Excellent customer service is the lifeblood of a contact center. Every time a customer has a bad interaction with an agent; it hurts their relationship with the brand. So much so that 82% of people say they have stopped doing business with a company because of unsatisfactory service.
To avoid this, most call centers have developed customer service training procedures. This means call centers spend time and resources coaching agents on policies, behaviours and steps to take to turn a disgruntled customer into a fan. However, if you have poor training modules not only will your employees not enjoy working for you and will not be able to perform up to the desired standard, but you will have wasted valuable time training staff who will inevitably leave.
So if you plan on coaching employees on customer service for optimal results, here are five things you need to stop doing in your coaching sessions to improve customer service and agent satisfaction.
1. Quality of customer contact overlooked
According to ICMI, 82% of contact centers measure quality of interactions but only 9% measure quality of customer contact as the most important metric. If you want your training sessions to grow, it is time to throw away outdated metrics and start putting your clients first.
51% of contact center leaders believe that customer satisfaction is the best measure of agent productivity.
After all, your focus should not be on how many contacts your agents handled in an hour, or how many problems they marked as resolved. In a call center, your number one aim should be customer satisfaction and your training should reflect that. Literally.
2. No online training
If your coaching practices do not have an online component – your business, employees and customers are all missing out. Not only is online training cost-effective, but it also improves productivity with its hybrid style of learning.
Online training will also improve customer experience because it gives employees the opportunity to learn a variety of skills at their own pace, while giving them the chance to revise as often as they would like.
Afterwards, call center agents can come together after completing an online course and discuss together what they have learned.
3. Training using outdated criteria
When was the last time you revised the metrics your call center agents are training against? By not updating your KPIs every time your key objectives change, your agents will not be able to deliver the new results you seek.
Before rolling out your next training session, make sure you have aligned your quality monitoring with your key business objectives. Doing so will help you and your agents to connect the dots between KPIs and their behaviours that will give you the desired business outcomes.
4. The customer is M.I.A. in your training sessions
One of the most harmful coaching mistakes is not bringing the customer into the conversation. We all have our ideas about how we want our customers to feel and how we want our agents to act, but we might forget to cohesively bring the two together in a training session.
By incorporating customer satisfaction results into the coaching dialogue, we can help agents improve their quality of service.
It’s also a good idea to have real-time customer feedback made available to agents so they can immediately know how they did and adapt accordingly.
By bringing the voice of the customer into the training session, it will help your agents practice mindfulness while helping to instantaneously identify behaviours that detract from the client’s experience.
5. Not involving agents in the process
Coaching sessions with only one way communication are relics and should be avoided at all costs.
It’s important to remember that while your agents are there to learn, they also have direct contact with customers on a day-to-day basis and as a result, have a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Take advantage of this intimate knowledge by using it when coaching employees on customer service. Not only does it encourage ownership and engagement but it also increases job satisfaction and makes your agents feel like their opinions matter.
6. Training does not continue beyond the session
Call center agents have a lot on their plate. Not only are they fielding questions and complaints from customers, but they also have a bunch of other information they need to remember in between.
While regular training sessions will make them familiar with things like policy updates, it is important to carry on coaching employees on customer service after the meeting is over.
Researchers believe that memory has a limitless capacity, but without rehearsal, memories become harder to access. What this means is that your agents need help to remember their training, or else they are going to forget how to access it when they need it.
To avoid this, help your agents by removing the guesswork with certain tasks and coming up with innovative ways to prompt agents for up-selling notifications and multi-screen process steps.
While coaching employees on customer service, it’s important to make sure training revolves around them rather than the leadership of the company. You want each person to know the value their role brings to the contact center as well as giving them a defined view of their roles, responsibilities and goals.
By avoiding the five harmful coaching practices above and fostering a culture of customer service, your call centers training is sure to be a success.
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