As a contact center supervisor, your plate is full. You’re responsible for agent development, maintaining service levels, policy reviews, various administrative tasks, and the list goes on.
On top of it all, you’re expected to stay up to date with industry best practices and continually develop your personal skill set in order to remain a valuable asset for your company and agents. But, with so much demanding your attention, finding time to search for new resources seems impossible.
Industry blogs are a great option, and there are plenty to choose from. However, if you need a deep dive into a specific area – like training or AI, books are your best bet…and there are some great ones out there.
We did the legwork for you and pulled together a list of 5 books every contact center supervisor should read. They cover everything from operations to how to retain Millennial agents, and best of all…most are under 200 pages.
Conducting a Contact Center Assessment by Michael Cusack
If you’ve ever looked around your contact center and thought, “there’s got to be a better way to do this,” then consider Conducting A Contact Center Assessment your roadmap to better.
In the book, author Michael Cusack explains why contact center assessments are a powerful tool for change, how to conduct one, and then how to use the gathered information to develop insightful solutions. Whether you want to figure out how to reduce the number of abandoned calls, improve agent retention, or anything in-between, Cusack outlines the process and provides evaluation tools and templates to help along the way.
Reader review: Provides step-by-step directions on how to assess and plan for improvements in a straightforward manner that doesn’t require a Six Sigma black belt to understand or actually use. It is practical, informative, straightforward, and broad enough to cover just about everything.
AI Is My Friend: A Practical Guide For Contact Center by Mikhail Naumov
Within the next decade, AI is going to transform the contact center and the customer experience, and it’s important to understand AI and how it will change the industry.
Author Mikhail Naumov does a great job explaining what AI is (and what it isn’t). In addition, he details how AI will improve contact center jobs—not replace them. After reading this book, you’ll have a firm understanding of how your contact center can leverage AI to improve processes and increase efficiency.
Reader review: This is an eye-opening read on how AI is and will be transforming customer service, and puts a thoughtful, often humorous, and very grounded view of the transformation in this sector. It makes me optimistic for the future of AI in that it can help all of us be more proficient in our daily work and focus on the things that really matter. I really recommend this book for anyone looking at AI seriously for improving customer service.
Call Center Rocket Science: 110 Tips to Creating a World Class Customer Service Organization by Randy Rubingh
This is the perfect resource for any supervisor looking for a quick read full of insightful advice. Author Randy Rubingh provides practical tips based on his 25 years of contact center experience. For example, he explains how and why you can actually save money by paying your reps 20% more.
He touches on topics such as recruiting and hiring, training, management, operations, and outsourcing.
Reader review: It’s clear in reading this book that the Author has spent time “in the trenches”, and understands the thinking and motivations of the front line CSR’s, and approaches that will work to motivate and manage them to perform. That real world experience is what makes this book believable and valuable, especially when he offers advice that goes against the traditional thinking.
Call Center Management on Fast Forward by Brad Cleveland
Author Brad Cleveland is well-known in the contact center industry for his insight on improving customer relationships, and this book proves why.
Considered one of the best books on contact center management, everyone in the contact center, from agents to executives, will find value in Cleveland’s advice and strategies. He shares tips, case studies, and his own experience to explain how you can:
- Improve customer experiences
- Build a team equipped with the right know-how
- Achieve service level with quality
- Maximize the contact center’s strategic value
- Win top management’s support
Reader Review: If you’re like me, you may have years of experience in customer service and therefore think you understand call centers. But once I read Brad’s book I found out I didn’t really understand the unique combination of people, process and technology required to respond in an instant, to hundreds of randomly timed customer contacts covering a variety of issues. Call Center Management on Fast Forward opened my eyes to what is required to deliver customer service excellence on each and every contact.
Keeping The Millennials: Why Companies Are Losing Billions in Turnover to This Generation—and What to Do About It by Joanne Sujansky & Jan Ferri-Reed
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40% of call center employees are between the ages of 20 and 35. With that number growing every year, it’s essential that you understand how to retain your Millennial agents by keeping them engaged.
While this book isn’t contact center specific, it does provide valuable insight into the Millennial generation and how they differ from previous generations. It’s the ultimate resource to everything from how to create a Millennial-friendly culture to how to prepare Millennials to be leaders.
The authors go one step beyond presenting research by offering practical advice and strategies to help you lower turnover rates and make your company a place where young people want to stay and build a career.
Reader review: Keeping the Millennials is a great insight into the future workplaces of our country, and the young people who will increasingly enter upon it. I find Dr. Joanne Sujansky and Dr. Jan-Ferri Reed to be amazing and insightful authors, entertaining and informative, with an on-the-spot way of identifying the needs of 20-something’s in the working environment. Kudos!
Leverage these books to boost your supervisor game.
As a supervisor, finding the time to invest in your own professional development can be tough, but these 5 books are the perfect resources to do just that.
With the research, tips, and tricks offered in these books, you’ll be able to engage your agents more effectively, improve your team’s performance, deliver A-class customer service, and push your career (and agents) to the next level.