Coaching is a staple in the contact center, with managers reviewing their agents’ performances on a fairly regular basis and providing constructive feedback. One of the most important aspects of coaching, often overlooked in busy call center environments, is that it must be performed consistently to be truly effective.
Managers who monitor their agents remotely, listening in on a handful of calls, and then provide feedback about what went wrong, are doing their agents a disservice. Coaching must be done regularly and should offer agents positive as well as negative feedback. Without a consistent assessment of how they are performing, agents can’t effectively work on areas where improvement is necessary. Coaching should also involve an open dialogue between manager and agent instead of being a one-sided practice of remote call monitoring.
To glean the most value out of coaching, contact centers need to set up a standard coaching program, designed to facilitate improvements throughout the call center. By outlining measurable goals like improving call resolution and customer satisfaction rates and lowering wait and handling times, managers can better structure their coaching activities to achieve results. Managers and supervisors should also be properly trained to coach to achieve these goals, and should be coaching consistently for all their agents.
Agents themselves also need to be part of this process, engaging in meaningful dialogue with supervisors so they can understand expectations and goals. And they should be rewarded appropriately for achieving goals and making performance improvements that will better serve the contact center at large.
For coaching to be genuinely effective, it must be part of a bigger program designed to improve quality and performance as well as meet measurable goals. And managers and agents alike need to be aware of those goals and the parameters of the program so they can perform as efficiently and productively as possible. The practice of coaching is about much more than simple remote call monitoring and feedback.
By making coaching part of core business objectives and including agents in the dialogue, contact centers can improve overall performance and customer satisfaction and spend more time focusing on core business objectives.