Call center coaching feedback: Examples and best practices

Victoria Beverly

April 24, 2024

Effective call center agent coaching is vital not only for the growth and development of agents but also for ensuring customer satisfaction. Without effective coaching, agents in the call center can be left with limited information and skills to address and solve customer issues. 

Coaching agents effectively can be a challenging task for many call center leaders. It requires a delicate balance of providing feedback that's informed, motivating, and constructive. On the other hand, leaders often do not have the QA resources needed to listen to every single call to inform that feedback accurately. 

So, what are some actionable best practices to improve the way you coach your agents for improvement? Read more below for effective call center coaching examples and ways to improve coaching feedback to empower your agents and satisfy your customers.

Why is effective coaching feedback so important?

Great call center coaching feedback can significantly increase agent engagement and performance, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. When agents get concrete, actionable feedback, they’re better positioned to meet their goals and have a better employee experience. When agents use coaching feedback to improve, customers are more likely to resolve their issues efficiently and with low effort. 

A main challenge leaders face when trying to coach their agents is often having to base their feedback on insights from a small sample size of calls. This is often due to resource constraints that result in call centers only having a small team designated to reviewing and scoring calls for quality. This makes delivering truly impactful and personalized coaching a tricky business. To retain agents and satisfy customers, call center leaders must deploy effective coaching feedback strategies.

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Best practices for effective call center coaching feedback

We’ve rounded up 4 best practices to increase the effectiveness of your call center coaching feedback. By implementing the following best practices, you can dramatically improve agent performance and customer satisfaction:

1. Use QA Automation

Quality assurance (QA) automation software can evaluate 100% of agent calls and provide objective data-driven feedback that removes any bias and time limitations in the call or interaction evaluation process. This ensures every coaching session is based on comprehensive performance data, which helps both agents and managers understand performance areas that need attention.

2. Data-informed coaching sessions

Each agent has their own set of strengths and areas for improvement. Tailoring call center coaching feedback to the individual agent with interaction insights can help them feel more valued, and understand that the coaching is subjectively made for them and is for their benefit. In turn, this can help boost their confidence and improve performance.

3. Positive and constructive reinforcement

It’s not all about what needs improvement or where agents are having the most difficulty with customers—positive feedback is equally important to effective call center coaching feedback. Celebrate your agents' wins, positive behaviors, and areas in which they are performing well to motivate them and reinforce desirable behaviors. As a result, agents will feel valued and confident in their abilities and continue to work effectively in the call center.

4. Continuous mining of insights for actionable coaching feedback

Encourage agents to view feedback as a part of their growth. Constructive feedback should be framed as an opportunity for learning and development, not criticism. Additionally, you can use conversation intelligence software to your advantage by measuring agent improvement over time. For example, let's say one of your agents is using advocacy language on 37% of their calls, and you set a goal for them to get to 40% by the end of the week. A conversation intelligence platform makes it easy to see if they're hitting their goal. 

Call center coaching feedback examples

Now that the best practices are clear, how can you take action to provide more effective call center coaching? To help you visualize how positive and constructive call center coaching feedback should be delivered, here are some examples:

Positive feedback

  • "Your ability to de-escalate that negative situation with the customer was great. You turned a negative situation into a positive experience for the customer."
  • "You provided a highly personalized experience for that customer on your last call, which I’m sure made them feel heard and valued."
  • "I saw you met your goal of increasing your use of expectation-setting language by 10% this week, and customers have clearer expectations after your calls."

Constructive feedback

  • "I noticed your average hold time exceeded 60 seconds. Can you walk me through what happened, so we can brainstorm ways to handle escalated calls more efficiently?"
  • "Your response to the customer was good. But remember to always offer further assistance before ending the call."
  • "I see you're using powerless-to-help language in 30% of your calls about billing issues. Let’s spend some additional time revisiting that issue to ensure you feel more confident and prepared."

Combining feedback

  • "Your product knowledge is impressive! I still think you can improve how you convey this information to be easier to follow for the customer. Try to avoid jargon, if possible."
  • "I've noticed when you use the term 'pro-rata cancellation,' it's leading to some customer confusion. I think you can add a clarifying statement after mentioning this to help eliminate customer confusion.”
  • “You do a great job at using the agent knowledge base for quick answers while on calls! Try and be a little more cognizant of the amount of time you’re placing a customer on hold while you do this.”
Positive agent feedback in comparison to constructive agent feedback

Measuring improvement over time

Call center leaders who are looking to improve their coaching feedback can use conversation intelligence platforms to track improvements based on both agents' individual goals and organizational standards. This helps agents keep tabs on their professional progress in coaching sessions, which can motivate and guide them on their continuous improvement path. Additionally, call center leaders can more closely monitor specific areas of improvement by agents individually instead of the entire team.

Final takeaways

A customer's interaction with a customer service agent can be enough to make or break their relationship with your company.  By investing in your agents’ professional growth through personalized coaching, you can improve both their performance and the customer experience.

Technology like QA automation and conversation intelligence platforms can provide the insights needed to make coaching sessions more effective and overcome the common challenge of limited call sampling or biased call reviews.

The heart of effective call center coaching feedback lies in the ability to guide and uplift agents, rather than criticize or control them. By incorporating best practices into your coaching and using encouraging, positive, and constructive phrases like the examples above, you'll be setting your agents—and your call center—up for success.

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