Managing staff—in any form--is hard work and requires a well-stocked repertoire of people skills, business acumen, and the ability to juggle multiple projects and deal with pressure.
For those of you who manage call centers and support centers, you are tasked with watching operational costs in addition to dealing with a team of agents. Your managerial skills can mean the difference between an effective call center or one that’s failing. Good management requires a heavy-dose of both intuition and technique, and each circumstance requires a personalized blend of skills. When practicing call center coaching, there are a mix of methods that we’ve seen work particularly well. Below we outline 5 top call center coaching tips to add to your toolbox. We’ll tackle another 5 in the next post.
What will be improved?
By how much or how many?
If you can’t specify how you’ll measure your goals, go back to the drawing board.
For example, say you set a goal in Step 1 of completing a coaching course so you can become certified in the Support Staff Excellence program. That’s your goal—completion of the course. Your action plan will define how you reach your goal. Here's how you might write that action plan:
“Set aside two hours every week on Monday and Wednesday to go through the support center coaching curriculum. Next will be to pick three new skills from the course every week and apply it at work. Based on the study schedule, I’ll be ready to take the test by October 15th.”
Positive thinking has been credited with everything from stress reduction to better health. In a work environment, staying positive is just as powerful. So how do you apply the “power of the positive” to your call center coaching? To start, examine your language. Take these two examples:
“Unless you make those callbacks to the customers right away, there’s no way we’ll be able to give them the information about the promotion.”
“We can still make this happen. If you can make those callbacks to the customers within the next few hours, we’ll be able to get them the promotional information before it’s too late.”
If you were a call center agent, which phrase would you be more apt to respond to: the sentence with the negative slant, or the sentence with the positive? Which would you find more motivating? Think about your language and all of the conversations you have daily with your agents and fellow managers. How often are you communicating using positive language versus negative? Try this: Next time, before you ask an agent to do something, or give feedback, re-phrase your words so they’re positive and see what type of reaction you receive.
In call center coaching, try the following tips to improve your listening:
Knowing how and when to use humor will make you more approachable, more likeable, and more human to the people you work with.
Publish Date: June 13, 2012 7:43 PM