SME and its role in the call center

SME and its role in the call center 

SMEs in call centers are an essential part of a team. SMEs contribute a pivotal role in team and revenue growth.

If you are a new advisor in a call center and puzzled about your first promotion and position then SME is the first position where usually an advisor lands  their first promotion.

In our today's blog, we are going to discuss SMEs and their role in a call center 

SME and its role in the call center
SME and its role in the call center 

Before discussing the role of an SME let's first understand 

"What does an SME mean in a call center?"


What is SME?

SME is an acronym for Subject Matter expert. As the name refers an individual who is a pro in process knowledge is generally termed an SME. However often SME and ATL designations can be used interchangeably.

The first ladder of promotion in a call center is the role of the SME. If you are also working as an advisor and looking for your first promotion as SME then below are the common eligibility criteria to apply for SME :

  • At least 12 months ( tenure varies as per the process requirement) should be completed in the current process.
  • Should have good process knowledge.
  • No PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) or altered tracker should be issued in the last 3 months
  • No unnecessary absenteeism.
  • Should hold a good performance and behavior track record.
  • No long leaves for the next 3 months.
  • Should possess good English communication skills.
  • Should have good leadership skills.

In addition to the above-mentioned criteria, there may be other requirements that a candidate should fulfill, depending on the process and client requirements.

Also read: JD to apply for team leader job


Role of an SME in a call center 

Now let's understand how SMEs play a crucial role in team building and growth.

Support new agents :

The primary key responsibility of an SME is to support new agents in terms of handling customers and queries or conducting sessions.
Especially when a new agent hit the floor he/she is not very thorough with the product and takes time to settle down.

In such scenarios, this is the job role of an SME is to handle new agents delicately and help them in understanding process nuances and also make the comfortable. 

Also whenever required he should be available for handling escalations and supervisor calls.

Train and Coach agents:

As mentioned earlier the SME is the person who must be pro in process knowledge. Hence every time whenever team requires to conduct refresher training he/she must be the POC ( point of contact) to train and coach agents.

Also sometimes due to sudden ramp up or seasonally a call center has to hire a bunch of new agents every day which leads to support staff especially trainers at that time instead of waiting for a trainer to start the batch an SME can also handle the batch.

Real-Time monitoring:

One of the major tasks of an SME is to monitor the team's performance in real time. Real-time monitoring helps in gauging the team's activity and identifying the outlier's in the team.


While monitoring real-time the SME's role is just not to shout to wrap the call but also to assist the new agents on issues related to handling customer queries.

Assisting team leader:

One important KRA of SME is to assist the team leader into day to day activities. A team leader can be occupied in multiple meetings, reviews, preparing dashboards, and other daily tasks. This is the responsibility of SME to share the workload of the team leader by handling team members, listening to their queries, and assisting them.

He/She should also be the SPOC (single point of contact) in the absence of the team leader to handle the team's conflict or any issue.

Other roles: 

In addition to the above-mentioned roles, the SME should also take participation in various internal meetings in absence of TL and should help in every way possible to build the team. 

Type of performance reviews in the call center


In short,  'SME is the individual who plays the role of mediator between team members and team leader and helps to build the strong team.'

Readers, I  hope this article will elucidate all your doubts about SMEs and their role in the call center. 

Do share your views in the comment box below

If you have any additional doubts or suggestions you can reach us at sarkariprivagejobs2020@gmail.com

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Signing off.....




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