Customer Experience News & Trends

6 things a contact center manager should never say to agents

Contact center pros need thick skin. But no one should have to tolerate these nasty comments from ill-suited managers.

Yes, leaders – whether in a lapse of bad judgment or moment of anger – have been caught saying these things that can hurt morale and halt productivity. Bloomberg Businessweek expert Liz Ryan gives us the top no-nos. Experts at CustomerContactNews included a better way to get the point across to agents.

  • If you don’t like this job, I’ll find someone who does. Work is built on a relationship, not a transaction. Threats only demoralize. Better said: “I believe you can do this. But if you find yourself struggling with this assignment, we’ll work together on a solution for the situation.”
  • I don’t pay you to think. Actually, you do. So this just sounds like a blatant refusal to hear an agent’s ideas or concerns. Better said: “Your idea may have some merit. Can you please put it in writing and we can schedule a time to discuss it?”
  • In these times, you’re lucky to have a job. It’s a threat and an insult that suggests agents aren’t qualified for any job  – and may just prompt them to prove the  manager wrong. Better said: “This might sound like more than normal to ask of you, but I know you can handle it and work toward the company goals.”
  • Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions. Actually, good managers need both. Better said: “I want to hear your concerns and suggestions on solutions for them.”
  • Sounds like a personal problem to me. Work bleeds into life. And life bleeds into work. Because they affect each other, managers need to deal with both sometimes. Better said: “Let’s talk about some potential solutions for this issue.”
  • Everyone feels this way, and you need to know about it. That sounds like bosses and co-workers are either gossiping or conspiring against an agent – and that can hurt. Better said: “I’ve noticed that you … And I want to nip this in the bud before it becomes a bigger issue.”

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