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Improving Call Center Operations Part 2: Coaching

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.

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