With the new year in full swing, we at Call Criteria know how important coaching can be to your overall success. When agents perform well, your business usually does well (though the inverse can also be true). Agents need to know what you expect as well as receive regular feedback on how they measure up to your performance expectations. Coaching, therefore, is a hands on process that helps your agents improve their performance to effectively take your company to the next level. Perhaps the most important thing to note about contact center coaching is that you should never coach based solely on performance numbers. While numbers are important, they are just one indication that your current business model is working or not.
To coach with results-driven goals in mind, you must define the healthy behaviors that speak to your organization’s mission and beliefs.
When coaching, always consider the following;
  • Define desired results
As a contact center manager, it’s crucial to tailor performance evaluation criteria to match your organisation’s goals. Not only does a custom scorecard ensure you measure agent performance against KPIs that are important to you, but it also reduces friction between your agents and management team.
  • Isolate the behaviors that drive the results you’re looking for
Whether you know it or not, there are a set of practices that if encouraged in your contact center, will bear the fruits of performance you’ve always wanted. Identify where your agent’s shortcoming’s are and address them head on with your agents.
  • Reinforce tangible, observable behaviors (not beliefs, attitudes or personalities)
Coaching is all about defining expectations, which is why these expectations have to be focused on actionable measures that can be taken to reach your goals. While every contact center manager has their own custom coaching strategy, it is essential to benchmark successful contact center coaching strategies from reputable providers and industry leaders.
  • Coaching should be performed as quickly as possible to stamp out problem behaviors before they fester
Ideally, feedback when coaching should be delivered within 24-48 hours. While it may seem overwhelming if you’re supervising 150-200 agents in a day, you risk losing context from the misaligned behavior if the feedback and coaching does’t occur quickly enough.
  • Coaching needs to be consistent
An essential ingredient of successful performance coaching is the creation and setting of action plans or KPIs, indicators that identify how successfully an agent is meeting the expectations of the management team. A one-off coaching opportunity may seem more economic and time-saving at first, but keep in mind that the performance of your agents may be the single most determining factor of your business’ future success.
  • Coaching must be specific
The last thing you want when coaching your agent is for them to go on the defensive to excuse their behavior. To avoid this, you need to be as precise as possible and back up your claims using data and by referencing specific actions targeted for improvement. ____ Coaching and leadership go hand in hand. It’s important to remember, whether you are rewarding an agent for achieving their KPIs or coaching them on what can be improved, that coaching can be as helpful as it can be harmful to your staff morale. Ensure you have a team of experts on hand to prevent bias and ensure improved agent performance in your contact center. For more information on how to address coaching in your contact center, contact us today!