All the Call Center’s Men: Typical Call Center Structure

Which roles and units are must-have in your call center? What responsibilities and skills are required to run its operations at different levels? We have tried to take a close look at the typical call center structure.

The typical call center structure is shown below:

Call Center Agents
Team Leaders (Supervisors)
Call Center Managers
Customer Service Director
Quality Control Department
Other Units and Roles:

Source: CallCenterHelper

Call Center Agents

The agents are the first people we imagine when talking about a call center. They are the first whom we contact as customers and they basically perform the function of the call center.

The agents’ responsibilities may vary depending on your company’s specific needs. But mainly they are expected to:

  • Answer customers’ calls and handle customer requests, sent via email, web chat, or messengers
  • Respond to customer queries and routing them to the more competent colleague if necessary
  • Providing customers with the necessary information about the company: prices, discounts, promotions, etc.
  • Make outbound calls and send SMS to confirm or specify orders, or to inform customers of order delivery status
  • Make conversation notes (register the subject of the request, note down the conversation results, and so on)
  • Conduct customer surveys
  • Make sales calls, take opportunities to upsell and cross-sell to customers
  • Follow call scripts
  • Meet the target KPIs
  • Regularly attend training sessions.

To perform their duties, call center agents are required to have such skills:

  • Developed communication skills, especially active listening that helps to ask more relevant questions to customers
  • Good articulation: customers respond better when they understand the agents’ words instantly
  • High level of foreign language proficiency (when working with foreign clients)
  • High emotional intelligence and stress resistance: an agent has to be calm and polite in any situation, try to help and solve the customer’s problem
  • Empathy: having natural empathy helps to build rapport with customers in different situations much easier
  • Ability to multitask: agents will have to switch between multiple systems while interacting with customers, switch channels frequently, work with both inbound and outbound calls if necessary.

Team Leaders (Supervisors)

A team leader manages a group (team) of call center agents. Typically, the size of the team ranges between 8 and 12 agents.

The responsibilities of team leaders may include:

  • Ensuring that agents perform their duties and meet their KPI targets
  • Reviewing the agents’ performance and giving feedback
  • Onboarding and coaching newbies
  • Scheduling timetables
  • Preparing performance reports for manager
  • Handling calls when a customer wants to escalate a call
  • The ongoing motivation of the team.

The main team leader’s skills are:

  • Interpersonal skills: an ability to solve conflicts between team members; a knack for motivating others and giving constructive feedback
  • Accountability for their team’s performance
  • Confidence in their actions
  • Organization skills, especially planning
  • Coaching skills.

Call Center Managers

A call center manager is the head of a group of team leaders. Their purpose is to translate business strategies into deliverable objectives for team leaders and make sure that team leaders understand the objectives for the day. Also, they work cross-functionally with other department leaders to meet the objectives and deliver the outcomes.

The responsibilities of a call center manager may include:

  • Having meetings with team leaders
  • Preparing reports for senior management
  • Coaching and developing their team members
  • Solving people issues and involvement in HR processes 
  • Taking escalated calls if some complex customer issues arise
  • Doing effective resource planning.

What skills are required from call center managers? These mostly are:

  • Long-sightedness: a good manager not only understands solutions for current problems but also thinks ahead, trying to prevent problems that may arise in the future
  • Time-management skills: be able to prioritize their workload and delegate tasks if possible
  • Coaching skills: be able to train and develop their team members
  • Ability to motivate and engage others
  • Organization skills
  • Conflict resolution skills.

Customer Service Director

A customer service director defines a strategy for customer service operations and creates a shared vision to implement this strategy effectively.

The responsibilities of a customer service director may include:

  • Regular meetings with the top management to keep up to date with all the information regarding their function (any upcoming news, events, changes)
  • Monitoring daily, weekly and monthly reports on customer service
  • Keeping their direct reports up to date with all the information regarding their function and support them in performing their duties effectively
  • Working closely with other departments to stay informed of any changes that may impact customer service
  • Preparing reports for the top management on service levels
  • Running the Voice-of-the-Customer program and improving customer experience.

To succeed in performing their duties, customer service director is required to have such skills:

  • Leadership skills: this person is supposed to inspire, motivate and lead the customer service team
  • Long-sightedness: ability to think strategically and identify success factors
  • Ability to express their thoughts clearly and concisely
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Be able to advocate for changes in customer service at a top level.

Quality Control Department

This department is responsible for call quality control and assessment of agents’ performance. Using call monitoring tools, its employees listen to recorded calls or live conversations with customers. Quality control covers other communication channels as well: quality analysts may check emails and live chat transcripts.

Also, quality analysts have such responsibilities:

  • Designing evaluation programs for agents
  • Developing criteria for quality score
  • Researching call center trends and practices
  • Realizing training initiatives
  • Giving feedback to agents on what they should improve.

To succeed in performing their duties, quality analysts are required to have such skills:

  • Communication skills: it will help them to give feedback in a clear and friendly manner
  • Analytical: spot call center trends and identify areas where improvement is required and possible (both for individual agents and call center as a whole)
  • Organization skills: quality analysts deal with tons of information, so being able to do this in a structured way is very important.

Other Units and Roles

It is also worth mentioning other units and roles that may not belong to a call center structure (except for outsourcing call centers) but have to be in contact with it.

HR Department

Call centers are inclined to have high employee turnover because of stressful work. It is the first reason why your company’s HR department has to be in constant contact with the call center. In big companies, hiring new employees is almost continuous. In outsourcing call centers, the HR department serves mainly the call center needs.

HR Manager

Generally, the responsibilities of an HR manager in a call center are similar to those of an HR manager in another company. However, high employee turnover makes them pay more attention to:

  • Recruiting of new employees (this process virtually never stops)
  • Onboarding of newbies 
  • Employee retention.

Trainer

In big companies and outsourcing call centers, trainers work as a part of the overall team. Aside from training new employees, they are also responsible for:

  • Giving feedback after training is completed
  • Filtering out unsuitable candidates after introductory training
  • Providing ongoing training for call center agents and other employees.

IT Department

The IT Department has to provide technical conditions for the timely and high-quality work of a call center. Its staff’s responsibilities include:

  • Providing the workstations with necessary resources (network, electricity, telephony)
  • Maintaining the correct functioning of the equipment
  • Excluding or minimizing downtime due to technical failures, if such failures are internal and fall within the department’s area of responsibility.

Sales department

In outsourcing call centers, the sales department searches for potential customers and sells them call center services. These clients are then transferred to the managers (or project managers), who is the liaison between customers and performers. Project managers determine the needs, form the required indicators, and control the performers to meet these indicators.

Conclusion

Depending on your company’s size and other factors, the call center structure may differ from the described above. In small companies, there are only 3-4 branches of the organization tree that perform several different functions. For example, the head of the call center may also be involved in its development and partially in the search for customers and staff. Some call centers do not have quality analysts and trainers: supervisors and managers take over their functions.

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