Tips for coaching call centre agents
Meeting regularly with your staff can be very hit and miss so what are the tips for coaching call centre agents?
Do all your contact centre/customer service agents have a current, up to date improvement plan?
Do they understand their goals for quality, sales, conversion or net promotion?
There are a lot of call centres that just do a quick morning meeting and then get on with their day.
If that is the basis for your agent’s improvement/goal setting then let’s look at something very easy to do that I think can benefit all call centres.
Why meeting with and coaching call centre agents is so important
You would never go on a long road trip without any kind of map or GPS right?
How can your associates and supervisor know where you want them to go unless they too look at their map for success?
I call this an Agent Analysis program… your map to success for your agents.
As we talked about in an earlier post it’s very important to give out goals to each of your reps daily.
It’s also just as important to have each of your reps have an achievement/progression plan that gets looked at and talked about weekly.
Having a basic Agent Analysis program should be one of the cornerstones in developing high-quality representatives.
Not only does it show that you care about the standards that are set, but it also shows reps that you care about them; it shows you care about their personal development.
They can see there is a path to career progression.
Each of your representatives should be pulled from the floor for at least 15-20 minutes a week to talk a little deeper about how they are doing, what they need to do and how your supervisors can help them.
The tone of this meeting needs to be primarily positive in tone. You cannot have your reps dreading their 15 minute Agent Analysis meeting every week, it makes things counterproductive.
5 Tips for coaching call centre agents
Talk about the past week, what were the quality/sales/conversion goals that were given last week to that rep.
Did they meet the goal, if not then talk about how they can better achieve these goals in the next week?
Your supervisors need to be prepared for this.
They need to give specific examples to help the reps.(“Janie we talked last week about to recognising closing signals in your calls, I think you have done a little better especially yesterday when you… “).
Go over recorded calls here if you have any that are specific to the goals that you set the past week.
Talk about their specific monitoring scores as well.
Any attendance/dress code/team behaviours should be brought up at this point.
This is the only part that may get a little negative so I like to sandwich it between the recap of the week and the next week’s plan.
Everyone has some things they need to work on from an HR/Policy standpoint. Whether it is coming a little late to work, not being in the best mood or fooling around too much this is the time to really address any issues in a positive manner off the floor.
This takes training for your supervisor to handle. Make sure they do this right.
3. Goal Planning
Give each associate SPECIFIC individual plan/goals for the week.
Make sure it deals individually with a goal that is attainable for associate rep.
Your stars will have higher goals and expectations than your new reps, although you should be ramping up a little quicker with your new reps…
Understand as well the KPI’s for the program that they are running.
Make sure that the individual goals correspond to the program goals. I know that sounds rudimentary but so many times call centres just have over centre goals.
They really need to be broken down to project goals.
Be very Specific:
“Janie we need 3.0/5.0 quality score average for all your monitored calls for next week, you were really close to that this week so I know you will be able to do this.
I would like to see your conversion go to 6% from 5.2% next week on your cross-sell opportunities as well, recognise those closing signals that we talked about and listened to in your monitored calls and you will be above 6%! We also had a couple days missed last week so let’s shoot for a full week; I know you can do it!!!”
End the meeting talking about their career plan if possible.
Do they want to be a management trainee, supervisor, team lead?
Do they want to learn more programs?
Talk about how you can help get them to the next level.
This is very important in keeping turnover down.
Associates should feel as if your team is really taking the time to help them grow and move up.
Deep down in places we don’t always talk about everyone wants to be a star…everyone wants to be thought of highly…help bring this out of your people.
This meeting should be documented in a database or simply in email or excel.
You have to have this for both the supervisor and the rep but also for you and the contact centre manager to look at to understand how a supervisor’s team is doing on a personal level.
Take the time to invest in coaching call centre agents.
Remember they truly are the voice of your brand!
Invest in them so they can invest in your customers.
- Read: More articles on coaching and leadership
- Search for upcoming courses on high-performance teams and leadership at CX Skills