Call center coaching is a vital part of Quality Assurance. It ensures consistent high performance from staff members, keeping them fully equipped to handle calls in the best possible manner to benefit the business and ensure great service for customers.
Well, that's the idea anyway.
Having worked in a call center as both an agent and a manager, unfortunately the idea is often a far cry from the reality.
Picture this. You're working the phone lines, going about your day answering the phone as usual, then all of a sudden an email comes through to tell you one of your calls has been subject to a QA assessment. "Here we go again" is usually the thought that springs to mind first. You open it up, check your score, and skim through the accompanying notes. You may even have a brief chat with your manager and receive some generalised advice and told to buck your ideas up before getting back to business.
"Well, at least that's over until next week."
From my own experience working as both an agent and a manager in a call center environment, the above unfortunately perfectly describes how QA scenarios often play out.
From the manager's perspective, they're following the QA procedure the best they can, juggling it among all their other responsibilities, but team members aren't improving quickly enough.
On the agent's side, these quick chats they're having are all well and good, but the way they see it they're not being given enough insight or meaningful feedback on how to maximise their potential. Whilst their manager is making valid points, it can be very difficult to relate them back to their performance on a specific event that in all probability happened several days ago. With their low QA score it can just feel a bit demoralising and punitive.
Whilst neither party is really at fault, the above circumstances can cause both to simply go through the motions, doing and saying what they have to but not really buying into the notion that this process will lead to improvement.
The logical question to ask is how we change this state of affairs and successfully achieve the end goals we aim for every day in our QA procedures. Well, we set about transforming Quality Assessment into a genuine rewarding coaching experience. Several possibilities come to mind on how to achieve this:
1) Maximize time to coach.
One major problem managers face is that they are often spinning several plates at the same time, so sitting down and listening to one or more whole calls so they can have a coaching conversation can be incredibly frustrating. You need something to take the heavy lifting off you and point you to possible coachable moments.
2) Relatable coachable moments
I'd be very rich indeed if I had a dollar for every time something is mentioned in a coaching conversation that the agent doesn't even remember ever happening. With no reference point as to precisely what they need to improve on, how can someone know what they need to do differently? Along with their overall score, being able to relate feedback to a certain moment in one of their interactions is vital for an agent.
3) Enable revisiting of feedback
Too many coaching conversations and QA procedures encourage a 'one and done' attitude, in which once the conversation is had and the scores seen they are very quickly forgotten about. Agents need somewhere they can be encouraged to revisit the feedback of managers and QA teams in order to reinforce the desired changes in behavior. If they can be afforded the ability to reference best-in-class examples from their colleagues even better.
Refract's AI ensures that as a coach you are given actionable statistics on speaking vs listening statistics and keyword frequency, not to mention highlighting and timestamping key moments for you based upon the use of certain words and phrases. Feedback can be logged against these moments and revisited at any time by the agent, and it all sits alongside and works in tandem with your existing QA form, which can be recreated digitally in Refract.