Contact centers have endured a perfect storm of workplace mandates, labor shortages, evolving employee needs, rising costs, increasingly complicated customer interactions, and unpredictable customer behavior for more than two years.
Throughout the turbulence, supervisors have remained the first line of defense against an operational meltdown—leading their teams through volatile circumstances while maintaining quality and service levels.
Yet not without significant changes to the supervisor’s role.
The shift to remote and hybrid environments forced supervisors to suddenly reimagine how to coach, manage, and collaborate with their teams without the benefit of being in the same location. Technology adoption helped bridge the distance and relieve supervisors of labor-intensive manual management tasks, such as monitoring call flow and channel demand, adjusting staffing and workload, and creating reports.
In the past two years, companies have made great strides toward empowering frontline agents and deploying technology to meet the needs of the remote workforce. With agents self-managing parts of the scheduling process and automation instantly generating reports, supervisors are freed up to focus on the more strategic, human side of management: Developing their teams and identifying new customer demands—two key levers for driving revenue growth.
Contact centers have become revenue generators
Not surprisingly, after two years of dealing with pandemic fallout, company CEOs kicked off 2022 with expectations for a fast recovery and growth as a top priority. Most contact centers support that agenda, reports Gartner, with 64% of customer service and support leaders citing “growing the business” as their most critical priority in 2022.
The outlook for contact centers becoming true revenue-generators and moving away from being viewed as cost centers is expected to increase. According to a report by Deloitte Digital, service leaders are finding ways to drive long-term business value by “orchestrating valuable service experiences” and generating direct revenue with personalized offers in the service transaction. Deloitte estimates that the percentage of service leaders whose top priority is increasing revenues will double in the next two years, while the percentage whose top priority is cost reduction will drop by 32%.
What does this mean for supervisors?
With more companies putting in place directives for generating revenue growth in the contact center, the supervisor’s role likewise is primed to transition from driving operational efficiency to helping the company achieve top-line business goals. In fact, supervisors may be your contact center’s greatest untapped resource for customer innovation.
Give supervisors a broader and deeper view of customer needs
Supervisors have a unique vantage point supporting frontline agents while having an intimate hands-on understanding of operational processes, workflows, and obstacles that hinder an effortless customer experience. To become more strategic, however, many supervisors will need to broaden their perspective. Supervisors often are used to operating within silos—focused solely on the needs of their team.
Analytics provides the means for supervisors to transition from tactical to strategic. Modern analytics software is built with this in mind, providing user-friendly business intelligence tools designed to simplify the data, help supervisors and non-analysts quickly identify trends, and draw relevant conclusions.
Contact center analytics can help supervisors uncover valuable insights about CX and revenue impacts, such as:
- Primary and underlying reasons why the customer contacted you
- Processes or performance issues that create points of friction in the customer journey
- Drivers of poor customer sentiment
- Opportunities to deliver proactive service and next-problem resolution
- Intelligence on competitors’ products and services
- Upsell or cross-sell opportunities
- Gain a better understanding of how the words and phrases in your agents’ scripts impact sales and conversion rates
Strategic thinking allows supervisors to see the big picture (revenue growth), understand customer insight and performance data for opportunities to achieve business goals, and connect the dots for their teams.
Future-proof the supervisor’s role
Contact centers generate vast amounts of data, but data is only valuable when it’s used. Research firm IDC reports that more than two-thirds (68%) of available data is left unused by organizations. Not putting your customer data to good use is likely costing your business lost revenue and competitive advantage.
In the last two years, the use of analytics has accelerated. According to a report by EY, companies continue to invest aggressively with 93% of companies indicating that they plan to increase their investments in data analytics.
Providing supervisors with the tools to uncover relevant insights and promptly act on change signals that improve the customer experience will positively move the needle on revenue growth. Even better, it will give supervisors and career-minded frontline agents a unique opportunity to add value to the business while ensuring their own success and enhancing their skills.