February 11, 2021

Can Bad Agents Improve? The Infinite Return on Coaching

Imagine this.
It’s the end of a busy week, and you’ve finally carved out an hour to do a quality check on the emails your agents send to customers. You click on the “Sent” pile, and randomly grab an email response written by “Maureen” and pull up your QA scorecard to see how well she did.
Here is how the conversation goes:
Customer‘s Email:

My disability placard for parking expired in  January. How do I go about renewing it? The number of my placard is 12345573.

Maureen replies:

Dear  Client:,
About  your e-mail, getting a current first-time updated disabled placard, one would need to complete a form VR-123 (can be download from the web, under forms) and taken to any full service Motor Vehicle Agency office, Monday – Friday ,8:30 – 4:30 p.m. (If U cannot get to the doctor’s, then the form will allow one 6 months to have the doctors complete it (still will receive a placard) If U cannot come in, U may give someone nortize power of attorney.
Maureen VMA, Customer Service Agent

At this point,  you’ve got your head in your hands. You’re wondering what the poor client did after receiving this badly written email.
Head Holding

  •  Did the customer ever renew their disability placard?
  • How did Maureen get the job in the first place?
  • Is it time to fire Maureen?

Unfortunately, Maureen is not unique. Lots of contact centers are staffed by customer service agents who are not adequately trained to handle customers.

But Can Bad Agents Improve?

Let’s start with the idea of coaching to improve agent performance. For coaching to work, it has to be consistent, frequent, brief, and focused.
You can borrow some great tips on how coaches shape the performance of a runner. Although a track coach works with the runner on each day she trains.; the coach rarely comments on the runner’s overall performance.
Instead, the coach gives the runner focused feedback on stride, pace, arm swing, or foot strike. When the runner tries but fails to do what the coach is suggesting, the coach figures out an alternative to demonstrate what she’s looking for, puts the request aside until the runner is more capable, or asks another athlete to demonstrate the technique.

The Infinite ROI on Coaching and Quality Monitoring in The Call Center

So, to ensure agents like Maureen are spotted and coached to improve your customer experience, it makes sense to invest in a reliable Quality Assurance service like Call Criteria.
Instead of carving out an hour in a week to listen to some of the interactions between your agents and your customers, Call Criteria gives you the control to see your best and worst-performing agents in real-time. Additionally, call center monitoring services like Call Criteria also give you more visibility on who’s coaching who and which agents are improving as a result.
Coaching Queue

Agent Ranking
Agents like Maureen, who don’t understand how to engage with customers, end up disappointing customers and to give the call center a 0% ROI. Worse yet, Maureen won‘t make a single mistake in a day. Instead, she will repeat over and over during the day. You might think you are saving costs by cutting back on coaching and quality monitoring, but you cannot underestimate the infinite ROI on coaching and quality monitoring.