COVID-19: Call center agents at home?
Mar 26 2021

Call center roles and responsibilities

Have you ever wondered why most medium-sized and large businesses use a hierarchical organization structure? In a small company, the lines between different staff roles can be blurred, and employees may have similar workloads and levels of clearance. As the team grows, this inevitably changes: some workers, however essential their functions, may have their access to data limited (for both convenience and security reasons), while others might take on additional access rights and management authority. The result is the hierarchical workplace as we know it: different people with different roles, each with its own area of responsibility.

The most common roles for a call center are also among its most essential: agent, supervisor, and floor manager. Each of these roles employs a specific set of tools provided by modern call center software. Whether you’re looking to start a call center and want to learn about the basic staff roles required to keep it running, or are curious about the features your software needs to support each of them, our guide will be the perfect start. Still, keep in mind that no two call centers are identical, so some adjustments in the distribution of duties may be necessary.

Agent

An agent is a call center representative on the frontline of communication with customers, responsible for handling inbound and/or outbound calls. Besides the calls themselves, agents are tasked with after-call work, which includes scheduling follow-up calls, logging call details, and updating CRM records to reflect the results of each attempt or conversation outcome. If CRM integration is enabled, relevant client information will be easily accessible during the call, and certain parts of that information will be automatically updated afterwards.

The primary tool agents use for their work is a WebRTC phone, ideally accessed via browser, without any additional software installation required. Besides the basic functionalities of the softphone, such as ‘Hold’, ‘Mute’, and call transfer, plus manual dialing or the ability to join an outbound campaign, agents will find these additional features useful:

  • Access to call history for making follow-up and redial calls, as well as phone number validation through HLR Lookup (if enabled);
  • Volume adjustment settings to match the sound volume of the customer and the surroundings on each call;
  • Network status notifications, i.e. automatic alerts that let the agent know when their network connection is not stable enough to ensure acceptable voice quality;
  • The ability to request assistance from a supervisor.

Supervisor

Managing hundreds of agents requires splitting them up into teams. In general, each group of 7 to 15 agents gets a dedicated supervisor. They act on the same field as agents and are just as actively involved in daily call center operations. In order to monitor performance and provide assistance, supervisors need to have a detailed understanding of current customer interactions. To that end, they use real-time dashboards to monitor queues, as well as dialer campaigns, with relevant metrics depending on the traffic type. For inbound calls, these parameters include in-queue abandons, the average speed of answer, and the longest waiting times. For outbound traffic, supervisors closely watch answer rates, agent idle time, abandonment ratios (the percentage of calls initiated by the dialer when no agents are available, leading the client to hang up when no one comes on the line), and wrap-up codes.

Beyond arranging agents’ shifts and ensuring that they keep to their assigned tasks, supervisors keep track of overall talk time and their agents’ current status. They also have access to the full agent list, and the ability to see a more detailed picture of individual daily performance statistics. When it comes to helping agents out on ongoing calls, the five most common supervisor capabilities are silent monitoring, whispering (without the client hearing), taking over a call by intercepting it, joining the call by barging in, or—in extreme cases— terminating the call.

Floor manager

In the call center hierarchy, the floor manager outranks all supervisors. Floor managers are not involved in the call center’s day-to-day operations, and mostly run weekly or monthly performance reviews. With the help of historical reporting tools, they monitor the overall time spent on inbound or outbound calls, assess trends in metrics like average call duration or the number of calls abandoned, keep track of agent occupancy, and watch the service level targets.

Armed with data and insights, a floor manager suggests operational improvements and pushes forward the best-performing strategies. These changes may require adjustments to the IVR menu logic, call distribution, and dialer campaign settings, which is why floor managers need access to most of your call center system’s parts. A floor manager can also be the one who pushes forward new technology, like Answering Machine Detection, in order to optimize agent routines and to cut costs.

These three roles are usually complemented by a campaign manager, who is in charge of preparing calling lists for outbound dialer campaigns; a security officer; and a quality assurance analyst, who monitors and evaluates customer service. In a call center, each of these roles requires different levels of access: from the basic, with limited permissions, to the advanced, which allows certain employees to work closely with vulnerable internal data. As the roles often get intertwined, acquiring software that supports role configuration is a smart choice. Instead of being limited to default roles, custom role creation will allow you to grant users different access rights according to their clearance levels and responsibilities.

Voiso offers several pre-made roles as well as complete control over the configuration of any additional roles. With an array of tools and technology—like real-time dashboards and historical reports, dialer and queue management features, and a convenient agent interface—Voiso can help each of your employees, and bring your call center to the next level.

Let us help each of your employees deliver their best performance.