As Contact Center managers, you have a lot of power. OK…some days it sure doesn’t seem that way, but you really do. Your supervisors and quality team are listening to you and are observing what you are focused on.
When you talk about metrics, what are you saying to them? If you talk purely “number” goals all the time, your quality coaches will be talking just “numbers” too. They’ll often repeat what you are saying word for word during their coaching sessions with agents.
When metrics are discussed during individual agent coaching sessions, you need to make sure that your “coach” knows how to explain them in terms of Customer Experience.
One of the metrics numbers that seems to get a bad rap these days is the length of the call. Some coaches aren’t bringing it up at all in coaching sessions. There were some managers who actually tracked and rewarded based on the length of call “metric” set. Some don’t reward but are seemingly obsessed with setting a number for call length average based on studying this metric if reported by any other call center in the universe.
I’m a proponent of monitoring and coaching all types of calls. Long, short and in between. I don’t advocate setting an exact length of call goal for every call and then holding agents’ feet to the fire. I do advocate learning if the call was handled appropriately in a likewise appropriate amount of time.
Long Calls: When I hear lengthy agent calls, I think about my Dad’s famous driving “shortcuts” whenever he took our family somewhere. When he mentioned that he knew quicker route, my Mom would roll her eyes and we knew what was coming. We could always plan on adding 20 plus minutes to the original length of the trip. Hopefully the shortcut would involve a stop for ice cream. My father seemed to find ice cream regardless of the route. His passenger “customers” at least were given a treat for their troubles and perhaps that was his true goal.
Some of our agents don’t see the service or sales target straight ahead, but instead, go in circles on their way to closure. they are not taking the simplest and shortest route to reach the customer goal.
Unfortunately we don’t have virtual ice cream to offer our customers who are stuck in lengthy calls that seem to be going nowhere.
Short Calls: When calls are too short, I worry too because the agent may have missed an opportunity to be proactive, add some additional tips, or listen better for clues for upselling and cross-selling clues. Worse still are the agents who blend speed with talking over customers. Sally may have taken twice as many calls as the other agents, but what is happening during those calls? Are they brusque and disinterested sounding, even though she took care of “business”?
Metrics should always be a part of coaching as long as they mean something to the customer and our business needs.
I love to see quality monitoring forms for calls that incorporate metrics as well as the soft skills and other skills needed for best quality.
We just need to make sure that our coaches aren’t just reading metrics numbers to agents, but are instead preparing for their coaching sessions by reviewing those numbers and how they relate to skills demonstrated and the overall customer experience.
Filed under: Call Center, Call Center Manager, Call Center Metrics, Call Center Supervision, Call Monitoring, Coaching Skills, Contact Center, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Employee Development, Inside Sales, Metrics, Proactive Customer Service, Quality, Quality Assurance, Training | Tagged: Call Center, Call centre, Coach, Coaching, Contact Center, contact centre, customer experience, customerservice, EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT, Inside Sales, Metrics, Quality assurance, Supervisor Skills | 8 Comments »