How Dumb is it for Your Supervisors to Support Agents?


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It’s simple. Your agents need help with a customer, all they have to do is raise their hand. But how dumb is that in today’s omnichannel and remote agent world? Okay, just raise a flag then. That’s not much smarter.

How dumb is it for your supervisors to support agents? Click to Tweet

One of my favorite projects that I worked on during my years in contact center operations was leading the development and design of a mobile help desk. We created the processes and practices that allowed agents to request support and have a senior agent with more experience to come to the agent’s desk and in real-time and support that agent with the customer. Without the hand raising or flag waiving thing.

We used cordless headsets and programmed a special queue with multi-site roll-over coverage so that someone was always available to support an agent in need.

One of main purposes of the senior support team was to transfer their knowledge to the agent. And to guide agent’s in finding answers for themselves. Their primary role was to coach and develop, not to merely answer questions. A core component of their performance measurement was knowledge transfer, versus having knowledge.

Today’s Support Tools are Smarter

Proactively developing and supporting contact center agents in real-time today is a lot easier and smarter. If you’d like it to be.

I got both nostalgic and somewhat envious when Bruce Marler introduced me to CaféX’s Supervisor Assist solution at ICMI’s Contact Center Expo.

Watch Bruce Marler of CaféX on real-time agent development. Click to Tweet

Ding or develop agents?

If the primary goal of quality is not to develop agent skills and performance then it exacerbates the feeling of the me-versus-them feeling for agents. Or as many say, “Big Brother is Watching”. Do you want to ding or develop your agents?

Most all contact center agents want to do a better. And they need to feel supported in their effort to improve. If they do not feel supported then burnout and turnover ensues.

Develop agents in the now

With the hand raising feature of CaféX’s Supervisor Assist, contact centers can more easily enable live coaching and on-the-job training to elevate agent skillsets. Supervisors can be more proactive in preventing management escalations by callers.

By utilizing mobile and web technologies, supervisors and support staff can sit virtually with any agent in any location and have complete visibility. Now agent’s anywhere can get access to the right support wherever it resides driving maximum agent performance.

CaféX’s Supervisor Assist also has the reporting capabilities to know which agents request help, frequency and the reason for the request. This insight can also guide new and recumbent training and drive process changes to reduce support costs.

About CaféX

CaféX makes it easier for companies to enhance live engagement within web and mobile applications. Trusted by many Global 2000 companies, CaféX’s award-winning collaboration software operates within the context of business workflows to increase customer satisfaction and workforce productivity. Source:

Good versus evil

What’s wrong! Make it right! Where’s your mindset?

For too many years quality monitoring has been primarily used to find what’s wrong with agent performance.

CaféX’s Supervisor Assist can help with either mindset:

  • If you want to uncover poor performers and get rid of them, you can do it faster.
  • If you want to uncover who needs help, you can get them help faster.

The common practice in contact centers is to uncover poor performers and merely terminate them. But this mindset must change.

Contact centers uncover poor performers and terminate them. Click to Tweet

Employee competition

The skillsets possessed by contact center agents are the same skillsets desired by various other parts of an organization. Often those careers don’t carry some of the inherent stress factors of contact centers.

If you were looking for a career, and you knew you were going to monitored and not proactively developed, would you pick the contact center? Would this give you an optimal motivational outlook?

If you knew you knew you were able to be developed faster and gain a wider range of experiences than other parts of the business, would you choose the contact center then?

If you were developed faster, would you choose the contact center? Click to Tweet

Get Smarter and Modernize

It’s time to get rid of the antiquated raising of a flag and give your supervisors and support staff the opportunity to support larger amounts of agents…faster. Get ready to jump start your (leading practice) coaching and mentoring mindset today.

Get smart and contact Bruce Marler at: bmarler [at]

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jim Rembach
Jim Rembach is recognized as a Top 50 Thought Leader and CX Influencer. He's a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner and host of the Fast Leader Show podcast and president of Call Center Coach, the world's only virtual blended learning academy for contact center supervisors and emerging supervisors. He’s a founding member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association’s CX Expert Panel, Advisory Board Member for Customer Value Creation International (CVCI), and Advisory Board Member for CX University.


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