Getting Customer Service Coaching Right

    Call center coaching is a crucial way to improve agent performance. But coaching isn’t only beneficial for agents—it also has a ripple effect on the entire call center. When agents feel supported and adequately trained in their jobs, they provide better customer service. In turn, KPIs and customer satisfaction scores improve. Coaching is an important investment to make in your agents and for the success of your call center. But the nuances of a call center can make coaching a bit unclear. Which goals and training processes should you prioritize in your customer service coaching plan?  

    We are here to help. Let’s explore what customer service coaching is, why it is essential, and how to implement it in your call center.

    What is customer service coaching?  

    Customer service coaching is a quality assurance (QA) activity that supports the agent’s skills to provide a great customer experience. It is essential to distinguish coaching from annual performance reviews. Coaching is not a once-a-year task. Rather, coaching is a long-term, strategic tool to improve agent performance over time.  
    Customer coaching programs can incorporate the following tools in their process:  

    • Assessments and QA scorecards to evaluate agent performance 
    • Buddy or role-play training 
    • One-on-one coaching 
    • Presentations 
    • Interactive games 
    • Different methodologies, like GROW model 


    Why is customer service coaching important?  

    Well-trained agents give a better customer experience, and it’s as simple as that. If an untrained agent tries to handle a customer call or complaint, things can quickly get messy. Throwing an untrained agent out onto the lines is incredibly frustrating for customers and crushing agent morale.  

    Customer service coaching is a fantastic way to improve agents' soft and customer service skills and show your investment in your agents. Your employees want to feel engaged in their work; 74% of workers think they are not reaching their potential in their jobs because of a lack of development opportunities.  
    Excellent customer service coaching delivers dividends, including:  

    • Increasing customer loyalty. Happy customers lead to better bottom lines. Customer service coaching can increase customer loyalty by 5%, increasing profits by 85%! 
    • Reducing the knowledge gap for agents. Proper coaching techniques can be excellent professional development tools. Coaching is an ideal way to bridge the knowledge gap for agents; from learning new skills to brushing up on previous ones bridges the knowledge gap for agents.  
    • Increasing agent confidence. Learning and development lead to more satisfied agents, with 55% of employees prioritizing career growth over salary. Coaching helps bolster trust, growth, and higher confidence levels for agents.  
    • Retaining existing customers for longer. 94% of employees would stay at their job longer if their company invested in their professional development. Coaching increases retention rates and smashes your development and staffing goals at once.
      5 tips for coaching employees to improve performance webinar

    Training versus coaching, what’s the difference? 

    Although many people use the terms interchangeably, customer service coaching differs from call center training and call center training, although many people use the terms interchangeably. Training is a shorter-term initiative. It refers to specific projects to work on and improve within its goals. But coaching is a broader view.  

    Coaching is a process-improvement tactic designed around an agent’s individual goals. Because coaching focuses on individual employees, most commonly used one-on-one coaching techniques. Finally, coaching is part of the company culture and gives agents timely feedback and insights.  


    What does excellent customer service coaching look like?  

    Top-notch customer service coaching is built around the needs and goals of your specific agents. That’s why coaching is most beneficial when used in conjunction with a quality assurance program. The agent self-evaluation feedback gathered in the QA program can directly feed into the coaching process, helping shape the agenda around what agents want to learn most.  

    Here are a few ways you can ensure your customer service coaching will hit all the right marks: 

    • Hire the right people. Look for prospective agents who are an excellent fit for your company's culture and reward your talent to increase retention.  
    • Institute ongoing coaching. Ongoing coaching provides endless development opportunities for agents no matter where they are in their skillset. A continuous coaching program also keeps agents aware of trends and developments in the industry.  
    • Look at further career development. Coaching programs can be an excellent catalyst for the career development of call center employees. Talk with agents to determine their professional development goals and design future training programs around these needs.  
    • Ditch the spreadsheets. Spreadsheets have long been a tool used for organization and management in call centers. But it is time for an upgrade. Kick those spreadsheets to the curb and use a performance coaching tool to automate coaching processes. 

    Enhance Agent Training and Performance


    Implementing a customer service coaching program 

    Now that you understand the importance of customer service coaching, you can utilise your call centre's customer service coaching program and customer service coaching program in your call center. Following these best practices is a great way to ensure you aim for the right goals in your program.  

    1. Take a strategic approach. Balance your time between agents who need some support and your top performers. Taking a strategic approach can help you avoid neglecting one group of agents over the other.
    2. CX managers need to rely on the data from customer-agent interactions. Think about services like Scorebuddy that provide X, Y and Z and help you find areas to improve. A quality assurance program is vital for collecting customer-agent interaction data and putting it to good use.
    3. Establish a calendar for feedback. Customer service coaching should be systematic and well thought out. A calendar can help you stay organized and avoid making mistakes or communication errors.
    4. Learn to micro-coach through the day. This helps congratulate top performers and identify agents that may need a little extra support.
    5. Take advantage of 1:1 coaching sessions. Group sessions can be helpful, but with 1:1s, agents feel more comfortable opening up and sharing their challenges. Make sure to schedule one-on-one coaching sessions with each of your agents.  

    Customer service coaching has many benefits. It can encourage, motivate, and inspire call center agents to grow in their roles and learn new skills. But achieving these positive results depends on the depth of your coaching. Investing in a customer service coaching program as part of a quality assurance plan can ensure you provide the right tools to your agents while setting your call center up for success. Scorebuddy’s customizable quality assurance platform can help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your training processes through tailored, strategic analytics. Learn more by requesting a free trial today. 

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