Call Center Coaching Tips From Carl – Expivia Supervisor Carl W. on Tips for Coaching
One of our supervisors Carl W. sent Expivia CEO Tom Laird, an unsolicited email on tips that he uses for coaching. This was brought to mind after we did a call center supervisor roundtable that we recorded and placed online. You can check out Carl there. This the actual email that he sent me. It’s really great advice for any call center supervisor or manager!
Not sure if you wanted additional operational tips for that new Supervisor in Anywhere U.S.A, if so I wanted to add to what I was saying during the open table discussion that we posted online.
Regarding tips for coaching, I like to be transparent with the reps. I’ll fully explain and show the reps our evaluation checklists for call quality. I’ll explain the expectations set by Expivia and the Client. What their AHT goal is, what sales goal or related KPI they have. I do all this during the very first coaching session with a new agent.
On subsequent coaching opportunities with the same rep, I take a minute putting the rep at ease by asking the rep how their workday was, is there any issues on the floor, have they had any bad calls, how many sales they obtained, etc. Off the floor, in a closed office, is a perfect place & opportunity to allow the rep to vent. I generally keep personal stuff out of it, not because it’s not important but if the rep does have current issues at home I don’t want to stir up those feelings up prior to coaching.
As with being transparent with allowing the reps to see their call quality evaluations I also allow the reps to hear the calls they are being coached on.
This is where it gets interesting for me, I pretty much do a role reversal and allow the reps to evaluate their own calls. I’ll hand them the mouse and ask them to stop the recording at any point they think needs improvement. Remember since they’re already familiar with the evaluation checklist they should know what to listen to.
I learned that while weekly coaching is primarily meant to be used as a tool to better the rep, the Supervisor can also use it as a tool to better help themselves help the rep. For example, you learn a lot by first letting the rep hear the call, if the rep doesn’t stop the recording at key points then it may simply mean the rep isn’t aware that there was an area of opportunity to express sympathy to the caller or they should’ve responded with a pleasantry at a key point, etc. That’s an easy fix, a simple touch up of Customer Service 101.
You can learn if the rep is even aware of what’s expected, nobody is 100% attentive in training so the rep may simply not know that part program if they are new, also an easy fix. You learn if the rep isn’t saying/doing specific things simply because the rep doesn’t feel like it and they thought they could get away with not offering a cross-sell or using a courtesy close.
Morale issues are a bit harder to address. I’ve had reps hear themselves and then justify what they said because they believe their verbiage would result in a sale better than the scripts verbiage, while this could even be true, the rep needs to understand that while their own verbiage may result in more sales then the script those scripts are approved by lawyers and made mandatory by our clients because they cleared legal.
Practice a bit of transparency with your call quality evaluations and not only have your reps first listen to their own calls but also do a bit of role reversal and have them stop the recording and learn if they are aware of the issues. Doing this helps you as a Supervisor because the rep will be more receptive when they are bringing up the issues themselves, they fully understand exactly what you expect as a supervisor. You can even allow the rep to do a mock evaluation, they enjoy doing this and helps both the rep and Supervisor, the available tools are not just for the rep but they can also help the Supervisor as well. You get to learn if there is a WHY behind the need for coaching, ultimately this will provide you with a specific coaching strategy moving forward.