As a Team Leader or customer service team member you work hard to gather data, listen to calls and build an undefeatable QA scorecard. You’re equipped to change agent skills and behavior for the better. You're constantly looking to improve the way you give your team feedback and coach them to improve customer service problems.
But you’re not Superman, so the best you can do is hold a couple of coaching sessions every month with each agent.
Perhaps your conversations sound a little something like this:
Team Leader: Let’s take a look at the call you had with Client X last week. I think you did a nice job building rapport by sharing your personal experience, but in the future try to offer more subscription options and take more detailed notes.
Agent: What call? I don’t remember that one.
Uh-oh. Looks like something is missing here.
Through the use of effective coaching strategies, you can empower staff by helping them achieve their goals while achieving those of your call center. It's a two-in-one win that can't be ignored.
If you have been assigned the role of the coach, then it probably means you have a good eye when it comes to spotting the necessary changes that need to be made in order to upkeep quality standards within the call center.
And being the good coach that you are, it's already a given that prior to training, you always take into account your coachee's personal issues, cultural demands and even company politics which can take a toll on their individual performance.
However, coaching goes way beyond giving tips for improvements and hearing your coachee out. Coaching is an agreement that involves two parties, where each one must meet their expected obligations.
Both parties must be held accountable for the results of the training. By being held accountable, it is then possible to pinpoint the areas that need improvement and act upon the results accordingly instead of moving around blindly and making inaccurate decisions.
To help you out, here are few call center coaching tips to hold everyone accountable.
Pave the way with clear metrics
Make it easy to understand what is expected and how to get there. Setting clear KPI's removes any uncertainty and gray areas that could possibly be found along the way.
When establishing concrete metrics that set the way for a transparent road to success, be sure to set:
- A clear request of what needs to be improved
- A measurable step by step of the action plan
- A deadline by when the improvements should be in place
- A follow-up date for feedback using a non-objective set of criteria
But don't be the only one to define the plan. Make it a bilateral project, and be sure that the coachee understands what is required of them and how this benefits them as well as the call center. In case you haven’t found the right platform for the task, Trello is a nifty free tool to organize all projects at a glance and share them with your coworkers.
Whatever challenges might present themselves along the way, always ensure to follow up with the agent as this is essentially what makes the real difference in successful training.
Make sure the agent is onboard with the established goals
Not only should they understand what is asked of them, but they should be in line with the proposed action plan. Their commitment to the coaching will determine how successful the output will be.
They must also believe that there is room for improvement in their performance and want to develop their skills to do a better job. The coachee must understand that the training is something they need in order help them progress. That it benefits them and not only the company.
If your coachee isn't on board or would like to renegotiate the metrics established in the coaching, be open and receptive to theirs suggestions. By making them part of the training strategy, they will automatically feel responsible and accountable for the final results.
Use VoC to complement individual coaching
Voice of the customer can assist you with training by providing direct customer feedback straight to the agent level. Today, management shouldn't be the only ones receiving VoC. To assist with the process, you might want to look into software that allows you to provide customer feedback, in real-time, and directly to the agent.
By having the right VoC tools in place, agents can see how good of a job they're doing right after a call. Voice of the customer takes some of the coaching work off your hands and tells agents how they are doing, allowing them to improve directly through customer feedback without the need for coaches or other intermediaries.
Leverage on quality assurance as proof
Quality assurance tells it as it is. If implemented correctly, quality control can turn raw data into measurable results that can help you gain invaluable insight. This lets you see exactly what needs to be improved and pinpoint examples, trends and habits that are occurring within your call center staff.
Quality control makes it challenging for staff to not be held accountable as the proof is in the pudding. Agents can also find this information helpful as being self-aware is easier to do when the data is staring you in the face.
Although coaching can be daunting, it is fundamental to ensure a productive workforce. It’s the oil that keeps the beast greased.
What coaching strategies are you using in your call center to keep staff accountable? If you have any tips you’d like to add, please share them with us in the comment box down below!