Contact centers: The case for coaching and The Quality Conversation

By Brad Baumunk, President and COO, Robert C. Davis and Associates

Let’s talk about the value of a coach in someone’s life. Consider the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “What I need is someone who will make me do what I can.” We all need a little nudge from time to time. A coach can do that. At every level of sports, we see coaches who help the team perform and do what they can. Individuals are searching for coaches as personal trainers or as life coaches. Top-performing Olympic athletes, professional golfers and tennis players all have coaches. It is clear that the coach’s role is important. It is essential, in fact, to taking performance to the highest levels and to maximizing professional and personal success.

Recently, we saw an article about a top-notch surgeon who decided that as good as he was, he could benefit from having a coach. So he asked his former medical school professor to observe him in the operating room and coach him. The surgeon was astounded at the insights and the suggestions for improvement he received from his old professor. The point is that most everyone, even a surgeon at the top of his game, can benefit from some coaching.

Coaching for breakthrough performance

Contact center team members need coaching from leadership for a variety of reasons. In the role of a coach, the leader:

  • Provides direction, leadership and inspiration.
  • Helps representatives achieve higher performance.
  • Must be able to clarify the team’s direction, support their needs and develop their skills and abilities to suit the obstacles they must overcome.
  • Uplifts team energy, morale and focus.
  • Supports and models the overall company goal and values.

Continuous improvement process

Robert C. Davis and Associates (RCDA) has developed a robust continuous improvement process (CIP). The key is to create sustainable change by engaging leadership at all levels to create a feedback and development loop focused on identifying and coaching to behaviors. Proper coaching is key to developing and retaining the right employees. The process includes:

  • Floor management strategy – We have created a floor management strategy to drive leadership accountability using a strategic daily schedule for each member of the leadership team. The schedule is designed to provide adequate floor coverage and support performance development, the customer experience, first-time resolution, goal achievement and the daily needs of the business.

The strategy balances operations on the production floor to ensure team leaders spend at least 50% of their time focusing on activities that drive representatives’ continuous performance improvement.

The strategy specifies the daily schedule for all leaders and facilitates daily plans for completing critical activities.

  • Coaching Tactics – In accordance with the CIP, our programs include an a la carte menu of coaching tactics customized to each client’s needs. 
    • Tactic 1: Monthly Performance Review
    • Tactic 2: Skill Transfer Training
    • Tactic 3: Side-by-Side Coaching
    • Tactic 4: Huddles
    • Tactic 5: Week In the Life Of (WILO) – Structured Day
    • Tactic 6: Reducing Attrition Through the Stay Interview Process
    • Tactic 7: Quick Laps – Management by Walking Around
  • All CIP activities are designed to:
    • Improve communications and the customer experience.
    • Improve leadership, supervisor and representative development.
    • Create a sense of belonging.
    • Improve performance and reduce attrition.

Each activity is designed to enhance the other activities, with the floor management strategy as the blueprint, creating a continuous feedback loop.

The Quality Conversation

RCDA incorporates a methodology we developed called The Quality Conversation into call flows.

The Quality Conversation is a meaningful and mutually rewarding dialog that occurs when a person takes and clearly conveys a genuine interest in another individual’s wants, interests and needs (WINs). It goes beyond building rapport to make an emotional connection and establish real trust. Practicing The Quality Conversation with authenticity and proper skills shows others that you truly care and are genuinely interested in them.

We aim to create an experience our clients and their customers can’t find anywhere else. The Quality Conversation also empowers us to interact with clients in ways that ensure positive experiences from the first moment any team member interacts with us.

All in all, our approach to coaching combined with The Quality Conversation methodology has driven millions of dollars in added revenue for our clients through improved sales, retention, customer service and customer experience results at the contact center level and in other channels.

Want to learn more? Contact us, and let’s start 2020 off with a winning plan for your team!

Robert C. Davis and Associates
Bob Davis, Founder and CEO | 678-548-1775 | bob@robertcdavis.net
Brad Baumunk, President and COO | 512-695-2511 | brad@robertcdavis.net