A contact center is only as good as its staff, which means recruiting the right staff, providing effective training, and maintaining team engagement are essential for a call center manager.
Resources and tools to help you tackle these tasks are readily available if you know where to look. In fact, such tools are vital to the success of a call center.
If you’re looking for a little inspiration, we’ve rounded up 10 call center coaching tools and techniques to help empower your call center agents and increase their productivity.
How to Coach Your Call Center Staff
1. Buddying As A Call Center Coaching Tool
There’s a wealth of experience and knowledge sitting right in your contact center: your seasoned employees. One of the most effective ways to tap into this resource is to use a buddy system. Here, new employees are paired with more experienced colleagues and encouraged to learn through observation and listening.
The benefit of this approach is twofold. It’s a cost-effective coaching technique, and it gives existing staff the feeling that their expertise is acknowledged and valued in the organization.
The buddy system also promotes a more relaxed environment, where a newer team member feels less intimidated and more comfortable asking questions. Your team can become closer and create stronger connections with one another. According to Breathe HR, a close connection at work makes staff 50% happier on average.
2. One-On-One Coaching With A Trainer
One of the most effective call center coaching tools might surprise you.
One-on-one coaching with a trainer still reigns supreme. Similar to the buddy system, one-on-one coaching allows the trainer to actively participate in the trainees’ learning, offering advice and guidance along the way.
As with all training tools, this method works best when agents recognize that they are supported and seize the opportunity for personal development.
3. Monitoring Repeat Offenders
While most staff will engage in the learning process, there are always staff members who can’t or won’t adapt and learn.
In such cases, utilizing monitoring data can help to identify individuals who repeatedly make the same mistake. Quality analysis is an important call center coaching tool as it places an expectation of development on staff.
4. Call Center Benchmarking
To achieve consistency in the call center and communicate expectations, you must ensure that trainers are all on the same page.
Even if your managers are all using the same scorecard, sometimes scoring can vary according to an individual’s personal benchmark. Standardization is key.
During your benchmarking sessions, set the standard of how calls should be scored and how you define calls that are excellent, good, okay, and poor across the board.
Allow the group at large to give their individual score and see how you match up. Follow up with a discussion to understand why the score was given.
While you will probably never 100% agree, it’s possible to make grading more consistent through well-built scorecards. Clearly outline expectations of a customer service interaction, and don’t be afraid to get into specifics.
Sometimes the most effective call center coaching tools are ones that make you work harder and allow your staff a moment to breathe.
In this scenario, having a collection of training presentations can work wonders. Popular presentation topics include expanding soft skills, handling escalations, and dealing with challenging customers.
With a presentation, your staff can take time off calls to expand their knowledge without the pressure of performance expectations. This helps your staff to develop on a personal and professional level. According to the Huffington Post, personal growth and development is the art of your employees finding and morphing into the person they want to become through an exploration of identity, talents, potential, as well as dreams and aspirations.
Often, presentations are seen as a few moments of reprieve, but as the meeting continues, staff will naturally engage in the process and start to discuss their own experiences.
6. Interactive Games
On occasion, it is beneficial to engage staff in training games as a call center coaching tool. There are many games available that facilitate training and development in a light-hearted way.
Research on gamification in the workplace shows that employees say gamified training makes them feel more productive (89%) and happier (88%) at work.
Making training a game not only serves as an effective training method but also as a team-building activity. Since call center work can be monotonous, a game can lift the team’s mood and develop skills at the same time.
7. Initial Training Program
The biggest challenge for a call center is to hire talent and retain them. This means that investing heavily in a robust initial training program is crucial.
An onboarding program not only trains for the job but also defines the company’s values and expectations.
This gives newcomers the opportunity to learn more about the operations and prepare for their role in the call center. It also gives them the opportunity to bond with their colleagues and explore their new environment.
8. Software For Data Analysis
When considering call center coaching tools, software is a great solution to turn collected data into meaningful insights.
Agent optimization software helps you monitor customer interactions and identify strengths and weaknesses in the call center. You can review specific metrics for productivity and even collect Voice of the Customer (VoC) data to gain first-hand reviews of your customer service.
Software also allows you to create user-friendly performance campaigns and dashboards with your team’s KPIs for more targeted training.
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9. Quality Metrics for Your Contact Center
Having a clear way to assess the work of your staff is vital.
Establishing quality metrics is one of the most important aspects of your call center coaching. Setting a fixed grading system that rewards good performance can work wonders when it comes to coaching.
Just remember, metrics must be robust and fair to ensure that there is no ambiguity.
10. Customer Satisfaction and Customer Feedback Monitoring
The most vital intel a call center has is their customers’ opinion.
Call center coaching tools must be built around VoC. Create call center coaching based on general customer trends and adjust as insights evolve.
The classic Net Promoter Score criteria is a great way to measure how your staff is performing, but don’t be afraid to use more specific metrics. Analysis of complaints, soft-skills monitoring and quality metrics are all essential customer-centric KPIs.
Call center coaching tools aren’t one size fits all. Some staff will respond to one approach and others to a different approach, and it’s best to be prepared.
With call center coaching software, you’ll be able to track performance and deliver coaching based on individual needs to ensure each teammate is trained and engaged.
Which call center coaching tools are working for you? Share in the comments below.