In every industry, the march of progress only travels in one direction: technology is developed to perform tasks previously done by people. In the process, efficiency is boosted, more can be achieved for less expense and people are reassigned to other tasks that technology cannot do (yet).
Consider arable farming pre 1850: when the harvest was ready, workers would come with scythes and manually cut the crops. When the combine harvester came along, the same job could be completed far more quickly and efficiently, and workers were freed from repetitive, intensive labour.
Similarly, the role of contact center supervisor has been changing.
The shift from manual management
Supervisors are slowly moving away from manual management of technology – monitoring call metrics, adjusting the outbound dialing rate, and moving agents around according to inbound demand to meet SLAs.
There are two key drivers forcing these changes:
- The job itself has become far more complex with the advance of the omnichannel contact center. Interactions must be managed across a variety of media channels, with varying inbound demand, trying to maintain the optimum balance between agent utilization and customer satisfaction. This balance has become too much for human brain to manage with any precision.
- Technology has progressed to be able to do the job automatically, far more efficiently and at far less cost.
A new focus
This moves the supervisor to a new role; that of mentor, team leader and coach, applying business policies and goals to front line operations. In fact, the title Team Leader is fast overtaking that of Supervisor.
Allowing the ACD to automatically manage the complexities of demand and supply means:
- The highest possible efficiency from agents, and the best possible service for customers.
- And it enables supervisors to provide more of the things only people can – empathy, motivation, teamwork, people management, customer rapport, the application of business goals to processes.
But here’s the rub: to unchain the supervisor, technology must be designed for optimum performance on its own, with no intervention. The Sytel AI Dialer™ has been doing this with predictive dialing for many years. And Softdial Contact Center™ (SCC) now manages blending across not just voice but all digital channels as well, coping with the complexities of constantly changing demand across all these channels.