Contact center coaching is an essential way for agents to improve their performance and boost customer satisfaction. But the nature of contact centers means coaching can often be less straightforward than it is for other organizations.
One reason is that leaders in contact centers frequently achieve their status through internal promotion and have little management induction or training. This can be a barrier to leading call center coaching sessions. This is where coaching models like the GROW model can be beneficial. They enable growth for all employees, including leaders, and provide the framework for a coaching culture.
GROW is a leadership tool that works across many disciplines and cultures. It has four steps and has become a successful method globally for goal setting and problem-solving. The GROW methodology helps people achieve success personally or as part of a team and forms the backbone of coaching in many organizations and universities. GROW Coaching Methodology has become a foundation for many contact centers and is key to success.
John Whitmore first published the GROW Model in 1992 in a book called Coaching for Performance. The book became a coaching bible for contact center managers and executive coaches alike, selling over a million copies in 23 languages.
Through the book’s success and workshops popularizing the concept, GROW became well known and is acknowledged as one of the most famous coaching models today. GROW has become increasingly popular in contact centers thanks to its straightforward structure and ability to help agents realize their coaching opportunities.
The word GROW is an acronym for the four critical steps in GROW coaching: Goals, Reality, Options and Will.
With a few contact center coaching questions, a contact center manager or training manager can quickly raise awareness and responsibility in each area. The four key stages are:
G: set goals and aspirations. Questions at this stage might include: What purpose do you want to achieve? What result are you trying to achieve? What would be the benefits of achieving your goal?
R: assess the current situation and the reality, and identify internal and external obstacles. Among the questions they might ask are: Where are you about achieving the goal? Why haven’t you reached the goal? What have you already tried?
O: explore possibilities, strengths and resources. Questions for this stage might include: What are your options? What do you think you need to do next? What could you do differently?
W: agree on actions and accountability, the will or the way forward. People could be asked: What obstacles are getting in the form of success? What resources can help you? What do you need from others to help you achieve this?
The GROW model often starts with a SMART (specific, measurable, and achievable in a realistic time frame) goal, but it does not need to. The critical is to begin with an inspiring and challenging plan for some.
An agent can move flexibly through the other stages, revisiting the goal if necessary. The final step (the will) converts the initial desire and intention into successful action. It is how the manager measures success.
The GROW model uses many open questions to give contact center agents control of their self-improvement. It is designed not to tell the agent what they could do differently. It is more a process by which the manager or coach helps them get to a stage of self-realisation.
The GROW model helps agents to become aware of skill gaps for themselves. They have drawn their conclusions; they are not just taking the manager’s word for it. This helps to increase their motivation to improve in the specific area.
Sometimes what’s obvious to call center trainers or managers is not evident to others. Asking the right questions without telling the agent directly what’s wrong can often be tricky. The GROW coaching methodology works by helping agents discover problem areas independently.
It’s advisable not to stick too rigidly to the GROW Methodology. It is essential to adjust it to fit different agent needs.
The Appraisals feature in Scorebuddy, built around the GROW model, allows users to capture and record coaching sessions that span multiple results over a given time.
Appraisals can be created from the staff page or supervisor dashboard by global, group or team admins or supervisors. They are available to employees via their dashboard.
To set a goal for the employee, the manager or coach can type the goal into the text field. They can view the agent’s overall performance across all scorecards/results within a given date range and the individual results themselves.
The manager or coach can type options notes into the text field and access the Course assignment pop up by clicking ‘Add Course’.
Finally, clicking ‘Add Task’ brings up the Task assignment pop up to create tasks for the agent.
The value of coaching contact center agents is apparent in several ways. It helps them learn new skills, provides a method for them to receive feedback on their work, and addresses any problems in their interactions with customers. It also helps them manage one of the significant issues facing contact centers: agent retention. Not only will they retain agents for longer, but effective coaching can also make them better agents.
Why not discover more about putting the GROW coaching methodology in your business? Talk to our team today to find out how.