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The long-lost Art of Coaching.

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The long-lost Art of Coaching.

Suffering from poor agent performance and not reaching KPI targets is a common occurrence in the contact center industry. Most of the time managers facing those issues approach their staff and try to push them to work harder and be more efficient.

But as with all choices made under pressure this one isn’t the optimal solution. Team leaders and supervisors often think they are coaching their contact center agents, but in reality they are simply highlighting problems and ask to “magically improve performance”, without any effective coaching whatsoever.

Improving coaching skills should be a priority for each and every supervisor.

Support and challenge.

Remember, your staff is already frustrated and demotivated after not being able to hit the predicted targets.  Those relatively easy goals are becoming, more and more impossible – adding even more pressure from their managers could be fatal for your business.

Support and nurture your agents, especially when morale is down. Provide challenges and at the same time establish clear and reachable goals.

The “I want to…” not “I have to” approach.

Time should never be a reason for a poor coaching session, or a complete lack of one. This is your job as the manager – don’t ever label coaching as “wasted time”.

Remember to engage the coachee in such a way, that he or she will leave the session with a sense of involvement in the coaching process, help them identify the problem themselves – this will strengthen their desire to improve those skills.

Highlight the good and the bad, give your agents “contrast”. Encourage self development, it’s a great asset, especially in the outsourcing industry.

The coaching plan.

Prepare a solid coaching structure, one that addresses each potential issue, remember about proper questioning techniques. The plan is vital, it will bring constituency to you sessions and will bring back value to the art of coaching.

Just be sure to keep it simple, clear and involve agents as much as possible – interactive coaching is the best possible solution to performance issues.

The process.

  • Introduce; make it clear from the get go, what is expected from both parties involved and what should be the outcome.
  • Pinpoint;  the problematic area by listening to recorded calls, reviewing data entry quality or missed sales opportunities. Finding and reviewing particular problems alongside the agent will provide tremendous insight when you compare both sets of information.
  • Summarize;  make notes, ask simple open questions. Ask the agent, what they did well and what areas need to be improved upon? Let them explain “How” will they improve, offer some tips and exercises.

The outcome.

Through proper engagement during coaching sessions, you will create enormous value for that activity – no longer, will it be considered a mere “time sink” for agents and managers alike.

The feeling of self development is a tremendous morale booster, that will benefit your staff as a whole.

Your business will thrive, thanks to improvements in key areas such as; customer contacts, sales conversation, staff and customer retention.

This is why, The Art of Coaching is so valuable.