When it comes to scaling up a call center, one of the most important things to remember is call center agent coaching. This usually takes a back seat because of multiple factors. Before we go further, let's understand what exactly is coaching? Let us try and describe this concept, as well as how it benefits your call center agents and eventually your business.
Usually, call center agents receive customer service training during the onboarding process. This helps them to know the various aspects of handling customer service, customer objections, relevant policies and promotions, the tools, and definitely their goals. Once this process is over and they are on job, they need to be coached to improve their skills. Coaching is a two-way process in which one person helps the other improve, learn something novel, or takes their success to the next stage. It's an open forum where the coach and the coachee (in this case, call center reps) converse, share knowledge, and aspire to be the best. It's not a one-sided conversation. Successful coaches listen as much as they speak to their teams, which means that coaching call center agents can serve a variety of purposes.
Some modes of coaching prefer delving into how to make individuals better employees. They are trained in better intrapersonal skills and this noticeably improves their handling of clients.
Some other programs, however, tend to focus on training employees to operate new tools and software which will help them better navigate an ever-changing marketplace.
Coaching is an often-under-utilized method for getting the best out of the workers. It will assist you in cultivating the organization's next generation of executives, optimizing human capital capacity, and attracting top talent. If you're still on the fence about the value of call center agent coaching, the rest of this article should suffice in getting the point across.
Call center agent coaching has direct benefits for the business and well as for the team.
Consider call center coaching as a proactive approach. It is constructive, and a smart way to guarantee that important errors are fixed. If agents are offered the training they need to develop or learn new skills, they are more successful sellers and enjoy their work more. Below are the most important advantages of call center agent coaching:
Although it can be straightforward for managers to identify an agent's strengths and weaknesses, they should first allow the agents to identify their own. Managers can then go ahead and contrast these with their findings. This will help in creating a more balanced and well-rounded appraisal of the employee’s strengths and weaknesses. When staff realize and accept their shortcomings, they are more open to positive feedback and call centre agent coaching.
The use of AI-based speech analytics software should be considered in the call center agent coaching program. The advantage here is that most people will consider corrections from computers more easily than from any human. Although the software will customarily help agents develop their skills over time and minimize potential problems, administrators can create customized programs too. This can further teach agents how to modify their habits or issues like right usage of silence or keywords in their scripts.
Customer surveys/feedback are also widely used by most organizations to determine the characteristics, skillset, and expertise of agents. If consumer surveys are indicative of a pattern, such as an employee not listening attentively enough or asking rude questions, the manager has a demonstrable way to fix the problem.
Playing back interviews with dissatisfied consumers will also help agents understand how they sound in certain conversations. This makes it very likely that employees will find problem areas to improve upon without warranting external interference.
A lot of agents hate being told what to do or how to work in their position. If they have a preference, they are more likely to be satisfied with the one they choose. Providing employees with this option is highly beneficial for the workplace. This helps call center managers to find a consensus with the employees while also reminding staff the kind of improvement that is expected.
The call center agent coaching manager can inform an agent if he or she has a flaw that needs to be addressed. However, it is important to make sure this is a collaborative action plan and not a one-sided one being thrust upon the employee. Inputs from both sides should be encouraged as this makes the agent more likely to follow a plan that has been formed. It’s self-explanatory since the employee contributes to bettering themselves in this process.
The information gathered about the performance of any rep should be kept private. It is, however, beneficial to compare their performance metrics with those of other high performers without naming particular individuals. This helps reps to see how much potential for growth they have. The same can be said for their successes. If at all necessary, reps should be provided with more information on their accomplishments. If an agent outperforms others in a particular field, this should be highlighted and congratulated – and if allowed by company policy, incentivized. This is a great way to customize call center agent coaching to suit company needs.
Set up situations where one-on-one call center agent coaching is needed. The manager takes on the role of the client, while the agent shows enhanced expertise or ability. This offers the agent better understanding and is a more constructive approach than just giving them a list of recommendations. Managers should familiarize them and schedule in-person coaching sessions for them, keeping the company's ethos, vision, and purpose in mind.
These techniques have evolved over the years to reflect the best market practices available to industry professionals in the aforementioned field. Call center agent coaching as a process is under constant evolution. Thus, it is only when companies adopt these basic outlines to suit their requirements will they better their immediate competitors.
Author Bio: Sweta is a passionate technical writer with an experience in digital marketing. Outside work, she is a devoted esports advocate.