How Adaptability Leads to Leadership for Contact Center Supervisors

September 14, 2015

There’s no shortage of paramount personality traits to seek out in your contact center supervisors, and chief among those is leadership. And leadership is a fluid quality in a person – just typing “what makes a good leader” into Google can yield thousands of articles, all with different bits of advice and equations of personality traits that attempt to define leadership. But when it comes to your contact center supervisors, there’s one trait you should be seeking out: adaptability.

adaptability, leadership, contact center agent, contact center supervisor, contact center, call centerWhy adaptability, and what does adaptability have to do with leadership?

Let’s start with the “why” question. Contact centers have undergone some pretty significant changes over the past 15 years. From customers calling in, to emailing, and now using online chat tools and even social media, the contact center has become larger and more versatile than ever before with new and different types of skill sets rapidly becoming in demand. What’s more, the changes are still occurring. Who would have thought 7 years ago that a social media platform that limits a user’s thoughts to 140 characters would become incredibly popular to use for customer support? As technology changes and grows, so too will customer support in the contact center. And your contact center supervisors need to be able to adapt to these changes, needs, and styles of customer service.

But why supervisors specifically? Wouldn’t adaptability be better suited for the contact center agents, who are on the frontline of these changes?

While it is important for your contact center agents to have some level of adaptability, it’s important that your supervisors set the pace for these changes. Being open to understanding these changes and how they affect the contact center is just the beginning for a supervisor – they must be able to not only have themselves adapt to these changes, but work with their agents and teach them how these changes affect their roles so that the agents can continue to turn out optimal performances and keep customers happy.

So now that you understand why adaptability is important to a contact center supervisor, and how it fits into their roles as leaders, you must now learn how to find it in supervisor job candidates.

This is surprisingly easy if you know what to look for. Here are some good personality traits and job skills to seek out and measure adaptability with:

  • Creative Thinkers: Changes that occur in the contact center can mean new sets of rules that your agents might not be aware of. It’s up to your supervisors to get creative with their customer service solutions. A recent example would be thinking about how quickly an agent should acknowledge a customer support issue over social media.
  • Leading the Way: Adaptability means, first and foremost, being open to changes. Supervisors who are living in the past can be helpful for a time, but finding a supervisor job candidate who thinks about what’s coming up ahead will ensure your agents keep up with the times – rather than trying to have the times stay behind with them.
  • Open Mind: When changes (like the introduction of using Twitter for customer support) occur, there’s no written set of rules – they must be made. And while creativity is a part of solving those issues, having an open mind to new ideas and trying different possible solutions is just as important as being creative.

Put your candidates in different situations to test for these. Give them simulations that test how well they keep an open mind or get creative with solutions, and use personality testing to see how open they are to forward thinking ideas. As long as you know what you’re looking for in the hiring process, leveraging your hiring tools is going to be a fairly painless process with plenty of qualitative data.

Want to learn even more about adaptability and leadership? Contact us today. Want to know how you can build a better customer experience beyond having the right supervisors? Download our latest infographic below.


Topics: Talent Selection Ideas

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