ICMI is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


A Manifesto: The Powerful Value of Servant Leadership in the Call Center Industry

The cutting edge of Call Center performance improvement is often focused on acquiring new technology or discovering new processes. It’s what’s sexy nowadays in our industry, and a lot of attention is given to IT development and investing in consultants who are experts at determining the best processes.

That is all fine and good, but my question is… what, without a doubt, significantly impacts the overall effectiveness of both IT and process improvements yet is so often overlooked?

It’s the frontline professional, the “people” part of our industry’s triune focus of technology, process and people.

What impacts our frontliners most each day? It’s their leaders and more specifically the “kind“ or “type” of leadership that is advocated by their managers, supervisors and coaches.

If you want to maximize the value from your considerable investment in technology and process improvements, then look at how your people are led. Seek to better understand how your frontline call center professionals respond to the leadership style of their managers, supervisors and coaches. Are they forced to comply with a set of standards while attempting to help your customer? Are they frustrated by this and become negative and attrite far too soon? Do they rebel against this style of leadership by losing heart and effort in their job? Or, on the contrary, are they empowered to advocate for your customer? Are they led in a manner that communicates their value as people and to the company that gives them autonomy so that they can govern themselves appropriately even without constant supervision? The servant leadership model facilitates the latter.

I advocate for the servant leadership style for many reasons, some practical, some philosophical. But mostly because it yields the best results and creates the most effective environment for a call center to succeed in the short and long term to accomplish its mission and purpose.

In the coming weeks, this blog will look at how I arrive at these opinions and why this way of leading is superior to the more traditional “power model” of leadership.

Next week, we will compare the two contrasting styles of leadership; the power leadership model vs. the servant leadership model.