Coaching call center agents is no easy task.
Because it can be time consuming and also emotionally draining for some managers.
You have to be on-point when you coach call center agents because coaching sessions can help agents to improve their efficiecny.
Understand what agents want and how can you improve their shortcomings with your coaching sessions.
Coaching sessions are more of group and individual sessions that are designes to acquire or refresh skills, address call center performance goals, inform about new policies and promotions, etc.
Now you have understood the importance of coaching sessions, let us look at effective tips for call center coaching.
7 Effective Tips for Call Center Coaching
1. Coach your service team strategically.
Do not focus only on low performers. Every agents needs guidance even if he/she is sitting at the top.
Make sure your time is being utilized, effectively.
You can start with providing coaching to all groups (including top performers) while keeping an on those employees who have the talent to reach at the top.
2. Micro-coach them throughout the day.
Micro-coaching, or coaching in short bursts, can be very effective.
In this, managers have a personal interaction with the agents to discuss about the specific, real-time performance data, making the session useful and to the point.
Micro-coaching is the tool by which you can help agents who are struggling to perform and pin-point their weak areas without letting anyone else know about it. besides you and the agent.
3. Have a specific purpose
Whenever you have coaching sessions, it is your duty that agents get the maximum out of those sessions.
But it cannot be achieved if you are jam-packing those sessions with a lot of information.
Stick to a single topic and discuss only about that.
When you do that agents won’t get confused between different topics and will be able to understand better.
4. Start off on the right foot.
When you coach agents, it should be to motivate them and not make them feel less.
So avoid passing judgment or calling out inadequacies and failures every time you meet them for coaching sessions.
Instead, start your coaching sessions with the positive, ask open-ended questions and talk about the behavior (not the person).
The purpose of coaching is to encourage agents and help them achieve their personal best.
5. Teachable Skills
Most of the call center skills are coachable and agents can improve their skills if they want to.
For any agent, timely and specific feedback is most important because it can help them a lot in improving their skills.
While providing feedback, focus more on behavior of the agents that can impact the customer experience (i.e., active listening, empathy, tone).
If supervisors use specific examples of the opportunity, how the agent can handle the situation differently, and break it down to the behavioral level rather than talking about the high level guideline category, agents will be more receptive to feedback and ultimately provide the desired results.
6. Creating an Action Plan
When coaching behaviors become a priority over numbers and metrics, supervisors must focus on communicating their objectives clearly to agents and measuring success based on the improvement of call center behaviors.
Because measuring behavior isn’t always as concrete as measuring numbers, discussing desired outcomes and setting up a time to make sure they are achieved is crucial to growth. Utilizing empathy, motivating agents with positivity, and meeting regularly about desired behavioral outcomes keeps agents on track and inspired to grow.
7. Role Play
Practice makes perfect.
Role play is a great way to learn the new skills that they require for customer interactions.
You can use agent’s own calls to tell them about the mistakes that he committed during the conversation and use role-play to tell them how could he handle that situation better.