CallCentreVoice Topic Call Center Manager % of time on phones answering calls

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John Falton on 6/10/2011 22:26:49.
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John Falton
Call Center Manager
Ignite

7 posts
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Call Center Manager % of time on phones answering calls  [6/10/2011 22:26:49]

Good Afternoon:

I have successfully been Managing a call center for 6 years. A new contact with our Client has recently expressed that they want the Manager to be on the phones as an active CSR for a minimum of 80% of each day. This does not include escalation, or discussing issues with CSR's, this is as a line-level CSR.

I was wondering, what everyone else thinks of this percentage? Does it seem abnormally high? Is that what others do?

I find that 30% or less is all I can handle as we have a great deal of technical specifics regarding our call center, escalations run high due to the nature of our client, and managing people, tracking performance, listening in to calls and assisting CSR's easily takes up much of my time. Including that I have meetings to go to for new project that are not even in the same building, and so forth.

Within our company the belief is that the client is trying to perhaps get an extra CSR without paying for it, though we have not asked them for that. Our metrics are in line with the contract we have.

Currently our call center handles what I can only describe as "in-bound only" resource heavy assistance to callers with an average of around 5000 calls a month and are open 12 hours a day, with a CSR staff of 4.

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Dave Appleby
WFM & Business Telephony Manager
Healthcare Insurance

1566 posts
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Bizarre  [7/10/2011 11:13:18]


I must admit in both an Outsource and Inhouse environment
I have never come across an expectation that a manager spend a regular
amount of time on the phone.

A periodic session to refamiliarise yes, but, surely their job
is to manage isn't it? Is the 80% including or excluding any base
shrinkage.

They're not a manager they are an agent, simple as that. Even 30%
is over a full day per week or a 'free' 0.3FTE.

I understand them taking escalations / complaint handling, and, agree
that is part of the role. But, surely, you're employing them for their
management skills etc so whay are they being wasted on a customer facing
position? YOu can employ another agent cheaper can't you?

Regards

DaveA

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John Falton
Call Center Manager
Ignite

7 posts
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Thank you, any places to find documentation  [7/10/2011 15:27:46]

Thank you for the response, and it mimics 16 years of experience that I have managing and creating calls centers. 80% was excluding shrinkage. Escalations and such would be expected to be performed after hours and so forth, which breaks my policy of assisting escalated callers at the moment of the call. It is just really rather strange. Luckily our Director does back that I should not be anywhere near that %.
We are indeed, and we can easily get another CSR for less. It is our belief they are wanting to artificially gain a CSR while not having to pay for them.

Currently Managerial aspects of the job take at least 70-80% of the day.
Call offs
Investigations of deep issue complaints (accounts span 6 years across 2 systems that change each year, so a single account investigation and decision can take perhaps 30 minutes)
Normal escalation
Call monitoring
Project Communication with other groups within the company
Reports

Sadly, Best Practices for this particular situation don't spell it out in most documents, and its difficult to point and say, "This is what is expected." I did point them towards the roles and responsibility of the job, but the client just does not understand call centers.


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John Falton
Call Center Manager
Ignite

7 posts
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Experiences?  [7/10/2011 22:04:08]

And any other help, suggestions, or experience within other centers, anyone has here is appreciated. We are trying to really drive this to the ground so we can actually get to the root of the problem which is incoming call volume is too high due to changes that have been made in their systems without increasing staff.

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Trent Anderson
Client Support Manager
Major Insurance Company

2 posts
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Not Feasible  [11/10/2011 00:28:44]

No that is not feasible. To be a good manager you have
to be available to the Client Support Representatives
at all times. You must be available to render escalation
assistance, train, develop and offer feedback,
work on new systems, and put into place new practices.
That does not make a lick of sense.

In 21 years of managing I have only run into this kind
of situation a handful of times and it was always a
decision that the client regretted within in a negligible
time-frame.

They obviously want to have their cake and eat it too
and what we do can look like voodoo to outside individuals
so perhaps they just need another 6+ years with you.

Good luck and God bless!

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Justin Dechaine
poolboy
Dechaine Consulting Inc

557 posts
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Poor management  [21/10/2011 23:16:22]

I couldn't fathom the reasoning behind this. As John mentioned I understand some time on the phone could be required to make sure you are staying familiar with the calls you are not there to take calls..

They are paying you to be a manager and could hire another CSR to handle those calls.

The client simply isn't being realistic in their expectations and since the contract SLA's are still being met I'd have no issues calling them on it. The only explanation I can see is that they are trying to additional CSR (as you mentioned)

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John Falton
Call Center Manager
Ignite

7 posts
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Thanks again.  [24/10/2011 16:40:24]

Thank you for information. It appears we all agree that this is far outside the normal realm. I will bring this back to my Director and discuss.

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John Falton
Call Center Manager
Ignite

7 posts
0 friends welcomed

Meeting on Monday!  [29/10/2011 06:32:44]

Just to be clear on one thing Justin. The SLA's are currently mostly being met but due to an increase in calls and call time, and the recent cut of one of our staff, they fluctuate. With myself or other project staff we can meet them most of the time.

The issue is they cut without taking into account even the priorincoming call volume. Which made the problem go from bad to worse.
Sorry if I wasn't clear before.

Again thanks all. I have a meeting with my Director on Monday and will update!

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