An Advice Column Only for
Contact Center Managers
We’ve had a number of questions submitted in recent weeks that seek advice on best practices for coaching contact center representatives and creating a culture where coaching is a mission-critical priority, not only for rep development but for achieving business goals and objectives.
A couple of months ago we hosted a forum for Certified Master Coaches from some of the country’s most prestigious and forward-thinking contact centers. As a treat to our readers, here are some of the best practices shared by our featured master coaches.
This is part one of a two-part series on coaching best practices. Part two will appear in the November issue of Challenge Solved.
Stephaine Huston, Service Performance Coordinator/Quality & Performance Management
from HealthNow of New York Inc.
“We have a recognition program strictly for supervisors who coach. Supervisors who have helped out other supervisors to ensure that they are reaching the coaching goal are recognized with the Life Saver Award. This particular award is given out frequently. We also have an award given to supervisors who come up with an innovative approach to coaching. In addition, we have an annual luncheon where we recognize the Supervisor Coach of the Year and Most Improved Supervisor. We want supervisors to know that their coaching efforts are notices that that the work they do each day really does have a big impact on our performance.”
Denita Johnson, CSCE Master Coach/WIIT – Communication Liaison from Toyota/Lexus Financial Services
“All of our team members are provided with 15 minutes each week to listen to and review their calls that are monitored by our Quality team. This really helps the team member if they have any questions. We also asked Quality to give specific feedback. If they are recognizing a team member as a champion for doing something well, they provide detailed feedback on exactly what the team member did. The same is true if a team member has an improvement opportunity. That’s been particularly instrumental in helping our team members feel like there is a partnership with QA.
“Also, last year we had exceptionally high service levels and some of our Quality Analysts assisted Customer Service by taking calls. That brought them a perspective that changed their view on how to monitor and score calls. The specific examples they give our team members to provide a more “wow” experience for the customer are realistic and detailed. Our team members love that feedback.”
Crystal Halter-Spratt, Master Coach
from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
“Our coaches are receptive to performance feedback. I meet with them 2-3 times per month. I give our coaches feedback in a personable, fun, and respectful way. I tell them that my goal is to provide feedback and learning opportunities that are aimed at enhancing their coaching role and career. I tell them that I want only the best for them, that I want to help them get to the next level, and that I want to put them out there in the spotlight. I make it all about them and focus on giving them what they need to be really good coaches. When I do have to give more difficult or constructive feedback, they know that I have only their best interests in mind.
“I also like to give coaches an opportunity to get out of our Columbia office and coach at our other two locations. This helps them to get a full perspective of what a Master Coach does. And I like to hear their ideas versus me sharing my ideas, to put the ball in their court and give them a fresh understanding of the different aspects of coaching by letting them get involved at a higher level.”
Carol Troxell, Business Analyst, Senior Care Division
from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
“I think one of the best ways to keep coaches engaged in the process, over time, is by keeping myself excited and engaged. I really like what I do and I’m committed to helping them. I know they are watching me so I’m always keeping it fun and fresh. I help them get excited about how they give feedback and how they are coaching and developing their team. I make sure they are actively working on campaigns with me and I’m always available to them, every day. And I found it really helps when I show them the payoff of all the great work they are doing. I tie FCR back to their coaching efforts and I take the time to show them how using the Ulysses behaviors impacts FCR.”
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UlyssesLearningwas founded in 1995 as a joint venture with Northwestern University’s Learning Sciences department and continues to bring clients new, innovative enhancements to its industry-leading training. Contact centers achieve profound business results, ahead of schedule, with Ulysses Learnings’ artful blend of patented simulation-based e-learning, facilitated exercises, coaching and tools, that redefine the way customers are cared for and transform customer service, sales, and coaching cultures. Ulysses has the only training proven to build emotional intelligence or “EQ” so that Judgment@WorkTM can be confidently, consistently, and expertly applied on every call.
Ulysses Learning is the 2017 Gold Stevie© Award winner for best contact center customer service training.