Call Center Behavioral Coaching: Turn Potential into Good Performance

Imagine aspiring baseball players who are trying to perfect their swing. They spend hours in training sessions. They watch videos of how top hitters swing their bat, and they try to imitate what they saw in these videos. Still, their performance stats are not where they should be.

But when knowledgeable coaches work with them – watches swing their bats; explain what they are doing wrong; and show them certain techniques they can use to correct what they are doing wrong, they can make excellent strides in improving their swings and performances.

It is the one-on-one guidance and personal focus that make all the difference. Coaching call center (CC) agents are no different. While these individuals receive a lot of customer service training, especially with onboarding, these used to be group sessions designed to refresh or acquire skills, address CC performance goals, as well as update workers on relevant promotions and company policies.

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Once these training sessions are over, managers or supervisors need to coach their agents individually to help them improve their skills and master the techniques and procedures they learned in training. Sometimes, companies shy away from one-on-one coaching because it is a time-consuming and emotionally challenging activity.

Having to tell workers that their performances are lacking sin never an easy or pleasant task. But based on experience, one-on-one coaching is one of the best and most effective ways to help CC agents understand their weak and strong points, as well as help them improve their work performance and realize their true potential. Let us take a good look at some of the most efficient and effective methods for CC coaching.

When supported by adequate and state-of-the-art CC software, these methods can help companies propel their workers towards success.

Start with a sandwich

A lot of individuals react negatively or defensively to criticisms – even if they are constructive ones. The best way to make sure that workers will be open to any suggestions or recommendations for improving their production is to sandwich negative remarks between two positive feedbacks. Use the worker’s own performance information to start the teaching activity with strengths – something that the agent consistently does pretty well.

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It will set a positive tone. The next thing managers or supervisors will need to do is to slowly introduce negative feedback and show them how to improve them, just like another Key Performance Indicator that workers recently improved. Starting and ending the session on a good note contributes to their readiness to learn.

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Use actual samples and hard data

Workers value clarity, as well as the knowledge that they are being regarded reasonably. Concrete information lets employees quantify shortcomings and understand whether these things are significant issues or small ones. It is by far more helpful, effective, and efficient to see accurate metrics showing a thirty-percent decrease in the staff’s customer satisfaction score, compared to just telling them their customer satisfaction score is on a decline.

Companies need to provide particular examples from the worker’s call recordings when discussing bad or negative feedback. During call playbacks, the coaching person can point out the interaction that went wrong and how they could have handled it better, maybe by using certain methods.

Coaches can also playback similar voice recordings from other agents who have mastered the said methods and use them with great success. The more concrete and objective the feedbacks, the easier it will be for workers to understand what they need to do to help them improve their shortcomings.

Collaboration on company goals

One of the results of any behavior-based coaching session needs to be a plan of action or PoA with clear understandings of what workers are expected to achieve for the organization. Setting improvement goals needs to be a collaborative effort instead of orders handed down from the higher management. When the company collaborates to define attainable and actionable goals, it shows staff that they are confident in correcting and improving performance problems.

Catch workers doing it right

The best time to calculate the staff’s progress is right after the coaching session, when the lessons learned are still fresh from their minds and motivation to implement these lessons are high. Within the same time, hour, or day, live monitor calls and score them in the areas that need improvement. These live feedbacks will reinforce the right behaviors and let coaches correct the problems on the spot.

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