One of the vital tasks of every team leader is to guide his agents in delivering high quality service to customers. Open Access BPO, an outsourced call center in the Philippines, lists down tips on how to coach your agents.
It’s inevitable for customer service representatives to make errors, given the volume of calls they make and receive during their shift. Although it can’t be helped at times, the management should still keep mistakes at a minimum to prevent them from making a negative impact on the overall workflow. Call center managers should respond accordingly and enforce strategies to minimize agent mistakes in their workplace, this includes providing individual coaching.
Effective coaching is essential because it helps your agents develop their skills and improve their performance. This boosts their confidence in responding to customers even if a call escalation takes place. Below are tips how you can effectively coach your agents:
1. Provide post-call surveys
Compiling feedback—recorded calls and emails from customers handled by your agents—can help you evaluate and identify the prevalent issues that need to be sorted out. This serves as a guide on how you can start your coaching session.
Analyze a few calls and get past e-mails as part of your data. Use these as basis to address performance issues and provide constructive comments. This can help your agents feel that you are not attacking them personally, but rather trying to help them handle certain situations that were mentioned in the collected data.
2. Allow self-evaluation
Giving your agents a chance to go through their post-call surveys can help them assess their behavior properly. The purpose is not to embarrass themselves in front of their team leaders, but to help them identify their own strengths and weaknesses.
Let the agents pinpoint their own mistakes. Allow them to do a comprehensive evaluation of what was done and what could have been done instead. After that, you can reinforce the right behavior and discuss any difficulties to motivate them to do better.
3. Maintain effective listening
Listening to your agents before you refute their statements improves any kind of conversation. This does not only build trust, but respect as well, prompting your agents to show the same respect when it’s your turn to talk.
Allow your agents to express themselves without interruption. This lessens the chance of unnecessary heated arguments. Before ending the discussion, make a summary of their concerns and give your advice to show them that you understand and that they have your support.
4. Give constructive criticisms
A well-reasoned advice based on facts can never be misinterpreted. This helps agents understand and identify their areas of improvement. One important factor in giving constructive criticism is the manner of delivery and tone.
Always be sensitive, and know when you are about to cross the line. Before giving out negative feedback, acknowledge their positive actions. Finding the balance between the two can help you deliver the negative side in a non-offensive way.
Coaching is both an art and science. It requires basis such as quantitative data, but it also needs human touch. By integrating both in your coaching session, you can surely develop a team of efficient agents.
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