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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 [...]

Go and See for Yourself

I recently came across the Japanese terms genchi genbutsu and genba; they're both key principles of the Toyota Production System, which comprises Toyota's management philosophy and best practices. While they are management principles/concepts, they apply not only to the employee experience but also to the customer experience. Let's look at some background and definitions first. [...]

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 [...]

The Challenges of Employee Retention

The phrase "employee retention" sends shivers down the spines of some folks. And it ought to. Employee turnover is expensive to any company in a variety of ways, not the least of which is the impact on the customer experience, too. According to Gallup: Engaged employees are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their [...]

By |February 23rd, 2016|Agent Engagement, Best Practices / Metrics, Training / Coaching|

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|

Strengthen Engagement with the Unique Talents of Your Frontline Workforce

I continue to be impressed by the Kimpton hotel chain. The staff was nothing short of amazing during my recent stay at their Alexis Hotel in Seattle. For this article, I imagined myself as a “mystery shopper” and engaged with several frontline workforce employees to find out more about their culture. I talked to the front [...]

By |October 1st, 2015|Corporate Culture, Customer Experience|

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|