Customer Service Starts With Coaching the Coaches
Many times when we think about Call Center Quality Assurance, we focus our attention on the front line agents. We also tend to focus most of the training & coaching in a customer service organization on customer service reps (CSRs). Front line agents can only perform to the level of quality they are trained to know.
What we tend not to spend as much time on is the training of supervisors and managers. Supervisors and managers themselves need to be instructed on coaching & training best practices and techniques. Training call center supervisors and managers ensures that quality flows through the organization… ultimately benefiting the customer (which translates into brand benefits – the ultimate objective of customer service).
QA Tools for Managers & Supervisors
Monitoring, evaluating and follow-up training & coaching are the tools at which managers and supervisors need to excel in order to ensure that their organization:
- Implements clear performance standards
- Improves calibrations & scoring among Evaluators
- Improves quality, sales and retention performance
There are numerous other benefits for your company, as well. Properly-trained supervisors & managers tend to have much greater confidence during coaching sessions, and are better able to provide more consistent and effective feedback. At the same time, CSRs are more confident that the Company is utilizing fair measurements, and will tend to have more program “buy-in.”
Without proper monitoring & evaluating by supervisors, how:
- Will you know if newly-trained skills are being used on the phones?
- Will you be able to measure if you are making progress?
- Can you provide consistent feedback to your employees?
- Do you challenge employees to improve without a basis from which to set goals?
Getting the Right Data for Call Center Coaching
Accurate, useful data in the right hands is vital to the success of developing & mentoring your front line employees into customer service experts. The best feedback for agents is only as good as the quality of the feedback supervisors provide – meaning the ‘garbage-in-garbage-out principal applies.’
Bad Data Can Do More Harm than No Data
From a management standpoint, it is important to ensure that the right information & analytics are put in the hands of managers & supervisors, so they can properly assess agent or CSR performance, and identify growth or improvement targets. Using the wrong metrics – or poorly calibrated data – can end up doing even more harm to your call center than a lack of data.
Leverage Data & Scoring to Improve Call Center Training
Successful managers and supervisors in the call center look beyond the individual agent scores to evaluate the overall execution of the call center. Being able to gauge the importance of data and understanding what it means is a key reason to ensure call center leadership is – itself – well-trained.
Managers need to understand what, precisely, the data is telling them – and in some cases the key takeaway can relate to more than just a single agent’s performance. Call center-wide trends need to be identified, and corrective actions for weaknesses may include group coaching or training, rather than single-agent-coaching.
Remember, the best call center training in the world – even with the best trainer – is useless if the techniques that are taught are not accepted & reinforced by supervisors and managers on a daily basis.