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Team Leads - CSR or Supervisor Messages in this topic - RSS

ctomsa
ctomsa
Posts: 2


11/10/2015
ctomsa
ctomsa
Posts: 2
We are considering adding Team Leads to help in our 60 person call center. We currently have four teams of 15 agents that are managed by 4 supervisors. We are considering adding Team Leads to act as a bridge or conduit between the agents and the supervisors. We want them to assist the supervisors in doing peer to peer call evaluations, to be a resource for agents in answering questions, to advise supervisors when there are agents who may need coaching, or to be a resource for agents who are reluctant to go to their supervisor for any reason. This is a person who would also handle any call escalations should a supervisor not be available.
We are struggling with whether this person is the highest level agent on each team or an assistant supervisor. We are in a union environment so that is also an issue as to which side of that line they might fall on.
Does anyone have any experience in this area? Are your Team Leads supervisors or lead agents? What is your experience with union issues concerning this, if any. What have you learned about Team Leads that could be helpful to all in making this position work correctly?
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smithgail86
smithgail86
Posts: 1


11/12/2015
smithgail86
smithgail86
Posts: 1
Hello Ctomsa. For some reason this question comes up often. After working in 2 large contact centers (agent, quality assurance and training) for major telecommunication companies, my experience has been that team leads are the lead agents on the floor. They are called team leads because they exhibit the qualities and customer service experience that can lead to leadership roles/positions. The team leads are those who walk the floor to handle the day to day customer and call related issues. Agents on a team, go to the team lead first for call assistance or caller issues before going to the supervisor. Team leads can assist with coaching, monitoring calls, handling call escalations and doing supervisor call backs. Team leads also work with new hires on the team, to help them become acclimated to their new surroundings and sit side-by-side with agents to instruct and coach them through calls and proper call handling. Team leads do not conduct annual performance evaluations, discipline, hire or make recommendations for terminations or promotions. Team leads do not sit in on management or administrative meetings. Team leads do not keep employee records, review budgets, manage agent shift schedules or approve work time or time off (vacation, sick time, leave of absence, etc.). Team leads do not discuss with agents their metrics (such as # of calls answered, time in/out, break time, etc.) Additionally, being a team lead does not necessarily mean more pay. Some companies will pay more for this role, others don’t. Supervisors however, conduct annual performance evaluations and do new hire reviews. Supervisors serve on hiring committees, interview, hire and terminate. Supervisors do one-on-ones with agents to discuss agent metrics, goals, productivity or the lack thereof. Supervisors recommend training for the whole team and liaisons with HR to develop and assist with group training. Supervisors can also conduct new hire training classes with HR to prepare new hires for what to expect when coming to the floor. Supervisors lead team meetings. Supervisors review budgets. Supervisors can meet weekly or daily with team leads as needed to discuss upcoming activity, events or issues to be aware of concerning the team or an agent. Supervisors can discuss with Operation Managers and other management personnel the daily, weekly and monthly work flow and quotas that are built based on call volume and traffic for each team and the contact center overall.Hence, supervisors get promoted to higher management or executive roles, while the team lead role is preparation for being a supervisor – not necessarily an Assistant Supervisor. Many companies have HR courses and classes just for supervisors to prepare them for their new role. In regards to union involvement, does the union recognize an Assistant Supervisor role or just Supervisor? Knowing what the union accepts or doesn’t will make a difference as to how they see the team lead role. Hope this information is helpful. Gail Smith
edited by smithgail86 on 11/12/2015
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ctomsa
ctomsa
Posts: 2


11/13/2015
ctomsa
ctomsa
Posts: 2
Gail:
Your description of a Team Lead is spot on what I was picturing, so this confirms that I am on the right track.
One point we are hung up with is call evaluations. We would like the TL to perform a number of evaluations, especially with new hires during nesting period. This would decrease the amount of time our supervisors spend doing this, and improve our ability to coach up. However there is concern that if the TLs perform call evaluations, then they cross the line into management because they are performing employee evaluations. We are in a union environment so this distinction is important here.
One idea we had is to have the TL's perform evaluations that do not count toward the agent's performance in any way. They would be essentially peer-to-peer coaching sessions meant to help improve the agent's performance in preparation for the evaluations that do count. But there is still concern that in doing so, employee confidences would be breached, and that this would make the TLs part of the management team.
Any thoughts or experience that you (or anyone) can share about this?
Thanks for all of your help!
Chris
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SeaHawkins
SeaHawkins
Moderator
Posts: 7


11/13/2015
SeaHawkins
SeaHawkins
Moderator
Posts: 7
The team lead should be a resource for the agents on the team. They provide assistance to team members, are a point of escalations, and offer feedback/coaching. Performance management and operational decisions should be left to the supervisor or manager. I'd be very clear however in defining the extent of coaching the lead should be engaged in. These coaching sessions can easily move into an area in which a supervisory role is needed.
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chuck.ellison
chuck.ellison
Posts: 1


12/30/2015
chuck.ellison
chuck.ellison
Posts: 1
Gail offered an excellent description of the Team Lead role. In regard to the question about call evaluations, there is a fine line that should be clearly addressed with the Team Lead and Supervisor. Doing call evaluations that do not "count" would be a good approach, in addition to focusing on the coaching aspect of the role (and not long-term development which is the role of the Supervisor). The Team Lead should focus on identifying trends among the team, offer light coaching and training to assist the new hires and generally be available as the first-level of escalation or support. The Team Lead should then be communicating regularly with the Supervisor regarding employee progress from a training/knowledge retention aspect. However, I would suggest stressing that this coaching is in addition to, not replacing, the evaluations and coaching/development the supervisor provides. Detailing clear roles and responsibilities should allow for success in this position.
Chuck Ellison
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