with every agent again on a weekly/fortnightly basis.

Set up a quality team/department.

Set up a sales complaints team/department.

This would enable me to provide the sufficient levels of time to manage develop and motivate all my agents.

The benefits to the business:-

  • Improved skill sets
  • Motivated staff
  • High achievers
  • Business growth
  • Improved profit
  • Reduced leakage
  • Reduced attrition
  • Improved performance
  • Customer retention
  • Multiple products
  • Improved employee engagement scores (fun and enjoyable place to work)
  • Better (more informed staff) qualified staff
  • Reduced complaints

My feelings after having carried out the role:-

If I am honest I am relived to have returned to my role of coaching

(Purely because I love coaching and it’s what I’m trained to do and I feel it’s what I do best) although I will miss working with my team.

I built a good relationship in a relatively short time with my agents and on the limited time I was able to provide any coaching or feedback, I managed to make certain changes in attitudes and performances and improved the overall KPI’s during my time with them.

They are currently working towards double figures every day, rather than single scores. In fact the team managed to produce their highest ever sales performance on three separate occasions, also producing their best ever conversion rates i.e. 5.67%.

I enjoyed the team spirit and comradeship between me and my team, because that is what they became my team. The team has since grown in size and is now up to sixteen members.

What / if anything that I would change as a result of the experience:-

1) Sales Complaint Handling

Each site should set up a team to centralise the whole process. Being under one roof is the best way to monitor the whole process from start to finish. This will also maintain consistency throughout, from recording details, monitoring each stage of the process, listening to calls, giving feedback and the final outcome of any complaint.

This will avoid time that is taken up to investigate, track details of dates, times etc, request archive tapes / calls, completing SID (several times), providing feedback and any possible support or training that may be required, along with any possible disciplinaries.

An additional benefit would be to free up more valuable time to provide support, training, coaching and feedback to help develop and motivate staff, which in the long term would reduce attrition and increase the feel good factor.

2) QA’s

Should be carried out by specialists (i.e. a QA team) dedicated to quality and quality issues, they would be able to give consistency and impartial advice along with guidance. The added benefit would be to free up time for TM’s to use and invest in valuable time with their agents, helping to drive motivation as well as providing development opportunities for all agents.

This would reduce the stress levels, possible errors, improve customer experience, aid development, help with motivation, improve moral for all agents and TM’s.

This will allow additional quality time to be spent between managers and agents. Something that is not happening currently due to various other issues i.e. contingency, meetings etc.etc.

3) DPR’s / Briefings

This is a must if the business is to remain on track with informed and motivated staff, the down side when they don’t happen is incorrect information or latest information not reaching the customer on time when needed. Which can and will lead to possible cancellation of products and services?

Think of the message this gives to people, (me in particular) at times I felt frustrated and disillusioned and I new the reasons why they weren’t happening.

It is a false economy that has long term implications and little benefits to the customer or the business.

4) Team Meetings / Training / Performance

Same points and reasons as DPR’s

5) Regular 121’s

Same points and reasons as DPR’s

6) Same Support for TM’s

The support TM’s receive from their line managers

(i.e. coaching, feedback development, etc) is virtually none existent…

7) Reduced volumes / amounts of MI

(i.e. produce one definitive simple KPI report) that tells it as it is and not takes valuable time and effort to work out what needs to happen next. Currently using two forms of APS + Tammi + Matrix + + + +

The biggest impact on me during my time as a TM, was the amount of time lost through unproductive work along with time consuming work that has distracted the quality time that I needed to run my team.

If this had been my own business my priority would have been to develop and motivate my agents to maximise potential and help to build good quality agents.

Who provide our customers with the knowledge and skills they should expect from a market leader.

The benefits to me would be happy people all round, greater profits and sustained business growth. Thus avoiding quick wins and catch up situations every year trying to maintain and replace lost business, not to mention the huge cost for replacement staff and additional training costs.

That’s it folks

My perceptions prior to taking the role:-

My initial feeling was one of Oh Sh…..ger why me?

Then when I had time to think in real time, I realised I had mixed feelings about the why’s and wherefores of undertaking this challenge. This produced various reactions in my emotions. Some were positive and some were negative.

My first real thought was with reference to how difficult will it be and how am I going tackle this project?

What resources do I need and what am I going to bring to the role?

I was informed from various sources that I would be facing a real challenge and that I had my work cut out as they were deemed to be a no hope case and that I would be spending my time peping and poping all day long!!!!

I spent the weekend prior to taking over the team, planning and thinking about what lay ahead and how I was going to maximise this opportunity. Once the dust had settled, I actually became quite excited, plus privileged to have the chance to work with the team and implement my skills into the role.

I thought about the best way to interact with individual team members, to make sure I was firm but fare, whilst being able to make changes and improve performance.

Also I reviewed the type of difficult situations that may arise and how to address them. Problem solving could well be the key to moving things forward, whilst developing and motivating individuals at the same time.

How this compared in reality:-

Well the next three months certainly challenged me and made me rethink particular aspects of my perceptions.

I have a very different outlook towards the role now, than I had prior to doing this project. I have to acknowledge the role in the current climate is very challenging.

And it is difficult, no matter how well prepared you are or what skills you have, to handle and complete every task that is required of a manager.

In order to achieve the desired results on time every time, a manager has to have excellent organisational skills as well as good time management abilities. They also need numerous other attributes / skills, such as communication, influencing, approachability, diagnostic, goal setting, feedback, coaching, and etc.etc.

Especially when there are so many potential obstacles and distractions, which are out of your control and may have an impact on the way, you work or get in your way – big style.

The best laid plans and all that?  Well as they say, it is easy to judge from the outside.

Now that I have experienced being a team manager, I feel that it has given me a better understanding of the trials and tribulations that affect every manager and I have now taken appropriate steps to reflect this within my own coaching sessions with fellow team managers.

Now that I have worked from inside a call centre, rather then as a national coach working on the outside, looking in. I am very surprised at the lack of ability to manage, develop and motivate staff to the degree that sees individuals achieve the desired performance levels for them and the business.

Where fire fighting and quick wins seem to be the order of the day, rather than identifying the underlying problems and creating long term fixes. There is a need to examine previous and present practices and then to breakdown the elements in a way, that allows you to objectively decide, what is best for the business. Then you can produce true brand values that everyone understands, wants and strives to achieve.

I keep asking myself the same old questions, which I have done now for nearly nine years. Why aren’t people and resources looking at the bigger picture?

The focus of attention should be to reduce costs, reduce attrition rates, increase profits, increase customer client base.

Work is becoming an uphill struggle rather than a place that is challenging, exciting, and gives you the opportunity to have plenty of fun; this would create an environment that everyone could benefit from.

What were the major challenges:-?

Attitude – Overcoming suspicion from agents, i.e. who am I, why am I here, what is he up to and etc.etc. Changing/challenging/reviewing current beliefs & values i.e. can’t sell, won’t sell, don’t know how to sell.

Skills – Identifying existing skill sets / current capabilities and what level these are it.

Knowledge – Know the current level of understanding and ability with regards to sales, processes, systems, products and PRP targets.

Aptitude – Is anyone struggling and unable to cope, if so identify why and check to see if they are in the right job?

Review Neurological Levels:-

Identity – Who

Beliefs & Values – Why

Capabilities – How

Behaviours – What

Environment – Time or Place

Further Challenges:-

Key issues and objectives:-

  • Overcome barriers – Remove the pressure element / focus on what is best for agents and customers – Results will follow.
  • Change mind sets – remove the winger (Mood Hoover) from the current climate
  • Change assumptions / perceptions.
  • Make sure I do what I say and mean what I say (in other words lead by example).
  • I need to demonstrate I am doing the right thing.
  • Spend time with agents – let them know I care and have their interests as my focus.
  • Focus on quality.
  • Improve performance on all KPI’s.
  • Goal setting – get everyone setting goals for themselves.
  • Have fun – create the right atmosphere.
  • Agents to take responsibility for their performance and actions.
  • Set actions / coaching plans for each agent.
  • Focus on sales through excellent customer service –
  • Do the right thing for your customer.

Other issues:-

  • Team performance
  • Qdos/setting up accounts/leaving – closing accounts
  • Time keeping
  • Sickness
  • Return to work
  • Occupational Health
  • Hub / Resources
  • Fare
  • Incentives
  • Own development?
  • Support/backup
  • Communication
  • Planning
  • MI data/reports
  • DPR’s
  • Team meetings
  • 121’s
  • Agent records/files
  • QA’s
  • Complaint handling
  • Training/arrangements
  • Recognition/incentive/rewards
  • Co operation

KPI’s.

AHT – Reduce call times without impacting on customer service.

PARTICIPATION – Get sign on from all agents.

CONVERSION RATES – Gain commitment from agents.

SALES IMPROVEMENT  Focus on what is best for customers.

Achievements –

  • Achieved best ever team performance.
  • Provided proof that time spent with agents produces increased performance.
  • Built relationships with all departments and personnel.
  • Earnt respect from agents.
  • Improved relationship with agents.
  • Improved individual performances.
  • Sign on from agents.
  • Resolved ongoing problems / issues A.S.A.P.
  • Provided ideas for incentives and how to drive them.
  • Gained insight into how managers work and interact (CCM – DPR’s etc.etc.)

I changed the display boards to reduce the amount of information on them, because to much detail reduces the impact it was meant to have.

I showed the key KPI’s that everyone needed to achieve and when anyone hit any key targets they were identified as success player and were highlighted by luminous cards with smiley faces on. This also had the desired effect of showing who was doing the right thing for their customers, them and the business.

It was fun colourful and allowed everyone the opportunity to focus on what was needed as well as knowing how they were doing.  Without having to wade through too much detail that may confuse or look like to much trouble and effort to achieve.

Sharon  Improved performance with her AHT, Sales and Conversion targets. I have managed to gain her an opportunity to take up a P3 position from May / June.

Jackie – Improved her AHT, promoting ratio and actual sales performance. I have invested time with her to address performance and issues affecting her work and well being. She has applied for a more suitable position – and has had an interview for a position on the HUB team. Currently off work on long term sick.

Su – Changed her mind set and she is producing sales on a small but regular basis. I now have her respect (She as dropped her guard and has opened up to me). Although at any given opportunity she would revert to type and then wants to fight system again.

Tommy – Changed his mind set which has resulted in him being proactive with regards to promoting to customers whilst reducing his AHT at the same time. This has had the added impact of increased sales.

Taqueer – He has been a real challenge, and I need to spend additional time with him to direct his focus towards setting goals for each and every day and monitor the outcomes. His buzz word is I am trying?

He has just attended a sales training course, which has confirmed and identified what he needs to do when dealing with customers.

With the sales training and support from me, Taqueer has turned the corner and his performance has improved with increased sales which as impacted on the other KPI’s. In a positive way.

Paul - He is a new comer to the team, and has only been with the team for approx seven weeks. We have been focusing on his AHT to build good habits, before moving onto any other targets. He is consistently smashing his AHT target and we are working on introducing sales into his call structure. Which has resulted in Paul setting himself goals, around sales targets? He is gradually working towards his agreed goals / targets.

Heather – Again she has potential to achieve results, has no problem with regards to sales. I am working on her attitude and looking for a sustained and consistent approach in performance. I have started coaching around perception and how this is impacting on her and her future plans to progress further within British Gas.

Heather has shown improvements in her performance and has even sold care products i.e. KAC for the first time, after stating previously that she could not sell KAC as she did not believe in the product and thought was a load of K……

She also helps to drive up team performance by setting challenges amongst her team mates. i.e. her against them to see who is the best at achieving results.

The key is to keep Heather focused at all times, if she is allowed to get board, she stops performing purely because she needs to be kept stimulated at all times.

Lorraine – This has been an on going challenge, to change her attitude relating to sales and the pressure received from management. She has increased her sales performance and for the first time has been earning money through her QDOS (£33). Her AHT has been reducing and she is now hitting her AHT target on a more regular basis. The aim now is to achieve consistency, because her performance fluctuates daily and there are highs and lows in the same week.

Naveed - Again I have been working on her attitude towards management, she is a very competent agent who has produced results in the past and lacks the motivation to strive towards producing results now, due to pressure from previous managers. Since working with Naveed, she has actively been one of the best performers on the team and has responded well to my style of management.

She has just undergone SAP training and is having problems adapting to change?

Sajid – Attitude has been the main focus, I have invested time with Saj, because he is a person who needs to have trust and respect for his managers before he delivers results. He has increased his sales performance and is also cross selling whilst keeping his AHT to an acceptable level. His participation and conversion rates have also improved due to this.

Mohammed – I have had to work on his attitude and resulting behaviors. He likes to focus on himself and not listen to others. Which gives him a label of a difficult individual and gets a negative response from other managers? I have managed to review his perceptions in relation to his role and confirm what I will deliver as a manager and what I expect from him.  This has resulted in an all round improvement in his performance and he has started to sell on a regular basis and is also cross selling. Without having any significant impact on his AHT. Where he struggled to achieve any targets and was only focusing on his AHT when I arrived. He now hits participation on a regular basis, improved his conversion rates as well as sales.

There have been many issues during the three months which have impacted on me as an individual as well as the team. I have enjoyed working with everyone in the team and have identified what is important to each individual and what makes them tick.

Working reduced hours / time due to travel commitments between Cardiff and Manchester on a weekly basis. I was unable to cover the full role and had to leave certain areas for others to oversee and manage.

The only problem with the last point was that invariably due to various reasons, i.e. staff shortages, holidays, training etc.etc.this did not happen.

A lot of the good work I had undertaken during the days I was available, went to waste and I had to continually rebuild and re affirm and allay any fears or concerns each individual had as well the team collectively.

Also a lot of details regarding performance management, sickness reviews, back to work interviews, informal and formal stages, fare, recording and updating files etc.  Were new to me and I had to have a crash course and self teach myself.

Another issue which plagued me through out the whole process was gaining access to systems and obtaining the correct permission and passwords to used them as well.

And whilst all this was happening, I was in the process from changing computer systems from NT to XP. And if that was not enough, my log / sign on’s changed from Cardiff to Manchester Talbot road, adding further confusion.

What would help in the blue sky scenario:-?

Start at 10am have a 2 hour lunch and finish at 2pm, be able to watch Sky sports and Sky movies whilst helping yourself to the tea trolley.

Or the next best thing would to have:-

Have regular DPR’s, ideally daily.

Have regular Team Meetings again ideally weekly/fortnightly

Have regular 121 times with every agent again on a weekly/fortnightly basis.

Set up a quality team/department.

Set up a sales complaints team/department.

This would enable me to provide the sufficient levels of time to manage develop and motivate all my agents.

The benefits to the business:-

  • Improved skill sets
  • Motivated staff
  • High achievers
  • Business growth
  • Improved profit
  • Reduced leakage
  • Reduced attrition
  • Improved performance
  • Customer retention
  • Multiple products
  • Improved employee engagement scores (fun and enjoyable place to work)
  • Better (more informed staff) qualified staff
  • Reduced complaints

My feelings after having carried out the role:-

If I am honest I am relived to have returned to my role of coaching

(Purely because I love coaching and it’s what I’m trained to do and I feel it’s what I do best) although I will miss working with my team.

I built a good relationship in a relatively short time with my agents and on the limited time I was able to provide any coaching or feedback, I managed to make certain changes in attitudes and performances and improved the overall KPI’s during my time with them.

They are currently working towards double figures every day, rather than single scores. In fact the team managed to produce their highest ever sales performance on three separate occasions, also producing their best ever conversion rates i.e. 5.67%.

I enjoyed the team spirit and comradeship between me and my team, because that is what they became my team. The team has since grown in size and is now up to sixteen members.

What / if anything that I would change as a result of the experience:-

1) Sales Complaint Handling

Each site should set up a team to centralise the whole process. Being under one roof is the best way to monitor the whole process from start to finish. This will also maintain consistency throughout, from recording details, monitoring each stage of the process, listening to calls, giving feedback and the final outcome of any complaint.

This will avoid time that is taken up to investigate, track details of dates, times etc, request archive tapes / calls, completing SID (several times), providing feedback and any possible support or training that may be required, along with any possible disciplinaries.

An additional benefit would be to free up more valuable time to provide support, training, coaching and feedback to help develop and motivate staff, which in the long term would reduce attrition and increase the feel good factor.

2) QA’s

Should be carried out by specialists (i.e. a QA team) dedicated to quality and quality issues, they would be able to give consistency and impartial advice along with guidance. The added benefit would be to free up time for TM’s to use and invest in valuable time with their agents, helping to drive motivation as well as providing development opportunities for all agents.

This would reduce the stress levels, possible errors, improve customer experience, aid development, help with motivation, improve moral for all agents and TM’s.

This will allow additional quality time to be spent between managers and agents. Something that is not happening currently due to various other issues i.e. contingency, meetings etc.etc.

3) DPR’s / Briefings

This is a must if the business is to remain on track with informed and motivated staff, the down side when they don’t happen is incorrect information or latest information not reaching the customer on time when needed. Which can and will lead to possible cancellation of products and services?

Think of the message this gives to people, (me in particular) at times I felt frustrated and disillusioned and I new the reasons why they weren’t happening.

It is a false economy that has long term implications and little benefits to the customer or the business.

4) Team Meetings / Training / Performance

Same points and reasons as DPR’s

5) Regular 121’s

Same points and reasons as DPR’s

6) Same Support for TM’s

The support TM’s receive from their line managers

(i.e. coaching, feedback development, etc) is virtually none existent…

7) Reduced volumes / amounts of MI

(i.e. produce one definitive simple KPI report) that tells it as it is and not takes valuable time and effort to work out what needs to happen next. Currently using two forms of APS + Tammi + Matrix + + + +

The biggest impact on me during my time as a TM, was the amount of time lost through unproductive work along with time consuming work that has distracted the quality time that I needed to run my team.

If this had been my own business my priority would have been to develop and motivate my agents to maximise potential and help to build good quality agents.

Who provide our customers with the knowledge and skills they should expect from a market leader.

The benefits to me would be happy people all round, greater profits and sustained business growth. Thus avoiding quick wins and catch up situations every year trying to maintain and replace lost business, not to mention the huge cost for replacement staff and additional training costs.

That’s it folks

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