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Call Center Agent Coaching
Many jobs require some sort of apprenticeship, training, or coaching in order to provide individuals with the general skills and knowledge necessary to perform the duties of the job – call center agent coaching (or contact center coaching) is no different. Call centers can be stressful environments with so many communications and interactions occurring simultaneously.
It’s important to provide ample coaching and training, so that call center agents feel as prepared as possible to provide callers with rapid, quality assistance. Additionally, organizations may change various aspects of their customer service or customer engagement benefits which means that agents may be required to learn new scripts or existing supplement scripts with new information as information becomes more readily available. For these reasons and many others, call center agent coaching can be a unique and challenging endeavor, even for the most qualified industry professionals.
Coaching BPO (business process outsourcing) can be especially difficult. Coaching styles in BPO applications can vary somewhat, but it’s important to have robust quality assurance coaching techniques. By providing supervisors, managers, and agents operating within call center atmospheres with sufficient training and guidance, companies can help to also provide their customers with higher quality customer assistance. Investing in or developing effective coaching techniques can act as a catalyst for overhauling a company’s entire call center operations. Simultaneously, failure to invest adequate resources into training or coaching techniques can result in more frequent errors amid operations or lower performance from agents and supervisors alike.
Authenticx can help companies by empowering them to spend approximately 20 percent less time with their agent coaching module, which can reduce the time needed to manage important work assignments by up to 75 percent. When combined with proven coaching techniques, Authenticx can provide organizations with invaluable customer interaction data to help streamline operations and ensure that your business makes the most of its call center operations.
Ultimately, it takes a lot of hard work to keep a call center operating smoothly and seamlessly. Call centers or contact centers generally see higher agent turnover rates for a variety of reasons. One of the primary contributors often cited in regard to call center high turnover is poor management or inadequate coaching. By ensuring your organization has an effective training or coaching strategy to help onboard new hires, you can help to lower that turnover rate by reducing the likelihood that a new agent would feel immediately overwhelmed or too stressed out by the workflow to meaningfully contribute. Additionally, having effective training or coaching strategies in place helps support existing agents to improve their overall efficiency and productivity figures.
Action Plan for Call Center Agents
Due to the high volume of calls and customer interactions an agent at a call center might experience on a given day, it’s vitally important to the success of your operation to have an action plan in place to provide additional structure to a hectic, demanding environment. One of the most important aspects of call center operations is having an action plan for call center agents to rely on if they need a little guidance or reminder about how to proceed in certain situations.
Call center behavioral coaching starts with empathy and understanding; agents are human beings often tasked with answering calls from other human beings who may be experiencing difficulties or are themselves under immense stress. Language must be appropriate, and feedback must be directly related to measurable performance indicators. In order to provide constructive feedback, for instance, an agent coach may begin a conversation by highlighting several positive aspects of the agent’s competency or efficiency. Then, once any positive performance has been praised and reinforced, it can be much easier to discuss areas where improvements could be made – whether it relates to customer service, sales, or something else.
Call center coaching examples could include a firm establishment of what the primary key performance indicators (KPIs) are for agents and regular assessments to provide support for agents whose KPIs might be falling behind. Call center coaching feedback examples, on the other hand, might include a more thoughtful approach to handling specific customer interactions. Supervisors can utilize data to help support their feedback and present feedback in the form of questions that empower agents to discover their own capabilities and develop the tools they need to improve and succeed. Organizations like Authenticx can help ensure that your business is making the most of the call center coaching tools available to your supervisors and managers.
Call Center Coaching
Smart coaching call center initiatives provide agents with enough information to be successful but not so much information that they become overwhelmed. Adequate call center coaching can help ensure that your employees have all the necessary tools and training to provide callers with assistance in an efficient and timely manner. In an industry where services and scripts can change fairly regularly, it’s important to have a strong foundation for your operations to weather the many challenges posed by daily call center operations.
Coaching call center agents requires a firm understanding of the overall objectives of the organization as well as the purpose of the call center. Additionally, good coaching strategies usually rely on a human-centric approach. While customers may be paying for a service and the organization is paying employees to provide call center support, everyone involved in the facilitation of the transactions is a human being with emotions, complex internal thoughts, desires, and shortcomings. Coaching human beings to improve their strategies or methods requires a great deal of patience, leadership, and well-developed problem-solving skills.
Call center coaching ideas could involve utilizing customer data from post-call surveys so agents can hear directly from customers some positive feedback and constructive criticism as well. And some coaching questions for call center agents may seek to identify areas where agents could improve, whether that’s in empathizing with the caller or providing accurate information throughout the duration of the call.
Call center coaching feedback examples might include a series of regular evaluations to provide agents with helpful feedback and reliable data about their key performance metrics. And in order to develop a better coaching strategy or provide more comprehensive feedback to agents and supervisors, your organization might consider investing in a data aggregation platform to help provide greater insights about customer interactions and other relevant behaviors.
How It Works
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Call Center Supervisor Skills
Expectations of a call center supervisor may vary depending on the organization and the primary objectives of the call center’s operations, but there are numerous skills call center supervisors can develop to help them excel in their profession. The most successful call center supervisors have exceptional communication skills and can make decisions quickly by relying on accurate and timely information.
Call center supervisor requirements generally include the ability to oversee a call center’s operations while being responsible for the quality of service agents provide callers. Other call center supervisor skills, like problem-solving, effective communication, and demonstrable integrity, are also important. A good call center supervisor will go to great lengths to ensure that an agent has been coached on grammar correctness and has access to all the relevant customer information to provide rapid and effectual assistance while on a call.
Supervisors are also tasked with the important responsibility of ensuring that agents are operating in accordance with company regulations or standards and regulations as required by industry or law. In many cases, supervisors or call center managers are also the individuals responsible for adequate staffing and training new employees; organizations will want to hire a capable supervisor who knows how to implement effective training strategies and provide agents with the confidence and tools they need in order to fulfill their job duties successfully.
How to Coach an Agent Effectively
There are innumerable resources available online and elsewhere about effective training strategies, especially as they relate to call centers and other contact agencies. Call center coaching tools can help your organization’s upper management and supervisory personnel learn how to coach an agent effectively, even under difficult circumstances. Frequently, call centers are established as a nexus for customers who need support with troubleshooting a particular product or service. Because they are so many variables involved in daily customer support interactions, it can be difficult to know what kind of coaching or training to provide. Additionally, it can be difficult to assess whether or not training initiatives are effective without a comprehensive customer data aggregation platform.
Coaching call center agents requires good leadership skills as well as ample knowledge of how call center enterprises operate successfully daily. And there are a number of helpful resources if you have call center coaching questions – depending on your organization’s strengths and weaknesses, in addition to your overarching company objectives, it may be helpful to tailor some coaching questions to align more closely with the mission of your organization.
Ultimately, effective coaching strategies are determined by the coach in certain situations. Not all agents will respond similarly to a singular strategy, so it can be helpful to have a wide range of techniques or approaches in order to ensure that every agent receives the training they need in order to succeed at their duties.