17 Best Practices for Call Center Management (2024)

Call center management

Call centers, whether virtual or in a physical office, are integral components of customer service. Despite the technological advancements we have become accustomed to in recent years, customers still prefer speaking to live customer agents and often opt to bypass phone menus when possible.

Effective call center management is crucial for ensuring customer satisfaction, maintaining operational efficiency, and enhancing overall business performance. In today’s fast-paced and increasingly digital world, managing a call center involves navigating a complex landscape of technology, human resources, and customer expectations. This article delves into the multifaceted world of call center management, exploring the best practices to shape the way organizations interact with their customers.

What Is Call Center Management?

Call centers are centralized offices for handling customer phone calls from customers seeking to resolve issues or have their questions answered. Contact centers handle customer interactions through a variety of communication channels in addition to phone calls, including emails and chats. In some organizations, these centers also conduct telemarketing or market research activities. 

Call center management is the oversight and coordination of all these activities and related business functions, including  IT, personnel management, quality assurance, and, of course, customer experience. The overall outcome of effective call center management is premium, efficient customer service.

Different Roles In a Call Center

Successful management of a call center relies on team members in different roles working together. Here are some of the most critical roles involved in a well-structured call center team:

Call center manager

What they do: Call center managers oversee overall operations and serve as a touchpoint between the call center, the organization’s larger customer service team, and the organization as a whole. Managers set expectations for employee performance, establish goals for the call center, and handle broader strategic planning.

Key responsibilities: Here are five key responsibilities of a call center manager:

  • Overseeing the recruitment, training, and management of call center staff.  
  • Regular monitoring of call center operations. This involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as call wait times, call resolution rates, and customer satisfaction scores.
  • Developing strategies to enhance customer experience, handle complaints and escalations proficiently, and implement feedback mechanisms to gather insights from customers. 
  • Managing budgets, controlling costs, and ensuring efficient use of resources.
  • Providing regular training, mentoring, and coaching to staff.

Call center supervisor

What they do: Call center supervisors, also called team leads, have a more direct connection to agents and day-to-day operations. They manage the activities of agents and are well-versed in services and product offerings, so they can step in if customer service issues need to be escalated to the managerial level. By following the direction of follow the direction of the manager to ensure the productivity and success of employees and customer support teams.

Key responsibilities: Here are five key responsibilities of a call center supervisor:

  • Addressing any issues or conflicts that arise within the team, fostering a positive and collaborative work environment.
  • Supervisors conduct regular performance evaluations, provide feedback, and offer coaching or training sessions to agents who require additional support.
  • Ensuring that all interactions with customers meet quality standards and comply with company policies and regulations.
  • Creating schedules, managing shift swaps, and arranging cover for absences to ensure adequate coverage at all times.
  • Handling escalated calls from customers who have complex issues or are dissatisfied with the service they have received.

Call center agents

What they do: Call center representatives, also called agents, interact directly with customers to answer questions and provide support. They sometimes handle outbound customer service as well, reaching out to current and prospective customers to make sales, conducting market research, and circling back to customer issues to ensure they’re resolved. Agents also specialize in different components of customer service, such as product services or technical support. 

Key responsibilities: Key responsibilities of call center agents include:

  • Managing both inbound and outbound calls professionally while maintaining a positive and helpful demeanor.
  • Providing accurate information about products, services, or company policies to the customers.
  • Ensuring that customers feel heard, valued, and respected during every interaction.
  • Updating accurate customer information in the company’s database during or after calls.
  • Adhering to the company’s scripts and guidelines to ensure consistency and quality in customer interactions.

17 Best Practices for Effectively Managing a Call Center

Call centers function smoothly only when managed strategically and effectively. Keep reading to learn about some best practices for call center management. 

1. Provide your call center agents with contextual onboarding

Contextual onboarding involves equipping agents with the necessary tools and information specific to their roles and the situations they will encounter in their job roles. This type of onboarding focuses on practical, scenario-based training, allowing agents to understand and adapt to real-world customer interactions efficiently. 

Utilizing a digital adoption platform such as Whatfix can significantly enhance this process. Whatfix specializes in creating interactive guides and walkthroughs within the software applications that agents will use. By integrating Whatfix, new agents can receive step-by-step guidance directly within their work environment, such as in CRM systems or call-handling software.

The contextual information can be tailored to the specific tasks and challenges an agent might face, making the learning process highly relevant and immediately applicable. This not only speeds up the onboarding process but also helps in building confidence and competence in handling customer queries and issues from the very start, leading to improved performance and customer satisfaction.


Above: In-app employee guidance created with the Whatfix Digital Adoption Platform

Whatfix’s DAP empowers organizations with a no-code editor to create in-app guided flows, onboarding tasklists, pop-ups, tooltips, alerts, reminders, self-help wikis, and more to enable employees to use software better. Enable your employees to become proficient in new applications faster, create interactive process documentation, guide users through process changes, assist employees through infrequent tasks, and provide self-help performance support on your CRM, ERP, HCM, or any desktop, web, or mobile application.

2. Enable agents with reinforcement training in the flow of work

Enabling call center agents with reinforcement training in the flow of work involves integrating continuous learning opportunities into their daily activities. This method helps in solidifying their skills and knowledge without pulling them away from their primary responsibilities. 

Reinforcement training involves machine learning technology that teaches agents by adjusting learning scenarios based on real-time feedback and areas that need improvement. Through positive reinforcement, this type of training helps agents learn by doing to strengthen their skills and promote continuous improvement.

3. Support your agents with self-help in the moment of need

Avoid roadblocks by enabling agents to help themselves through issues by giving them access to the tools and information they need to do so. With in-app support software, team leaders can curate content for knowledge repositories or libraries and provide in-the-moment prompts that provide them with access to the information they need right when they need it. This keeps agents productive and reduces the need for supervisor intervention when it comes to easily resolvable issues. 

Integrating a digital adoption platform can be instrumental in achieving this. Whatfix enhances the agents’ work environment with interactive, on-demand guidance and support directly within their software applications. For instance, if an agent encounters a complex customer issue or a new situation, they can instantly access step-by-step guides, FAQs, or best practice tips through Whatfix overlays on their screen.

This method reduces the time spent searching for information or waiting for assistance from supervisors. Whatfix can be programmed to offer contextual help based on the task the agent is performing, ensuring that the support provided is relevant and efficient. This approach not only fosters a culture of self-reliance and continuous learning but also ensures that help is readily available when agents need it the most, without disrupting their workflow.


Above: Example of contextual help and user support built with a Digital Adoption Platform.

Whatfix’s Self-Help overlays on to any web application, desktop application, mobile app, or website. It provides contextual help to users and integrates with your FAQs, support center, LMS, user documentation, and more. Users are presented with common issues and help content for their contextual area in the application, or they can use an open-ended search to find the specific help content they’re looking for. These help support cards often prompt in-app guidance, walking users through the specific workflow they need help on.

4. Invest in cloud call center software

Cloud call center software routes inbound and outbound customer communications using online services and centralizes all your call center-related documents and services.  Cloud-based solutions ensure greater flexibility and accessibility, allowing agents to access the system from anywhere, which is particularly beneficial for remote work scenarios or geographically dispersed teams.

Most cloud platforms come with advanced features like call routing, interactive voice response (IVR), and automatic call distribution, which streamline call handling and reduce wait times for customers

These platforms also offer robust analytics and reporting tools, giving agents and managers valuable insights into call patterns, performance metrics, and areas for improvement.

5. Integrate your call center application(s) with other software

By integrating call center software with other operational software, call centers can improve efficiency, streamline processes, and reach their most essential goal: positive customer experience outcomes. Call center applications integrate with widely used business software like CRM and IT help desk systems, knowledge management tools, communication platforms, and data analytic tools. Integrating these software allows users to conduct business functions with less redundancy and enables more personalized and informed interactions with customers, improving both service quality and customer satisfaction. 

6. Provide product or service knowledge training

Employees should be subject matter experts on the products or services they will be discussing with customers. Providing in-depth product knowledge training on your organization’s products and services to call center agents is essential in equipping them with the expertise required to assist customers effectively.

This type of training ensures that agents can confidently provide detailed information, make informed recommendations, and guide customers through complex processes or troubleshooting steps. Additionally, well-informed agents are better equipped to identify and cross-sell or upsell relevant products or services, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and potentially increasing revenue.

7. Analyze your agent performance with data

Analyzing agent performance with data is a critical aspect of effective call center management, as it provides objective insights into both individual and team performance. Utilizing data analytics allows managers to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and other call center metrics such as call handling time, customer satisfaction scores, first-call resolution rates, and adherence to scripts. 

By closely monitoring these metrics, managers can identify trends, pinpoint areas of strength, and more importantly, areas needing improvement. This data-driven approach enables targeted training and development efforts, ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently to enhance skills where they are most needed. 

Additionally, analyzing performance data helps in recognizing high-performing agents and understanding the practices that contribute to their success, which can then be shared and implemented across the team.

8. Create a call center agent recruitment strategy that hires top-talent

Recruiting skilled and knowledgeable agents is an investment in the success of the call center as a whole. By hiring top talent, call center leaders can ensure higher customer satisfaction, better first-call resolution rates, and improved employee engagement,  which all ultimately reduce turnover costs and improve brand reputation among customers. 

Moreover, skilled agents require less training time and are often quicker to adapt to the dynamic call center environment, leading to faster ramp-up times and greater overall productivity.

9. Stay on top of compliance laws and regulations

An essential component of call center management involves adhering to relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards at various levels to protect customers, uphold legal obligations, and avoid financial penalties. Call center leaders and agents should be well-versed in these laws and regulations, and this awareness should be integrated into the structure and operations of the call center. This includes complying with rules about the National Do Not Call Registry when contacting prospective customers. 

10. Conduct monthly or quarterly performance reviews with your agents

Recruiting top talent is only the first step in developing an effective call center workforce. Agents should have a working relationship with their supervisors and meet several times each year to discuss performance. These reviews help agents understand how their contributions impact the organization’s goals and give them a chance to provide feedback. They also allow managers to recognize achievements and growth, ultimately contributing to transparency in the workplace and a higher level of employee engagement. 

11. Reward your top-performing agents

Rewarding top-performing agents is a highly effective strategy in call center management, as it fosters a culture of excellence and motivation. Recognizing and rewarding high performers not only boosts their morale and job satisfaction but also encourages them to maintain and even exceed their current performance levels. This positive reinforcement can take various forms, such as bonuses, promotions, public recognition, or additional responsibilities and learning opportunities. 

This practice sets a benchmark of success for other agents, creating a healthy competitive environment where excellence is valued and aspired to. It also helps in retaining top talent, which is crucial in an industry often plagued by high turnover rates.

12. Create call center scripts, SOPs, and guidelines

By developing standardized operating procedures, guidelines, and call center scripts, managers can bring their call centers toward goals of consistent, efficient, and high-quality service. By following well-defined scripts and procedures, agents can quickly identify customer needs and deliver accurate, consistent responses, enhancing the overall quality and efficiency of service. 

Furthermore, in challenging situations, scripts and guidelines can serve as valuable support, helping agents navigate conversations confidently and effectively.

13. Promote your best agents to leadership positions

Opportunities for advancement keep employees motivated and engaged to be successful, knowing that their contributions will be not only valued but rewarded by team leaders. When agents are consistently excelling in their roles, give them opportunities to mentor their peers and promote them to leadership positions as they become available. 

14. Collect feedback from your call center agents


Collecting feedback from call center agents provides management with critical insights that can help identify training needs and improve operations as well as customer experience. Team leaders can collect feedback in a variety of ways, like formal surveys and reviews, or simply taking notes in group meetings. The important thing here is to create an open and safe environment for employees to give feedback, and take it seriously. Ultimately, this will contribute to a culture of continuous improvement and help align the call center with larger organizational goals. 

15. Track core call center metrics

Core call center metrics use hard data to gain insight into the performance of call center operations. These metrics, like First Call Resolution and Customer Satisfaction rates, directly reflect the effectiveness of call center services. Keeping track of these measurements will ensure that customers are receiving satisfactory support and that the call center is consistently moving toward its long-term goals. Here are some commonly tracked core call-center metrics: 

  • First Call Resolution Rate (FCR) is the rate of cases resolved at the first point of contact with an agent versus the overall number of open cases. Tracking and improving this metric will require the development of agents’ customer service skills and product knowledge via customer service training to ensure that they can resolve the majority of customer issues and inquiries as soon as they are encountered. 
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is the overall percentage of customers who feel their needs have been met after interacting with a call center agent. To track this, prompt callers to answer a quick post-conversation survey that allows them to rate different aspects of the interaction. 
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) quantifies the likelihood that users will recommend your organization’s product or service after interacting with customer service agents.  This can also be measured by surveys that simply ask customers whether or not they would recommend the company’s offerings to others. This can be used to gauge the degree of customer satisfaction with the organization, which builds on the question of whether or not they were satisfied with the interaction they had just had.
  • Cost Per Call (CPC) is a measurement of the average operational call per agent versus the number of calls they complete over a given period. This metric is used to gauge the efficiency and productivity of call center teams as well as individual agents and gives leaders a good idea of call center performance.

16. Stay on top of technology trends to leverage new emerging tech

As new call center technologies emerge, investing in them can have drastic effects on call center operations. Whether it’s call center software, training software, or other call center tools, leveraging new technology can help agents adapt to changing customer expectations and provide support across a variety of channels simultaneously. Embracing technological evolution and innovation can help drive call centers toward success and improve employee and customer experience alike. 

17. Provide soft skills training for your agents

Soft skills, like problem-solving, communication, and emotional intelligence, are known to contribute to customer satisfaction. By providing agents with soft skills training, they can communicate with callers more effectively and demonstrate authentic understanding when helping them through issues or resolving conflicts. By promoting the importance of soft skills in addition to providing agents with the necessary knowledge and technical expertise, managers can ensure that employees create positive experiences for callers, building brand loyalty, and contributing to the overall success of the organization. 

Enable your call center agents to maximize productivity with contextual in-app guidance and real-time support with Whatfix

Enabling call center agents with contextual in-app guidance and real-time support, particularly through platforms like Whatfix, is a transformative approach to maximizing productivity and efficiency in a call center environment. Whatfix’s tailored, in-app guidance provides agents with immediate, relevant information and step-by-step assistance, right within their workflow. This real-time support drastically reduces the learning curve for new software and processes, allowing agents to focus more on customer interactions rather than navigating complex systems. 

Moreover, the contextual nature of Whatfix ensures that the support is always aligned with the specific challenges and tasks at hand, enhancing the relevance and effectiveness of the guidance provided. As a result, agents can resolve customer queries faster and more accurately, leading to improved customer satisfaction and overall call center performance. Implementing such innovative support tools not only streamlines operations but also empowers agents, fostering a more confident, competent, and productive workforce. This, in turn, translates into a more robust, efficient, and customer-centric call center operation. 

Software clicks better with Whatfix's digital adoption platform

Enable your employees with in-app guidance, self-help support, process changes alerts, pop-ups for department announcements, and field validations to improve data accuracy.

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