Contact centers continue to evolve as an integral component of the telecommunications, insurance, e-commerce, and banking sectors. To reach your company goals, it is important that team members stay motivated and empowered. Effective coaching of call center agents can translate to a direct increase in sales and help improve the overall customer experience. But what are effective ways to make sure team members are empowered? How can you provide feedback that fuels change?
Understand How Feedback Works
Team Members will be more open to feedback when it is constructive and void of bias. Always lead with SMART goals if you want to reduce agent attrition. Make sure you have concrete examples of both problems and solutions, rather than just presenting reasons as to why something isn’t working. Feedback should be given in a timely manner. Being able to have real-time reporting and insights of a customer and agent interaction will help your agent understand what worked well and how to make improvements on what didn’t go so well.
Collect and Analyze Data
Every day in a contact center is different, and so are the interactions between your team members and customers. Different problems call for different solutions. Not every customer will have a typical, recurring issue. Before approaching a team member t regarding a specific issue, make sure you’ve taken time to correctly analyze the situation. Evaluate multiple calls or interactions to identify patterns and understand specific or recurring issues. Make sure to have an adequate snapshot of your team members so that you can coach them with confidence, focusing on short and long term performance growth.
Use Data Insights to Empower and Improve Performance
Different team members will have varying strengths and weaknesses. Identifying each member’s strengths and weaknesses will help to give targeted solutions for where they may be falling short of performance expectations while encouraging them on what they are doing right. Data insights should be collected for various levels of performance to keep track of where team members fall in terms of customer services, sales, and other metrics, creating a more transparent review process. Studying the data together will bring a better understanding of the coaching process for you and your team members while providing opportunities for specific improvements.
Observe Team Members in Real-Time
Any opportunity to observe team-members as they’re interacting with customers can give valuable insight into when or where things could be improved. However, team members can experience feelings of anxiety and underperform if they know they are being constantly evaluated. Whenever possible, use existing software at your contact center to monitor interactions. Actively observe team members to identify communication challenges with customers. You will be able to pinpoint things such as going too far off script, lack of effective communication, or lack of adherence to company guidelines. You will also be able to get an effective understanding of how they navigate and troubleshoot problems. Offering post-call surveys for customers will also give an immediate feedback that you can use in your data insights.
Use Customer-Sourced Feedback
Customers are increasingly sensitive to the “business” of doing business. As a result, they can provide the best insight into what your team members are doing right and areas where they can improve. Create opportunities for your customers to give feedback throughout the year. This will allow you to discuss potential issues and problems that happen at peak or slower times, with the direct opinion of the customer in mind. Balance is key, and information should always be treated as a learning experience to get the best results.
Have an Action Plan
Empowerment comes with knowing that something can be better and having the ability to make it happen. Having the right resources and tools to provide excellent service along with the training needed will give your team members confidence to do a great job. Team members should be included when implementing plans and goals for your team. This will give them a sense of control over their future. Action plans should be a combination of short-term and long-term goals that are obtainable and easy to understand. Have conversations with your team members about their personal and professional goals so you can put an action plan in place for success. Make sure that all goals are realistic, with a start and end date, showing signs of progress along the way. This will encourage your team member to keep their eye on the prize.
Before you attempt to hold coaching sessions, you must be prepared. Having an outline and a structure will make these sessions short and impactful with meaningful takeaways. The more you can tailor each session to the individual, the more effective these sessions will be, and the more empowered your team will become. Remember to enjoy your successes with your team. Acknowledging their hard work and dedication will keep them motivated to continue learning and growing with the company. Effective coaching is a skill that takes time to cultivate. Empowerment is the key to a successful contact center. Etech can help you with innovative performance solutions. We have over 20 years of experience, eight dynamic contact centers around the world, and over 3,000 employees. Contact us today to find out how we can make a smart, actionable plan for your team.