Maximize Agent Performance With the Right Coaching Tools

Posted by Mike Aoki on May 11, 2018
Mike Aoki
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Using audio and screen recording for coaching Agents

I was on a harbor dinner cruise when the captain made a slight change in the boat's direction. It seemed like a minor adjustment at first. However, that slight change eventually made a huge difference! Miles later, the boat had completely turned around thanks to a small course correction.

agent training-850

How does that apply to contact centers?

Coaching Agents on small weekly improvements leads to big results over time. However, coaching must be based upon accurate observation. Does your front line leadership team have the right technology to coach Agents?

“We only use side-by-side sit-ins for coaching” said one contact center manager. Sit-ins build rapport with your Agents. However, it distorts results because Agents are on their best behavior while their supervisor is sitting next to them. On the other hand, remote call recording and screen capture provides an unbiased look at your Agents’ true behavior. 

Agent coaching with an audio recording

Many Agents say, “I hate the sound of my voice on the recording!” However, they also add, “It helps you hear what you are saying and what the customer says.” Coaches and Agents can re-listen to the conversation by pausing and rewinding the call during a coaching session. That provides a reference point so, Coaches can help Agents develop better responses to certain customer situations. Without a recording, they may disagree about what was said during the call. But thanks to the recording, both parties can focus on learning to help future customers. 

Recordings enable you to help Agents learn the importance of a customer’s emotional tone, key words and motivations. Use recorded calls to train them to mirror and match customer speech patterns to build rapport. You can also spot and coach verbal tics such as excessive, "Uhms." Or, commonly misused phrases such as, "Bear with me" while they look up information. After all, a customer should never have to, "Bear with an Agent." The customer should be treated like an invited guest, not told to wait.

Agent coaching with a screen recording

"A picture is worth a thousand words." The addition of screen recording technology makes coaching even more effective. For instance, taking too long to find relevant information on the computer is one of the causes of high Average Handle Time (AHT). Screen recording technology can help you identify the problem. It is one thing to hear an Agent say, "I'm looking for your account right now." It is another to see exactly what your Agents see as they search, including the key words they use and the apps they view. Screen recording can help you coach your Agent on application usage and reduce unnecessary call times.

Leverage screen recording technology for up-selling. Failure to spot up-selling opportunities is a leading cause of poor sales results. Train your Agents to spot specific sales clues on a customer account by playing back the screen recording. For example, many telecom Agents look at long distance usage to see if they should suggest an upgrade plan.

Screen recording technology helps you coach Live Chat, SMS and Social Customer Care Agents. You see exactly what Agents see from their customers. Sometimes, Agents misread customer chats or overlook customer requests. This technology allows you to coach them on comprehension skills. You also see how often Agents type, edit and erase their words. So, you can coach them on writing style and efficiency. You can also coach them on how to multitask across two or three chats at once.

Customer Contact Week's "Contact Center Priorities for 2018" report states 61% of respondents indicated coaching is a priority investment for them this year. Call and screen recording equips your front line leaders with the tools they need to coach more effectively. It is worth the investment.

Tags: Customer Experience, CCaaS, CCTR Operations

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