BPA Featured Article

To Coach or Not to Coach? BPA Answers the Question

By Juliana Kenny, TMCnet Managing Editor
July 22, 2010

The debate about whether or not call center agents should be coached through their work experience continues to dog managers and supervisors. On one hand, many believe that coaching call center agents does not effectively maximize time or money. The other side of the fence believes that in order to eventually maximize productivity, a supervisor must invest in the coaching of his or her call center agents.

Craig Antonucci, director of client strategies at BPA Quality discusses this ongoing debate in a white paper issued by the company. Antonucci cites Dr. Gary S. Goodman, a highly-acclaimed author of books and articles on the call center industry as he lists the pitfalls of agent coaching that ultimately result in coaching “for the sake of coaching,” and the sacrifice of time and money. But, without coaching, the agents’ motivation and efficiency fall by the wayside. So, clearly, coaching needs to exist, but it also needs to be effective.

When discussing the need for coaching, but the problem of making it efficient, Antonucci describes the basic end-results and desires for any call center supervisor as “wanting your overall quality program and coaching to result in improvements in your call center activities, i.e., lower handle time, better first call resolution, higher customer satisfaction, and higher levels of sales.” And to reach these goals, the, “agents must learn what they are doing right and wrong.”

The system and the agent must also be integrated in order for coaching to be effective. Antonucci states that, “the supervisor is held as responsible for the performance of the agent as the agents themselves are,” making the point of change fall to the hands of the supervisor. Perhaps, the coaches must be coached in order for effective training to come into place. Ideally, he says, “the coaching environment focuses on the agent’s performance relative the performance of the entire system of providing excellent customer service to your customers.” Check out more about how BPA Quality can drive your call center’s quality here.

Juliana Kenny is a TMCnet reporter and editor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny