A Complete Guide to Call Center Coaching

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When running a call center, you must take the appropriate steps to ensure your agents get all the training they need to work at their best. With the proper training, a new start at your business can transform an agent into a confident, productive worker and a credit to your company. It’s fair to say, then, that the importance of call center coaching can’t be overstated.

Many contact call center managers feel daunted by the sheer number of coaching options out there. In this article, we’ll break down these training options and explain what call center coaching is, why it’s so important, and what areas to focus on to help your employees get the most out of training.

What Is Call Center Agent Coaching?

Call center coaching is one of the main ways that call center managers maintain a high-quality level of service among their staff. By providing tailored feedback, quality call examples, performance reviews, and training activities, decision-makers can help foster efficient call center agents with a real talent for customer service.

Why Is Call Center Training Important?

We have briefly alluded to the importance of coaching in call center jobs, but why exactly is training so crucial to running an excellent contact center? In this section, we’ll answer this question by illustrating three ways in which coaching can help your business.
  • Improve Operator Engagement
    Providing your agents with quality coaching programs helps demonstrate how much you care about their personal development—not only within the context of the business but also as people. This, in turn, will increase company loyalty, encouraging engagement and productivity among your staff members.
  • Increase Employee Efficiency
    Putting in place effective coaching programs can also help you target specific issues within your agents, increasing their overall efficiency and productivity.
    For example, if you’ve noticed that one of your call center agents has a high Average Handle Time (AHT), you can use training to better equip them with the knowledge they need to handle specific customer queries. In implementing such training, you should see a decrease in their AHT and a rise in customer satisfaction.
  • Enhance Company Reputation
    By increasing the performance and efficiency of your call center agents through training, thereby providing clients with service of consistently high quality, you will be more likely to receive position customer reviews. This is an effective way of building a positive company reputation and increasing sales.

Different Coaching Techniques in Call Center Training

Now that we’ve explained how coaching call center agents can benefit your center, we will describe the various training methods available to you. There are lots of different training methods for you to choose from, giving you the freedom to choose the coaching techniques most well-suited to your business.

So, to find out more about call center coaching models and in what scenarios these types of training can be useful, read on!
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Call Center Coaching Areas You Should Focus On

When putting into place a call center coaching action plan, you no doubt have a specific goal in mind. However, you may wonder: what are the most important areas to focus on when training my agents? What coaching areas will make the biggest difference to my call center’s overall performance?

In this section, we explain the four most important call center coaching areas you should build your training programs around.
Area 1: Product and Service Knowledge

Contact centers are often a client’s first port of call whenever they have a query about goods or services your company provides. As such, your call center agents should receive coaching to teach them about the goods and services you offer.

Training your team members about the ins and outs of your products and services has a few key benefits:
  • It lends agents a greater degree of confidence when dealing with customer queries.
  • It allows agents to make a good initial impression with new clients.
  • It fosters your customers’ trust and confidence in your brand.

With Selmo, you can set up a decentralized knowledge base with all the necessary information. That way, your agents know where to find all the information they’ll ever need about your services and can revise what they learned during training.
Area 2: Client Interaction Skills

Your agents can know your company like the back of their hand, but if they don’t have the interpersonal skills to back that knowledge up they won’t meet with much success in the customer service industry. Through training, try to encourage the following behavior in your agents:

  • Seeing things from the customer’s point of view, even when the client is being difficult
  • Practicing active listening, paying careful attention to what the customer has to say
  • Matching the client’s energy, whether they’re excitable and bubbly or more laid back
  • Personalizing the conversation and showing genuine interest in the individual

Scripts can help your call center agents stay on track and ensure they use the right kind of language without sacrificing that crucial aspect of personalization. At Selmo, scripting is one of the many features we offer.
Area 3: Phone Etiquette

When talking with customers on the phone, agents will be expected to maintain a certain standard of etiquette. First, coach your operators to be as communicative as possible throughout the conversation, alerting the customer to the fact that calls are recorded for training purposes.

Secondly, agents should remain patient when dealing with difficult customers and should receive training on de-escalation techniques and avoiding aggressive language.

Finally, and most importantly, make sure all your agents are coached in the latest compliance regulations.
Area 4: Soft Skill Development

Last but not least, coaching is an effective method of teaching clients the various soft skills they need to be capable in their role. A well-developed set of soft skills can help agents deal with virtually any situation, coming up with the perfect solution there and then.
Examples of such skills include listening skills, conflict resolution, assertiveness, and empathy.

Best Practices for Effective Call Center Coaching

We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of effectively coaching call center employees. But how can you implement successful coaching in a call center to begin with? In this section, we’ll answer that very question, explaining the best practices for effective training regimes.
Make Use of the Tools Available
We’ve already explained the benefits of using something like our call recording feature, but there are many more tools out there that can help you run useful training programs.  

Here at Selmo, we provide an essential addition to your call center tool kit: call center analytics. With this, you’re able to track the performance of individual agents and your business as a whole, meaning you are more able to implement effective coaching sessions catered to your employee’s needs.
Outline and Monitor Key Performance Indicators
KPIs are an important part of running any business and planning training sessions. These metrics allow you to see at a glance where your company could stand to improve and where your agents excel. 

To ensure your training targets the right areas and to make sure your call center agents get all they can out of coaching, use KPIs to see where you should turn your attention. Our platform includes a range of features designed to help you meet these call center KPIs, including call monitoring, interactive scripts, call recording, and more.
Encourage Customers to Leave Feedback
Honest feedback from your customers makes it even easier to plan effective coaching sessions. If the same criticisms come up again and again in client reviews, then it may be worth reviewing the issue and providing specially tailored training material to enhance agent performance.
Create a Knowledge Base for Call Center Agents
To save your agents time and to make it easier for them to find answers to client questions if they get stuck, you should keep all necessary information in a collaborative knowledge base.

When new hires are brought on board, they may feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information thrown at them. With access to this database, they can double-check answers themselves, without having to rely on help from management.
To run a successful call center—or, indeed, any business—it’s important that you have trained, fully-qualified staff members to help boost performance. To this end, implementing coaching schemes is an absolute necessity.
This article has discussed some of the most common call center coaching forms, explaining when it would be appropriate to use them and elaborating on what changes you can expect to see with effective training sessions.

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