What is REALLY happening on your contact center floor?

Pustelak-Lisa-174-3By Lisa Pustelak, RCDA Senior Consultant

Have you observed first-hand how much coaching your team leaders are doing? Have you listened to your agents talk with your customers, and are they following the call flow with enthusiasm? What about training? Have you participated in new-hire or leadership training?

Ask yourself, “When is the last time I sat in on a coaching session, listened to calls from several agents or sat in on a training session for my front line?” Unfortunately, when we look at what site leaders think is happening on the floor, it is not always what is really happening.

Getting back in touch with reality

Here are a few suggestions for SVPs of operations, directors, managers and other contact center team members to help get you back in touch with reality at your site:

1. Open the door. I realize you have a lot of meetings and conference calls, and sometimes you need quiet with no interruptions. However, if your door is closed all the time, it’s likely you’re missing out on great ideas not being shared with you, concerns about processes that could be easily fixed, knowledge of the real buzz on the floor and more. Open your door as much as possible.

2. Walk the floor with purpose. Have you ever noticed how well things go when you do actually make it out on the floor? It’s amazing to see the skills people will demonstrate when “the big guy or gal” happens to be standing nearby – especially when it’s an unusual occurrence.

When did you last go out on the floor to listen closely to what was going on? Listen to how the agents are talking to customers, listen to how your team leaders are talking to their teams, and watch how much time people spend at their desks versus interacting with their teams.
Walk the floor multiple times daily with the purpose of understanding what is really happening.

3. Observe multiple coaching sessions. This is the area we typically have to focus on first and foremost when we arrive to support a site. Coaching is typically not done consistently let alone effectively. It’s not the team leaders’ fault. In most cases they haven’t been taught how to coach effectively. Fortunately, this is one of many areas where we can help. Improving coaching effectiveness and consistency can greatly improve your KPIs. Spend some extra time this week observing the coaching sessions that are happening on your floor (or the lack thereof).

4. Visit training classes regularly. When was the last time you observed a new- hire training class—not just going in to introduce yourself and welcome everyone but to observe at length how it’s delivered? When did you last ask some of your new agents what they liked most about training and what they need more of? When did you last attend a refresher training someone on your team was delivering?

Training is one of the most important tools we have, yet it is not delivered effectively in many cases. We must realize that just because someone is a good agent and has been promoted, it doesn’t mean they have good speaking skills. When did your company last provide public speaking or platform skills training?

5. Listen to many calls. Your biggest opportunity for improvement starts with listening to what’s happening on calls daily. Recently, we listened to calls of top sellers for a client. In short, we found many opportunities that could be addressed site-wide to improve customer satisfaction.

This is all about the ever-popular phrase “inspect what you expect.” It seems simple enough, yet we get very busy in our day-to-day activities. Our calendar is full of conference calls and other activities that overfill our plate and cause us to forget to keep our eyes on the pieces of the business that have the biggest impact on our performance.

Get out of your office today and find out what is really happening on your floor!

To learn more about how RCDA can help you implement consistent and effective coaching and more, please visit http://robertcdavis.net/about-rcda/capabilities/.