Mike Aoki

Mike Aoki
Mike Aoki is the President of Reflective Keynotes Inc. (http://www.reflectivekeynotes.com ), a training company that helps contact centers improve their sales and customer retention results. A contact center expert, Mike serves on the advisory council of the Greater Toronto Area Contact Center Association and was Master of Ceremonies for five of their Annual Conferences. He was also chosen by ICMI.com as one of the “Top 50 Customer Service Thought Leaders on Twitter” for the past four years.
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Recent Posts

Outsourced vs. In-House Customer Service

Posted by Mike Aoki on Jul 11, 2018

Benefits and Challenges of Outsourced Customer Service

When facing a choice of whether to outsource Customer Service or build an in-house department, many companies rush to compare the cost. But there are more aspects that you should consider. In this post, we brought two experts' opinions to give you a better perspective on both sides of the coin. 

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Tags: Customer Experience, CCaaS, CCTR Operations

Maximize Agent Performance With the Right Coaching Tools

Posted by Mike Aoki on May 11, 2018

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.

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.

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Tags: Customer Experience, CCaaS, CCTR Operations

Are You Preparing Your Agents for the Next Wave of Contact Center Technology?

Posted by Mike Aoki on Mar 12, 2018

A major contact centre recently invested in a state of the art live chat system. It included pre-written responses and an easy to use interface for juggling multiple chats at once. It was a masterful piece of technology. However, senior leaders were puzzled by the results. The expected gains in productivity were not materializing. Veteran Agents - raised on handling one voice call at a time - only felt comfortable handling one chat at a time.

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Tags: Customer Experience, CCaaS

Omnichannel Contact Center Is No Longer Optional

Posted by Mike Aoki on Jan 24, 2018

How Much Revenue Are You Losing by Not Offering Omnichannel Customer Service?

I needed more information before buying a product. I checked a seller’s website, but they only offered telephone customer service. That may have been acceptable five years ago. However, voice customer service accounted for only 64% of customer contacts in 2017, according to a Deloitte Global Contact Center Survey. That is projected to decline to just 47% next year. Instead, web chat, text/SMS, email, social media and video customer care will comprise the majority of customer contacts. 

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Tags: Customer Experience, CCaaS

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