BPA Featured Article

3rd Party Remote Calling Monitoring Provider BPA Talks Call Center Coaching: White Paper, Part 2

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
April 29, 2010

Last week, we examined the application of coaching within the call center, relying on the 3rd Party Remote Calling Monitoring Provider BPA's White Paper (News - Alert): Agent Coaching - Why and How to Make it Effective by Craig Antonucci, Director of Client Strategies for insight into maximizing the value of coaching in such an environment.

This week, we explore how coaching can become a part of the larger picture and how it can be used to improve the entire system and the agent. The overall result is an improved call center, which is a definite benefit to the bottom line.

The important focus is to empower the agent by helping them to learn what they are doing right, as well as what they are doing wrong so it can impact the larger picture. Coaching must be done according to the system and not only to the individual agent as performance can affect the whole team. 

Poor team performance can be attributed to a number of different issues, according to Impact Learning Systems. The issues may include:

  • Agents lack the knowledge or skills necessary to perform the job
  • Agents have the ability to perform the job, but choose not to
  • Supervisors don't have the skills necessary to motive and inspire their team to top performance and don't have the authority to take corrective action
  • Supervisors have the skills and authority but don't use them.

Supervisors must be considered coaches and if a team is not performing, the performance of the whole team should be analyzed. In such a situation, the supervisor is held as responsible for the performance of the agent as the agents themselves. To ensure the supervisor can perform as expected, he or she may also have a master coach guiding them.

This environment, referred to as "coach the coach" is known to produce 37.5 percent higher monitoring scores. The type of skills that need to be coached or trained include how to control a conversation; how to identify the needs of the caller; how to handle angry callers; how to project the intention to help the caller; how to be honest on the call; how to pay attention to the call; and how to become focused without being pushy.

For those who rely on the BPA Program, customers can track and capture all coaching activity within the same online tools and databases in which the Quality Monitoring is conducted. With this platform, supervisors and managers are able to conveniently manage the Quality Program and coaching conducted through the use of BPA audits.

Effective coaching within the call center is known to produce measurable results, as long as the coaching is done effectively. Coaching without a focus on the overall goal or a failure to develop skills that contribute to measurable improvement will do little more than waste call center resources. As important as efficiency is in this environment, coaching without purpose is worse than no coaching at all.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire