In a previous post we discussed improving call center operations by optimizing the work environment. Another way to have a substantial, positive impact on call center operations is through coaching to help develop the employees representing your company.
Coaching is important in many businesses: it's an employee's relationship with her/his immediate supervisor that plays the largest role in that person's job satisfaction. This is certainly the case in call center operations where teams can be large and the opportunity to interact with one's supervisor may be limited. Since satisfied workers lead to less turnover and greater productivity, what can supervisors do to coach effectively and develop the talent on their teams?
- LOL: Listen, Observe and Learn: Listen to a random sampling of recorded calls to assess the current skill levels of your team. Walk the floor, listen to representatives on live calls, observe the types of challenges they face, their areas of strength and their opportunities for improvement.
- Be Ready to Offer Feedback: Learn how to respond with appropriate feedback for the various behaviors you'll encounter on the call center floor: people doing things correctly, those in need of a little refinement and those who are not doing the job correctly.
- Make it Constructive: Remember that the result is to help someone on your team to do the best job possible. Keep the feedback positive and constructive, explaining how it helps the employee to do her/his job more effectively.
- Be Fair: Make an effort to observe and offer feedback to all your team members, not just the ones you think need the most improvement. Every employee, even the most motivated, needs to know you're tracking and appreciating their work.
- Strive for Consistency: Make sure to follow up with team members over time to let them know you recognize their efforts toward improvement.
Coaching is both rewarding and one of the most effective ways to develop employee talent and improve call center operations.