Call center coaching isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Here's how to lead your frontline

Ashley Sava

May 19, 2020

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Building a call center coaching culture is a continuous and active process. Coaches must lead by example, provide timely feedback specific in language and tailored to the individual while working to improve the agent’s ability to drive positive CX outcomes.

Call center coaching is a lot more complicated than simply managing agent performance. In order to maximize both employee performance and customer satisfaction, coaching involves close attention at the individual level. There is no single formula that can help each worker to reach their ultimate potential. Coaches must guide and lead the individual in a way so that the agents will have the tools they need to meet goals on their own.

Skills needed for call center coaching  

Not everyone is destined to lead a team. Coaches need to have specific skills in order to be successful in their positions. 

  • Coaches should have a high level of emotional intelligence and should be naturally empathetic. Being able to nurture productive relationships is critical in establishing good rapport. Those who are frustrated easily or who have the “if I want something done right I have to do it myself” attitude are better equipped for other positions.
  • Coaches must possess exceptional communication and listening skills. The reach of listening is virtually endless. For managers who have trouble allowing agents to arrive at their own solutions, a lack of true listening might be to blame. It’s impossible to practice effective communication if deep listening isn’t at play.
  • Coaches must not be predominantly focused at having their teams reach incentive goals. Agents must be motivated to arrive at their own solutions through learning and critical thinking.
  • Coaches should be able to guide the individual through problem solving rather than micromanaging the situations. Coaches shouldn’t teach what to think, but how to think more effectively.

Building a call center coaching culture

Stay in close touch with your team

The very best source regarding workplace issues and new ideas is your team. Encourage an open atmosphere where your team feels free to speak out on the problems they are experiencing while fielding calls with customers and to express things they are hearing about competitors. The more comfortable everyone feels, the more likely they are to share insights that just might inspire the next winning solution. 

Offer rolling feedback

No one should have to wait until their annual performance review to know where they stand. Coaching should be a regularly scheduled activity that continuously keeps team members in the know about how they are doing, where they can improve and what they can expect.  

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Hold managers to the highest standard

Your managers should be held accountable for their team members. They should have the resources they need to succeed in ensuring that all employees are prevailing in their roles. The more ownership leaders take, the more likely they are to maintain successful and productive teams. 

Empower your agents

Keep the focus on purpose, not on rules. Effective coaching should reflect the common purpose of meeting customer needs and advising employees on certain criteria they can utilize to handle customer interactions on their own. Highlighting this purpose gives meaning to your employees’ daily work.

Call center coaching benefits

Individual focus yields greater improvements

Everyone has different strengths, skills, weaknesses and personal goals. The same tactics simply won’t work for everyone. A coach is able to use what they learn about their team members to assess them individually and determine areas where support, growth opportunities and focus should stem. By taking this tailored approach, performance advancements simply happen more organically. 

Ownership for the win

Coaching gives individuals the breathing room to come up with their own solutions and work through how those solutions are arrived at. Organizations that seek higher levels of ownership from their team members must engage them frequently. This helps generate innovative solutions to ongoing challenges. Messages of support, trust and empowerment help keep individual ownership front and center.

A respected management style

It is proven that a more collaborative approach to management creates more loyal and more effective teams. Coaches should figure out what workers need in terms of training, development and motivation, and help them get what they need. Coaches care about the long-term professional development of their teams. They have a natural passion for teaching and enjoy watching the growth unfold before their eyes.

Use Tethr to target coaching:  Listen to calls and find the right examples for your coaching sessions. Compare the calls of best performing agents relative to everyone else and allow agents to learn from these examples during their coaching session.

Unlocking an agent’s potential to maximize their own performance means they need coaches who will invest in their learning, not just who will tell them what to do. Use Tethr to highlight best practices from top performers, dig into the trends taking place during your calls, test the progress of your call center coaching engagement and obtain same-day progress feedback for your coaching feedback and agent performance progress. Get on your way to better coaching skills today!

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