9 Ways to Improve Your Call Center Coaching
It can be difficult to turn the information you glean from monitoring into actionable goals to help improve your call center reps. Today, we’ll be going over different ways to improve the coaching in your call center and turn these statistics into actionable improvements. There is no one way to do things, and you’ll, of course, add your own spin on these items based on the culture of your call center.
1. Understand when to Coach off the Floor
If someone achieves a perfect score on a quality assurance test, make sure everyone knows. Celebrate that achievement. Give your other reps something to aspire to. It’s always best to keep things positive.
If you must do some sort of coaching that is not positive, do it off the floor. Don’t give your reps negative feedback on the floor. Pull them aside to a private conference area to give them feedback.
2. Be Specific
Always be sure to be specific when giving feedback to your reps. Your reps may get agitated and start leading you down a verbal rabbit hole, causing you to be unable to fully explain what you mean. Be ultra-specific when you’re giving negative feedback especially. Give thorough details. If you give them room to argue, you may not have an answer for them, and it will make you look weak and undermine your authority.
3. The Tone is the Message
Do not be negative. Don’t start your coaching session in a negative tone. Your rep will immediately get defensive. They will automatically try to defend themselves, and whatever you say next, they will not take in as an improvement they should aspire toward. Start off the conversation positive. Try the sandwiching method. Deliver negative feedback between positive feedback. Reinforce the good things. We have a full blog post of the concept that the “Tone is the Message”, check it out here
4. Tie Goals
Tie your reps’ performance to goals. Each of your reps should have an individualized goal. In your coaching sessions, make sure to tie the feedback to goals. Give them something to aspire toward. Give them feedback that relates to those goals, small steps they can take to help achieve their goals.
5. Let Your Reps Give Feedback
Have your reps assess their own performance. Have a sit-down with them and let them review themselves. Instead of suggesting issues, prompt them, and listen to their responses. Try to verbally steer them toward understanding their own improvement points, then you can reinforce them. Try to lead them to their own decisions that you can then reinforce.
Try roleplaying the issue. It’s one thing to say, but it’s another to do. Try replaying the portion of the call your rep is struggling with and help them roleplay it. You be the customer. Go through what your rep should be saying and how to fix the problem. Help them practice what they should be working on and give feedback.
7. Redefine Goals
Sometimes you may give a broad goal. You may need to narrow it down or redefine it. Try breaking it down into smaller, more attainable goals. Understand that not everyone will be a star from day one. Make sure the goals that you give match the expectations and skill level of the associate while still putting them on a track to meet standards.
8. Understand Expectations
Make sure your reps know what you expect, but also that they understand the consequences if they don’t meet those expectations. If a serious mistake is made, it may be necessary to send someone home for the day. Your reps should know that is a possibility. There should be no subjectivity in responses to negative feedback. Make sure everyone knows ahead of time your progressive discipline policies.
Every time you coach someone, within the next 30 minutes – 1 hour, score them again on the areas which needed improvement. Someone other than the first person who coached the rep the first time should listen the second time. Listen to live calls so you can correct any issues as soon as they pop up. Recorded calls are important, but live calls are important to keep the customer experience from falling. Check out our post on how to set up a QA program in your call center, Click here.
Using these techniques, you can cox the best performance out of your reps. By coaching your reps in a positive way, you will increase the positivity of the customer experience and create a better atmosphere in your call center.