Imagine an aspiring basketball player who is trying to master his three-point shots. He spends many hours in his training sessions. He watches tons of videos of how top players shoot the ball, and he tries to copy them. Still, his stats are not where they should be.
But when a good coach with a lot of knowledge works with him, watches him shoot the ball, explains what he is doing wrong, and shows him different techniques he can use to correct his form, he can make improvements in his shots, as well as his overall performance on the court. It is the one-on-one guidance and personal focus that make the difference.
To find out more about business coaching, click here for details.
Coaching call center (CC) agents are no different. While these professionals receive customer service training, usually it is a group session designed to refresh or acquire skills, update agents on important promotions or policies, or address CC performance goals. Once these sessions are over, companies need to coach their workers individually to help them learn and master the techniques and procedures that they learned.
Sometimes, companies shy away from one-on-one coaching because it is a time-consuming task. Sometimes it can also cause emotional issues to the agent. Having to tell workers that their performance is lacking is not a pleasant task.
But based on experience, one-on-one coaching is one of the best ways to help agents understand their weak and strong points, as well as help them improve their behavior and realize their potential. Let us take a closer look at some effective methods for CC coaching. When supported by excellent software, these coaching techniques can help organizations propel their workers towards success.
Start with sandwiches
A lot of people react defensively to evaluations and criticisms – even if it is good in nature. The best way to make sure that workers will be open to the company’s suggestions for improving their performance is to put negative feedbacks between two positive comments.
Use their own work data to start coaching sessions with positive tones. Then introduce the negative criticism and show them how these things can improve their performance, just like another Key Performance Index that they recently exceeded. Starting and ending on a high note contributes to their readiness to learn.
Use real examples and hard data
Workers value clarity, as well as the knowledge that the company is treating them fairly and squarely. Concrete information lets workers quantify shortcomings and understand whether it is a serious problem or a small one. It is more helpful to see actual data showing a decrease in the worker’s customer satisfaction score than simply saying that their scores have been steadily declining lately.
Click https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/constructive-criticism to know more about constructive criticism.
When discussing negative criticisms, companies need to provide specific examples from the worker’s call recordings. During the playback, the supervisor or the coach can point out the interaction where they went wrong and how they can handle it better, by using certain methods. They can also playback similar conversations from other agents who mastered the method and used it with great ease and success. The more concrete and objective the feedback, the easier it will be for them to understand what they need to do and improve in the future.
Like in any profession, practice always makes perfect. Roleplaying is an excellent way for workers to practice the behavior and skills they need to improve their client interactions. Coaches can use the agent’s recorded calls to find exchanges that should have been managed a lot better. They need to let them play the role of the client in these interactions while the coach plays the representative.
In this role play, the coach can demonstrate how to use positive language (as an agent) to negotiate hard or tricky encounters with the client that can lead to a satisfactory result. They can switch roles and let the representative practice the behavior and skills they just learned. This way, they can get the needed experience to successfully deal with the call and immediately respond to their behavior.
Usually, workers are just as aware of their flaws as their supervisors, managers, or coaches are. The best use of these sessions is to ask the representative to do some self-assessment. Once they know that the supervisor is there to listen, they can openly examine their success and difficulties. There is a good chance that their Key Performance Index and customer feedback metrics have already given them a closer look at areas they need more improvement. Shortcomings maybe because of barriers that the worker’s experiences by the supervisors are not aware of.
Once the management has heard the worker’s side of the story, they can better guide them to plans and decisions that they willingly adopt, and management only needs to fortify. Using a call center quality monitoring software can also help with managing agent performance easily.
Collaborate on goals
One of the results of coaching sessions should be plans of action with clear understandings of what agents are expected to achieve. Setting improvement goals need to be collaborative efforts instead of edicts handed down from the management. When companies collaborate to define doable and actionable goals, it shows representatives that they are confident in their ability to remedy performance problems.
Catch workers doing it right
The best time to measure people’s progress is right after ending a coaching session when lessons they learned are still fresh, as well as motivations to implement these lessons are still high. Within the same day, love monitors their calls and scores them on areas that need improvement. These live responses reinforce the right behaviors and let them correct lingering problems on the spot.