4 Rules to Join The Right Agents Together In A Call Group

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A call group is a team of contact center agents that are grouped together to resolve incoming support calls based on certain criteria. This could include grouping together agents with similar skills, experience, or qualifications. 

The goal of creating a call group is so that when customers call in, their issues can be matched to the agents best equipped to help them—rather than your customers being randomly routed to whichever agent happens to be free at that time.

Putting the right agents together into effective call groups is crucial because it has a significant impact on the level of customer service and support your contact center is able to provide. With the wrong composition of groups, callers could be stuck in a queue waiting for an available agent, only to eventually reach someone unequipped to resolve their issue. 

However, if you strategically join the right agents together based on complementary strengths, your callers will connect to experts tailored to their needs almost instantly, every time.

That being said, you can’t lump your support agents together randomly and expect to see a decrease in your resolution time. Here are the four rules you should be following if you want to put together effective call groups within your call center.

1. Put a Lead Agent in Each Call Group

One best practice when creating your call groups is to make sure to strategically place team leads or top-performing agents in each group. 

Rather than centralizing your managerial support on only a few teams, all of your call groups should have an experienced point person that less senior agents can turn to for guidance.

Distributing your lead agents evenly means that no matter what call group a customer ends up being routed to based on their needs, there will be strong leadership and expertise on hand to resolve any and all support issues quickly. Agents can immediately escalate to their group lead when necessary instead of having to wait for manager availability. Ultimately, this will result in shorter call handle times and faster answers for the customers.

Having strong leaders placed in each call group also helps balance the managerial workload instead of over-relying on just one or two supervisors. 

And by giving lower-tier agents exposure to working directly with top agents, you provide growth opportunities to develop their skills as well. Newer agents will have the chance to watch the lead in action, get a front-row view of what they do well, and implement what they’ve learned in their own calls. It’s a huge boost on all sides when employees can learn directly from their peers. 

Overall, distributing your lead agents across call groups improves service quality, enhances the customer experience, and cultivates talent across your support teams.

2. Group Agents With Similar Skills But Different Levels of Experience

When organizing your teams, aim to join agents that have similar capabilities but have different levels of experience across your teams. 

For example, you may create a call group specifically for product support issues. These agents would all have strong product knowledge training but at the beginner, intermediate, and expert levels.

Mixing your entry-level agents who have recently finished their product training with more seasoned team members will help foster a diversity of thought that should ultimately improve the customer support experience. 

For example, newer reps can benefit from the guidance of experienced team members right within their call group, facilitating their onboarding and development. The first-hand experience they get learning about the products by working through calls with experienced leads will give them in-depth knowledge that a handbook just can’t provide. 

Having a diversity of skill levels also means that your teams can cover a wider range of product issues callers may face. Expert-level agents can tackle advanced troubleshooting, intermediate agents can handle common queries, while your beginners can take on basic requests as they continue learning about the product 

If time allows, newer agents can listen in on the more complex calls, and eventually, they can start handling some of their own as a seasoned agent listens in and offers support,

3. Put Together Agents in the Same Department

When compiling your call groups, generally, you’ll want to pull agents from the same teams or departments. Keeping representatives together who already work closely day-to-day will make the coordination and management of these teams much simpler in a few key ways:

  • Training and onboarding are more consistent since agents learn processes and systems together from the start. They’ll have a shared knowledge base to reference while they’re helping each other or escalating issues.
  • Collaboration is enhanced when your teams know each member’s individual strengths and weaknesses. In other words, your support agents will never have to guess who they should turn to to ask a specific support question.
  • The shared vocabulary and communication norms that your groups will develop will help save time as they  navigate difficult situations under pressure (i.e. a company outage, seasonal spike, etc.)

Note that there may be some exceptions to this rule.

For example, if you’re receiving a lot of calls where your agents have to work with the finance department (i.e. processing returns, purchases, etc.), it may make sense to bring agents and finance department employees together in a call group.

4. Don’t Ignore Personality Fit 

When designing tiered support groups, your main priority should be building teams that will improve the quality of customer support and decrease your call resolution times.

However, you can’t overlook how well your agents’ personalities mesh. 

At the end of the day, your call groups still need to foster a collaborative environment for employees to communicate and learn from each other. While shared capabilities may be the driving factor behind these assignments, building some chemistry between personalities can’t hurt.

Sure, you won’t always have perfectly matching dispositions across these groups. But you should still be mindful of tensions that could emerge from highly oppositional working styles in the same team. If your team doesn’t mesh, they’re not going to be as willing to learn from each other—which is just going to hurt your call center in the long run.

The easiest way to see how this could be a problem is by imagining you have a team of dominant personalities. Each one thinks they know the best way to answer a question or resolve a query. This is only going to lead to hostility, and it’ll prevent your agents from growing and trusting each other.

On the other end of the spectrum, you don’t want a group of quieter personalities either. Someone has to be willing to emerge as a leader, and ideally, it should be the most senior person in the call group.

And sometimes, people just plain don’t get along. If it’s clear that two people aren’t going to work well together, it’s often the best option to split them up. 

Of course, occasional disagreements may organically occur and don’t need to be avoided at all costs. But repeated disruptive conflicts can be detrimental to your team’s morale. 

Once you’ve built your call groups, consider monitoring agent preferences and feedback to gauge any potential partnership opportunities and red flags that could arise. Make sure your agents feel safe and comfortable to voice their concerns to you. When an agent approaches you with feedback about potential personality conflicts, take it seriously. This can have a big long-term impact on agent satisfaction and overall customer service levels.

Bringing It All Together

Remember, building teams isn’t something you can automate or outsource. If you want to foster a culture of excellence within your contact center and deliver top-tier customer service, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • First, distribute senior leadership. Embed top agents across your call groups rather than grouping all your most experienced agents together. This facilitates the training of new hires, quickly resolves service gaps, and balances agent workloads.
  • Next, consider grouping together support agents with similar skills but different levels of experience. This ensures that there will always be an agent available who knows the answer to a specific customer support question or request.
  • Additionally, you can structure your call groups primarily by department so teams who already work together can collaborate more easily and build a shared working vocabulary.
  • Finally, consider how your agents’ personalities fit. While shared capabilities come first, some chemistry will improve the cooperation and development of your teams.
  • Our last piece of advice? This is an iterative process. You don’t need to get it right on the first try. 

    Building out your agent call groups is a long-term exercise that will slowly raise the bar of customer support in your organization and ensure that your customers receive quality service every time they call in for help.



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