When it comes to contact centers, agents often need guidance on handling calls, especially if they are dealing with demanding customers. They can watch many videos about this, spend hours in the training rooms, and try to imitate their behaviors and scripts.
However, many of the employees still fall short, and their stats are not hitting the targets. However, when there’s a knowledgeable and experienced coach who works with her, they can correct the seemingly trivial mistakes resulting in significant agent growth. The right coaches with conversational intelligence will propel the employee to move forward and ensure that the interactions will be better than ever. If you want to get these kinds of performances, read on.
Why Coaching is Essential
For many businesses, some of the leaders think that coaching is not necessary and it’s time-consuming. However, instead of thinking that these sessions take time off from the customers, it’s best to switch one’s perspective and see that the agents are growing and improving. Some of the practical techniques used by coaches are the following:
1. Sandwiching Criticisms
Many people will initially react to criticism even if the supervisors meant well. With this said, constructive criticism may not get you the result that you want and will make the agent defensive. What you need is to ensure that you sandwich the negative feedback between two positive ones.
This shows the employees that you are also seeing the right things that they are doing. You can use the agent’s data on a specific quarter to know about his strengths and weaknesses. Most of the time, the information will show you consistency and ensure that you’re setting a positive tone for the sessions that are coming ahead. Learn more about sandwiching criticisms on this page here.
When you introduce the negative feedback about their behaviors right off the bat, they may not listen to other words you’re saying, resulting in a disappointment that they didn’t perform better than the others. When you sandwich the negative feedback between two positive ones, you can expect that the key performance indicators will significantly improve. You can also contribute to the agents’ readiness to learn new things.
2. Use Real Examples and Hard Data
Most agents will appreciate clarity, and they should know precisely what you’re talking about. When you show them the data you have about their performance, they know that they are treated fairly, and the coaching will be justified. The concrete numbers that are written on paper will quantify their shortcomings, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a small or a big issue.
When they see that their customer satisfaction metric decreases by 30%, they will try hard to improve and set a goal for the next month to add 45% more promoters to their performance to get bonuses.
3. Do Role Plays Hellp
Practicing the scripts and doing a call simulation will make the agents remember what they have to do better. Role-playing is one thing that supervisors should consider developing the behaviors and the skills of their agents. When they encounter a situation that they have practiced on their real calls, they can handle these better without the need to have a supervisor nearby,
The agent can play the customer, while coaches are the ones who take the representative’s role. The role should include empathy, active listening, the right tone of voice, positive language, and tricky negotiations with the customers. Most of all, the resolutions should be satisfactory, and the two can switch roles afterwards to see how the agent will practice what he had just witnessed.
Most often, there are reasons why agents can hit specific metrics, and this is when they need the listening ears of their managers the most. One of the best ways to know the representative’s difficulties and roadblocks is to do a specific self-assessment that applies to their situations. You can know more info about self-assessment in this link: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/self-assessment-524753.
Once the agent realizes that the coach is listening, they will be more open to exploring their successes, and they can listen to feedback in a relaxed manner. They may already have an idea about their performance with the customer feedback and KPI, but it will still make a world of difference if their coaches believe in them. Managers should be aware of the shortcomings that may be hindering an agent’s success to hit the targets.