Have you ever had a coach or manager offer such helpful, or not so helpful, advice? Did it make you want to jump right in to the conversation and ask for guidance or did you, as most of us do, get defensive and try to explain your actions?
In his article “Coaching, Don’t Make Your Agents Defend Stupidity”, Mike Aoki asks why we have a tendency to create such defensiveness especially since you cannot change the past; “How would you feel if you had to justify your past behavior? Would you get upset?” Most of us do get upset and try to fight back. Instead, Mike suggests that we focus on the future, not the past where there is nothing we can change or do. For your agents, that means concentrating on their next call and customer. It also means talking about what the agent might do next time they encounter a particular scenario.
Longtime coach and industry expert, Beverly Stryker takes coaching to the future a step further and recommends that a coach leave the solution up to the agent. Simply asking the representative what a good approach might entail and how might they communicate it with the customer. Allow them to determine what they will do for a better experience. That way, she says, they will more likely take ownership and not have a tendency to blame you if the solution doesn’t go well.
So, is there ever a time to reflect and talk about the past? Yes! says Mike…take the opportunity to build trust and compliment the agent for a job well done when you catch them doing something right.
Most contact center leaders recognize that their centers play an integral role in the customer experience and journey. As noted in the Envision blog “Your Agents Are the Most Important Touch Point in the Customer Journey: If contact center leaders wish to improve the customer experience, then they must start with their “first line of defense”—their agents. With agents being the most important touch point in the customer journey, contact center leaders must give their agents the necessary tools to wow customers and agent coaching really is the linchpin for success.
Mike Aoki is a popular conference speaker and seminar leader. His company, Reflective Keynotes Inc.helps organizations improve their contact center sales, customer service and management skills. http://www.reflectivekeynotes.com/
Beverly Stryker has 25+ years in staffing (including interviewing and hiring), training, quality assurance, and developing performance. The past 20 years have been focused on the contact center industry. Other industries worked in are retail, wireless, healthcare, and technology. She is skilled at the management level of training, quality assurance ("This call may be recorded..."), performance development, training leaders to coach, mentor, and develop their direct reports. http://www.russell-stryker.com/
For more than 20 years, Envision has been providing award winning solutions that optimize customer experience by turning data from customer interactions into action, making an intelligent impact on your business that leads to exceptional customer experiences. With our integrated line of Click2Coach products, in the cloud or on premise, customers get voice of the customer analysis, automated scorecards, performance management, desktop analytics, speech analytics, interaction and compliance recording, quality management, workforce management and coaching and eLearning. http://www.envisioninc.com/