February 19, 2019 by Siobhan Climer
Learning to coach contact center agents takes work. While training is an essential component of a contact center manager’s role, doing so successfully requires an understanding of how the complex technology, data, and interpersonal work elements interact to influence both customers’ and agents’ perceptions of their customer service.
Why Coach Contact Center Agents? Employee Turnover Worst In Call Centers
The average turnover rate for contact centers in 2018 is between 30% – 40% and sometimes stretches into the triple digits! That’s at least double what other industries experience. Why such high attrition?
- Low wages/benefits
- Lack of career growth
- Poor customer service handling
- Lack of access to training
- Difficulty with supervisors
- CS burnout
- Low morale
While these issues – and others not mentioned here – should be addressed, appropriately training agents to respond to customer needs using the contact center technology you have is a vital part of improving call center performance.
What are the issues affecting how teams coach contact center agents? According to research by McKinsey, there are three main underlying reasons coaching sessions fail:
- Failure to adhere to coaching schedule
- Variations in definitions of “coaching”
- Use of bad assessment metrics
Read more about contact center metrics and planning a roadmap for your contact center with our latest eBook: Customers Drive, You Navigate: Your Contact Center Roadmap to Customer Care Success.
A Better Way? Coach Contact Center Agents
Agents and supervisors should work together to determine the appropriate metrics for demonstrating growth. These should be reasonable, achievable, measurable, and specific (RAMS).
Reasonable Goals – Objectives that the agent and manager truly agree upon that can occur given the current state. It’s easy to dream up goals given dramatic changes, but what are reasonable goals if the environment and tools remain the same?
Achievable Goals – These are targets the agent and manager can impact. If the agent does not handle any sales aspect of the organization, and yet is expected to contribute to the company’s target growth of 10%, they have no way of demonstrating their contribution.
Measurable Goals – Determining how the goals will be measured is exceptionally important. The contact center tools you use should be able to provide analytics and reporting that are accurate and consistent.
Specific Goals – “Do better” and “Be nice to callers” are good goals, but developing specific targets based on the metrics available is key to growth. Increase first-call resolution by 3% might be a more specific goal, but an even better goal might be:
Increase first-call resolution by 3% from January 1, 2019 to May 31, 2019 as measured using Genesys PureCloud analytics and given a minimum of 10 hours of goal target training arranged or provided by supervisors.
When providing tools to help staff it can be easy to see all the benefits. Give your employees a chance to help you see any gaps or faults with the technologies you offer. Perhaps agents observe that transferring calls is difficult, or that customers are already agitated upon reaching them due to a complicated or time-consuming IVR. Ensure you have all of the information available. That way you can better help agents reach the goals you set together.
Contact Center Technology Growth
The success of your agents not only depends on their ability to manage customer interactions, but also their ability to use the contact center platform and call center technologies that facilitate successful interactions. Be ready to listen to agent needs and learn how the tools you provide agents impact their work.
Contact center platforms are evolving and changing every day. Mindsight is an exclusive Cisco and Genesys partner expert. Whether you are considering an entirely new technology or simply want to better optimize your current tools to meet the needs of your customers – external AND internal – we’re here to provide expert guidance and support.
Come join us for a Whiteboard Wednesday to talk about what your goals and current solutions are or register for our weekly Demo Days if you’re ready to start testing current market solutions in your environment. Both of these free consultations give you a chance to learn about trends in the contact center and how other businesses coach contact center agents and manage technology innovations.
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About The Author
Siobhan Climer, Science and Technology Writer for Mindsight, writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. She previously taught STEM programs in elementary classrooms and museums, and writes extensively about cybersecurity, disaster recovery, cloud services, backups, data storage, network infrastructure, and the contact center. When she’s not writing tech, she’s writing fantasy, gardening, and exploring the world with her twin two-year old daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.