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contact center coaching guide

Contact Center Coaching Guide: Tips & Tricks

Call coaching can be a challenge in any industry, but when it comes to contact centers, they have their own unique set of challenges. We’ll talk you through the tips and tricks we’ve learned from the top contact centers and the way they handle their call coaching.

Given the well-documented challenges that plague contact centers and their ability to coach reps, it comes as no surprise that call coaching is really no one’s favorite. But what exactly are the challenges that make contact center coaching such a tough task to tackle and is there any way to remedy them?

Before we can dive into the answer and advice we’ve received on contact center coaching, we need to establish the challenges and why so many contact centers struggle with the same issues.

Contact Center Coaching Challenges

1. One on One coaching takes time. Which means it doesn’t scale.

Think of the team you currently manage. If you were to provide 1 hour of coaching each week, how many hours would that take you? Let’s say you have a team of 15 to keep it simple.

That’s 15 hours a week that most contact centers aren’t spending coaching their agents.

That’s 15 hours that most managers don’t have.

This means you have to weigh what is most important when it comes to hitting your goals, and unfortunately for most contact centers, call coaching is something that gets left behind.

2. Time spent training takes away time from helping customers or prospects.

If you had each agent training or spending time with their manager for 1 hour per week – that’s 15 hours of not being on the phone with customers or prospects. With contact centers struggling to hire enough agents as it is, this wreaks havoc on their numbers. In most cases, it’s a no-go for companies.

3. Managers have to spend even more time preparing for coaching.

Becoming a good manager or a good coach for your team doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. The last thing you want is a manager who has bad training or coaching sessions with their agents. This depletes the trust they have in each other and can cause even more friction.

Good call coaching takes time to prepare and plan. This includes having an outline together, knowing which calls to review, giving the agents opportunities to practice, etc.

Becoming Successful With Contact Center Coaching

With many customers in the contact center space, we’ve learned quite a few tips and tricks that they’ve implemented and seen immediate success. As our company continues to grow, we want to share the highs and lows to help all companies grow.

Tip #1: Plan 2-3 Coaching Sessions Per Week

We know what you’re thinking… How in the world is this going to help? But trust us.

Contact centers that break up their call coaching sessions into multiple per week instead of spending one hour at a time have seen their agents become much more successful.

The first 15-20 minute coaching session each week allows agents to remember what was discussed and even start to focus on making improvements on the next call. Then each 15-20 minute session later in the week is reinforcing that coaching to see further adoption.

Tip #2: Create a monthly plan

Review what your agent’s strengths and weaknesses are. Don’t always spend time on their weaknesses, spend time on their strengths too. This is where a lot of contact centers fail. You can even alternate each week if that makes it easier to track.

Taking a step even further back, it’s important to create a theme for each month with where your coaching focus will be. Of course, you can have an impromptu week to focus on something that may come up that month on calls, but other weeks need to be focused and planned out.

Tip #3: Get specific

The best contact center coaching comes from very specific training. Drill down to a specific piece of the script or objection.

You can even get into the tone and speed of their talking. All of these things are very important to help your agents improve. Plus the more specific, the easier for your agents to implement.

Tip #4: Do things other managers aren’t willing to do

We see this across all industries, not just contact centers. Managers that are willing to be coached themselves and ask for feedback from their boss make a huge difference.

Then seek out the best coaches and learn from them. Whether you follow those people on social channels, read their books, or listen to podcasts, there is so much knowledge that you can learn to become a better manager. Use that to your advantage.

Tip #5: Keep it fun

This should be a no-brainer.

Add contests, giveaways, and competitions to keep your agents striving toward their goals. This will translate into your coaching skills as well. Contact center coaching does not need to be formal. It can be casual conversations that help your team get better.

This will also help you break up specific training sessions. Your team should know when it’s time to be serious versus when it’s a good time to have a casual conversation.

Whether you start your sessions by asking coaching questions, listening to call recordings to uncover coachable moments, or even decide to take a different approach entirely, remember to keep any session short, focused, and fun.

Real-Time Call Coaching Software – The Solution To Your Problems

If you find yourself struggling with any of the challenges we talked about earlier, we promise that real-time call coaching software can help you and your team. If you aren’t even sure about what real-time call coaching software is, no need to stress! We can show you how our software compares to other tools you may use and the pros/cons of both.

If Abstrakt doesn’t fit into your toolbox, we will let you know right away as we don’t like wasting your time.

But if you’re truly looking for a difference maker for your contact center coaching, real-time call coaching software is the answer. Abstrakt understands what top contact centers need and why every conversation matters.

Now get out there and make a difference with your agents.

Author

Clare Dobson - VP of Marketing

With experience from SaaS to home services to non-profits, Clare has built proven marketing strategies for various customers. She is passionate about the customer’s success as well as empowering those around her each and everyday.