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Proactive New Hire Training and Coaching = Engaged Agents

We know that coaching offers many benefits for our experienced agents so we design coaching programs for on-going employee development success. However, we may not have equally effective plans in place for introducing and rolling out coaching with our newly hired agents. The first few weeks on the job can be major turnover time if [...]

Share Your Contact Center Employees, Share Your Learning

Loaning out your employees to the rest of the business gives them fresh perspectives on career paths and spreads your knowledge to the rest of the organization – but it also brings knowledge back. I once led customer experience for a division of a Fortune 25 company. Knowing that the call center was where the [...]

By |September 12th, 2016|Agent Engagement, Best Practices / Metrics, Training / Coaching|

Why Operations VPs Need To Encourage Internal Customer Service Excellence

Recently I had a support team manager tell me that she had received feedback from a VP in the operations area of the company where she worked. He told her that he thought that all this “engagement” by her agents in emails and on calls to internal customers and co-workers was unnecessary “fluff”. She told [...]

Coaching Social Customer Service Agents

Coaching in our centers can involve a wide variety of coaching activities and communication skills. Our agents may be focused on only one type of customer interaction or a blend, depending on how our center functions and the level of agents we employ. Social media has become a major customer engagement opportunity for companies, whether [...]

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Leadership Fails

In honor of April Fool’s Day, I thought I’d share some of the most foolish things I’ve seen center leaders do. I’ll also share the wonderful things since there are many who have what it takes. EATING + COACHING = UNPROFESSIONAL: As I joined the supervisor for coaching, she told me the rep would be [...]

Stress in the Contact Center and What You Can Do About It

Anyone who has ever worked in a contact center knows stress. Being a workforce manager is like working in a never-ending game of tug-of-war – and you’re the rope! Operations managers expect perfect service levels, while training managers and supervisors expect regular training sessions – and all of this has to be scheduled without negatively [...]

Waterfall Coaching For Agent Engagement

One of the greatest opportunities for agent engagement — and yet from my observations, the least implemented — is the consistent involvement of top leadership in hands-on coaching activities and quality monitoring. Many C-suite and higher-level managers feel that coaching is an activity for the frontline leaders. Or they may do a lot of feedback “telling” in team meetings with [...]

By |January 12th, 2016|Agent Engagement, Innovation, Training / Coaching|

Coaching Challenges: Apple and Oranges

One of our coaching challenges is to find ways to balance the coaching of skills, that impact processes and solutions, with the soft-skills coaching needed for our agents to provide the empathy and personal touch that our customers want to receive. Sometimes we may feel like these skills are at opposite ends of the spectrum [...]

By |November 10th, 2015|Training / Coaching|

Why So Many Contact Center New Hires Fail

It’s a given that we spend a great deal of time and money recruiting and training agents for our centers. Sometimes we hire someone who looks great on paper and knows how to present themselves well in interviews, but they don’t make it past the training program. Even those who seemed so eager to work [...]

By |October 6th, 2015|Corporate Culture, Training / Coaching|

Too Many Process Cooks Spoil Customer Experience and Agent Support

Unfortunately, the story shared here is based on a real company event. Names have been changed to protect the innocent, but too bad the company name can’t be shared so they can be shamed for their part in poor customer experience and agent support. An agent recently told me about a customer service situation that demonstrates [...]

By |September 8th, 2015|Corporate Culture, Customer Experience, Training / Coaching|