Contact Center

Call Center Coaching Guide: Challenges, Techniques, and Best Practices

Team Convin
September 27, 2022
 mins read
Table of Content:

A study reveals that US businesses lose about $75 billion/year due to poor customer service. 

Like it or not, in today’s time, customers hold power, not the sellers. And thus, an exceptional customer experience is critical to the sustained growth of any business. 

What does positive customer experience management do?

A positive customer experience promotes brand loyalty, helps retain customers, and encourages brand advocacy. Thus, call center agents must always be well equipped to cater to the customers' evolving needs.

But, how do you ensure that your agents are continuously upskilling themselves to provide better customer service?

This is where call center coaching can be of great assistance. 

Both agents and team leaders can gain immensely from call center coaching programs. Companies where team leaders spend more time training and coaching, see team leads wasting very little time on admin work. 

Similarly, frontline agents witness a corresponding spike in sales conversion when there is an ongoing coaching program.  

Coaching contact center agents and investing in their development is imperative to a contact center. The question is, are there any measurable benefits to this? Research suggests that the answer is a YES. 

Contact center coaching is critical for improving agent performance and customer satisfaction. Coaching contact center agents empowers them to learn new skills, hone the existing ones, receive valuable feedback for improvement, and fix any potential problems they experience during customer interactions.

Haven't we all dealt with call center coaching challenges? Even though you might feel alone in these struggles, most of these issues are common. This ultimate guide will help you master the art of coaching in no time.

Today’s blog will cover:

1. How does Call Center Coaching Impact Your Business?

  • Boost Employee Engagement
  • Enhance Agent Efficiency
  • Improve Brand Reputation
  • Attract Top Talent
  • More Confident Employees
  • Improve Key Performance Indicators
  • Higher Profits
  • Greater Productivity

2. Challenges of Call Center Coaching

  • Effective Call Center Coaching is Time-Consuming
  • Call Center Coaching is Not Scalable
  • Coaching Wreaks Havoc on Contact Center Bandwidth
  • Managers Lack Visibility Into the Activities of Agents
  • Agents Can't Ask Managers to Provide More Information During Live Coaching

3. Essential Coaching Techniques to Build Top Performers

4. Four Best Practices For Call Center Coaching

  • Feedback Mechanism to Improve Engagement
  • Personalized Plans of Action
  • Real-Time Analysis of Agents’ Progress
  • Investing in Soft Skills Coaching

How Does Call Center Coaching Impact Your Business?

With the advancement in technology, a call center is available 24/7. Your customers can email or text you anytime. The contact center facilitates your services anytime your customers need assistance through workflow automation.

Call center coaching dashboard presenting comparative analysis of agents performance and leaderboard.

Moreover, with various call center coaching tools at disposal, leaders today can help provide better results while also developing the next generation of leaders within the organization. 

Here's how call center coaching can help: 

1. Boost Employee Engagement

Continuing coaching shows agents you care about their progress as employees and individuals. As a result, they feel more included in the company, leading to increased engagement and productivity. 

2. Enhance Agent Efficiency

Call Center Coaching can reduce your agents' time to resolve customer queries (Average Handle Time/AHT). For a contact center, an optimized AHT leads to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty & retention.

3. Improve Brand Reputation

Most companies are competing based on customer experience. Thus, consistently quick & proactive customer service can lead to higher customer satisfaction. Happy customers are more likely to make a purchase again & advocate for your company to others. 

4. Attract Top Talent

Research reveals that 68% of employees consider coaching and development a critical workplace policy. Companies attract top talent by offering contact center training and development & gaining a competitive advantage.

5. More Confident Employees

A significant lack of confidence can be detrimental to employee satisfaction and, thus, high-quality customer service. If your agents are not confident enough, it can be quite challenging to boost customer confidence. However, the good news is that providing your call center agents with adequate coaching opportunities can increase their confidence and help them reach their full potential in their respective skillset.

6. Improve Key Performance Indicators

Call center coaching is one of the best ways to ensure better customer satisfaction. The key is to tailor-make your call center coaching programs to identify the areas and KPIs most important to your success, including NPS (Net Promoter Score), CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score), ART (Average Resolution Time) & FCR (First Contact Resolution).

7. Higher Profits

Companies that invest in comprehensive training/coaching earn a 24% higher profit margin. Thus, one of the most significant benefits of contact center coaching is improving your bottom line. Learning and development are not just essential to meet your goals of providing excellent customer service, but it’s also a valid growth strategy.

8. Greater Productivity

It is no surprise that the more efficient your agents are, the lower your costs and the greater your profit. The key to achieving greater productivity through coaching is to track KPIs & then implement coaching programs focused on improved performance.

Challenges of Call Center Coaching

Call Center Coaching programs act as a one-stop support tool that makes knowledge readily available at the right time, facilitating smooth communications between customer service teams and customers. 

Even while harnessing the power of AI and machine learning, leaders can still run into several issues during call center coaching. Some of these include:

1. Effective Call Center Coaching is Time-Consuming

An effective call center coaching session takes serious preparation. Being in a conference room/meeting with disengaged agents may not be an ideal way you imagine coaching, so preparation and planning are essential.

But even armed with contact center coaching outlines, leaders must put in work before a session.

2. Call Center Coaching is Not Scalable

Suppose a call center manager/leader has an excellent 30-min coaching session with an individual agent. If there are 100 agents in total, it would mean more than two full days and well over a whole work week.

Even if the call center manager may want to provide training to the rest of the agents, it is almost impossible to deploy at scale.

3. Coaching Wreaks Havoc on Contact Center Bandwidth

While it’s easy for call center supervisors/leaders to initiate a live coaching session, it’s not as simple for agents to do so while handling a call.

During call center coaching sessions, call center agents must stop talking with customers or prospects, which is their primary job. With so many call centers already at capacity, that’s a big no-no.

4. Managers Lack Visibility Into the Activities of Agents

Call center managers have a holistic view of their agents' actions at any given point (live calls, agent status, etc.)

However, this information is only helpful for live agent coaching sessions if supervisors constantly check their live reporting for calls being handled by trainees. Otherwise, they will likely have no knowledge of such calls and subsequently miss critical coaching opportunities.

5. Agents Can't Ask Managers to Provide More Information During Live Coaching 

When call whispering is used as the primary vehicle for live coaching, agents can’t communicate with managers in the phone call. This often results in a one-sided conversation where the manager can speak to the agent, but the agent cannot easily ask the manager for clarification or further help.

Live coaching sessions can do more harm than good without the ability to close the feedback loop.

Essential Coaching Techniques to Build Top Performers

Call centers to implement rigorous training programs as part of the onboarding process for newly hired agents. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective techniques for call center coaching:

  • Allowing agents to perform a self-assessment gives managers a platform to explore the weaknesses and strengths of agents more clearly and openly.
  • Constructive criticism and positive reinforcement keep agent morale high. Even with negative feedback, the agent must find a sense of reassurance that they have ample scope for improvement.
  • Managers or top-performing agents can role-play as customers and conduct all customer interactions during agent coaching to improve the agents’ skills.
  • Coaching sessions must be used for expectation management and goal setting as a collaborative effort between the manager and the agent.

4 Best Coaching Practices to Build Top Performers

In addition to the call center coaching techniques mentioned above, here is a list of best practices to ensure all your coaching efforts are successful & yielding results:

1. Feedback Mechanism to Improve Engagement

Recognizing the accomplishment of the agents and congratulating them is crucial for your employee morale. It will always motivate them to perform well & boost the agent’s performance, while the rest of the other employees try to achieve better than them.

Moreover, knowing what your customers think of your product/service is also imperative to increasing customer satisfaction. Giving your customers the option to provide feedback for each customer service interaction is a great way to evaluate the scope for improvement.

This feedback can be collected through surveys at the end of the call or a separate email. Implementing the feedback gathered from your customers will make them feel more assured, resulting in improved satisfaction scores and a better customer experience. 

2. Personalized Plans of Action

Every agent is different and thus has unique requirements in terms of call center coaching programs. AI-based analytics must be considered in these programs to get away with manual human errors. 

While an ideal automated tool helps agents upskill themselves, administrators can also create customized programs to cater to the individual requirements in terms of the respective strengths & weaknesses of agents.

Personalized automated coaching recommendations for individual agents.

This helps agents with an intuitive knowledge base to hone their skills further & thus increase customer satisfaction.

3. Real-Time Analysis of Agents' Progress

It is essential to keep the information gathered about the performance of any agent private. Having enough data on the agents' performance & progress helps the managers understand the potential for growth each agent has.

On the other hand, if an agent outperforms others in a particular category, it should be highlighted, congratulated & incentivized. This is an ideal way to customize call center agent coaching to suit company needs.

4. Investing in Soft Skills Coaching

While it is essential to coach agents on the subject matter, it is equally important to coach them on soft skills.

Communication, emotional intelligence, initiative, teamwork, empathy & problem-solving are examples of soft skills that help an agent interact with the customer and thus provide a quality customer experience. 

Turn Agent Potential Into Performance

Call center agent coaching, as a process, is under continuous evolution. Thus, it is only when companies adopt these basic outlines that they will be able to suit their agents' requirements, helping them excel compared to the competitors.

For a long time, call center coaches have viewed coaching as a necessary yet endlessly frustrating task. But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

At Convin, we’re passionate about call center coaching. We understand call center conversations and help businesses experience accurate and unbiased auditing of customer calls. 

With Convin, agents receive focused micro coaching on every single conversation, thus transforming their performance & enhancing customer experience. But that’s not all, managers and leaders can track much more than that…

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2093 Philadelphia Pike #5025
Claymont, Delaware 19703
(+1) 6282095776
Bhive Workspace No.112,AKR
Techpark, A-Block, 7th Mile
Hosur Road, Krishna Reddy,
Industrial Area,
+91 7011464590, +91 8802881329