Coaching is one of the most important activities for contact center leaders but unfortunately is often neglected due to time pressures or avoidance of possible conflicts.
Coaches need to prepare, execute and follow-up with a plan for each agent. Even with personalized coaching sessions, we need have certain key elements in place to see results.
Based on my experience and observations, these are the essential keys for coaching success:
#1. Planning: prepare prior to each session.
- What have they improved since last time?
- What are they struggling with?
- What is the best way to communicate the skill work needed?
- What are their best skills?
#2. Document: using system or plain old paper but be sure to write down what happened and what will happen until the next session
- What tools are you using to document activities and progress?
- What will you do to help?
- What are they going to work on?
- When will you coach again?
#3. Interactive coaching: Don’t just “tell” them
- Ask questions – What do they think? What did they do well? What do they want to improve?
- Keep the session positive and interactive
#4. Skills observation:
- Listen to live calls
- Play recorded calls and ask agents to “grade” their skills during your session
- Watch them use screens, technology and other channels: remote or side by side
#5. Coach consistently:
- Coaching has to be done regularly to be effective
- Schedule follow-up activities as well as the actual coaching sessions on your calendar
- Reward agents for improvements made, not just those who achieve perfection
- Reward verbally as well as monetarily. Catch them doing something right!
Plan your coaching and work your coaching plan. Don’t miss the opportunity to inspire, train and motivate your agents to engage them and drive positive customer experience results.
Melissa Kovacevic Contact Center and Customer Engagement Consultant
Melissa partners with clients to develop and implement operational strategies for efficiency and customer experience by aligning people, process and technologies for best results. Follow her @mkcallconsult Learn more at: www.mkcallcenterimprovement.com