My Skin Crawled… Do your Supervisors Have a Scary Vision?


Share on LinkedIn

ID-100275950Call after call I heard examples of spine tingling bad customer experience. My skin crawled! During a call center tour I was seated with a rep who the supervisor proudly introduced as one of their top performers. Don’t get me wrong, he was “good”. Good at protecting the company from “evil” customers. He had great talk time, he never bothered supervisors with questions, and amazingly enough his customers never escalated to a manager. His highly confident manner and control of the call resulted in quickly shutting down customer requests for any special accommodation.

Why such a huge gap between my observation and the supervisor’s perception?

It all came down to the supervisor’s VISION of good rep performance, VISION of good customer service experience.

How confident are you in the clarity and alignment of the VISION your call center supervisors are using when evaluating and developing their teams?

Vision is created over time through education and exposure to real life experiences. Without your input, their vision is limited and may not be based on examples that you embrace. Do you know who your supervisors are trying to mimic?

So how do you expand your supervisors’ vision? How do you ensure that their vision of great customer service is at a level you aspire to achieve in your call center? Try these:

Read Books Together – I love to read so it really broke my heart when I realized that the books I passed on to supervisors usually went unread. That is until we started reading them together. Chunk out a book and assign each chunk to small groups of supervisors to present in your next staff meeting. Have some fun with it. In one center the supervisors came with props and costumes. In another they grabbed the opportunity to learn some of the fun features in PowerPoint. You might only get through two books a year, but hey, that is two more books than last year!

Share Blogs and Articles – Forward 2-3 short articles per week to your supervisors. Look for articles that strongly reflect your vision. It’s only a 10 minute investment per day! I subscribe to about 30 customer service and call center bloggers. (You can subscribe to mine by clicking here.) You have to be a bit ruthless to control the time invested, so quickly scan the opening paragraphs deleting as you go. Usually 2-3 pop out as interesting so read them in more depth. Add a short note explaining why you think they will find this article interesting and forward the link.

Get Personal by Sharing Your Vision – Tell stories in your staff meetings about your personal great customer service experiences. I’ve gone so far as Christmas Shopping in staff meetings so we could all listen to the great service provided by one of my favorite companies. Talking about why I loved that company helped the supervisors visualize how they could incorporate that experience into their coaching conversations.

Visit Other Call Centers – Seeing how others “do it” really opens up the eyes of supervisors. Identify non-competing businesses with Call Centers in your area. Connect with the manager and propose an exchange visit.

YouTube Your Meetings – There are so many great videos available on YouTube that you can use as conversation starters in your meetings. For example, this week I found a short video based on the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” How fun is that for a meeting topic?

Embrace On-line Webinars and Training – I couldn’t possibly skip my personal passion! What an amazing gift we have to help develop supervisors compared to 20 years ago. Avoid travel time and expenses by utilizing on-line resources. These resources can also add a lot of flexibility to providing instructional opportunities. The best courses break it down into little pieces so your supervisors can grab a course in their busy day.

Right now you are likely the biggest influence to your call center supervisors. Your role in helping them mold an amazing vision is crucial. Please don’t take it lightly. What is your plan?

I recently I asked call center leaders the question: To have meaningful impact on the success of your supervisors what are the top two areas that MUST be addressed in a development program?

You can get a free copy of the results by clicking HERE.

The response was amazing and in some ways very insightful. I encourage you to download. It will help you identify areas where you could invest just a little more and help your supervisors take giant steps forward!

Image courtesy of Chaiwat at

Republished with author’s permission from original post.

Ladona Stork
Ladona Stork is passionate about helping call center leaders find ways to make it easier to meet their goals. With over 25 years leading call center teams, she knows firsthand of the crazy life in the call center where there is never enough time and always too many fires!


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here