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Fear of Coaching
October 18, 2017

Fear of Coaching

I love working with new coaches and helping them to become the best they can be. Most are very excited about coaching with agents and welcome the opportunity to apply their experience in a new role in the center. Many coaches are supervisors or leads who now coach regularly in addition to their other center duties. Some coaches have shared their fear of coaching with me during our sessions. Here are some of their greatest fears [...]

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Call Center Cost Reduction: Automation Outranks Alternatives
September 29, 2017

Call Center Cost Reduction: Automation Outranks Alternatives

Balancing the need to keep costs low and keeping customers happy is tough. But, Workforce Management (WFM) and contact center operations typically turn to one of four options to meet these objectives. These include digital solutions, right placement, workforce management, and automation. Each option provides a different return on investment and execution risk. Question is, how do you decide? [...]

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Following Call Center Procedures (Including This Bad One)
September 20, 2017

Following Call Center Procedures (Including This Bad One)

Let’s face it…most agents want to be great agents. They want to keep their customers happy and that’s what we managers want too. Unfortunately some companies find ways to create negatives and obstacles that make it impossible for an agent to be successful in creating the best experience for their customers. One story I heard recently illustrates this perfectly. Due to confidentiality I can’t go into great detail on the process itself but I wanted to share the essence of what happened since this is not a rare example of process disconnect. An agent working for a major insurance company [...]

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Banking on Loyalty
September 14, 2017

Banking on Loyalty

Welcome Financial Institution Pros! Today’s post is especially for you. In the midst of increasing usage of mobile banking and online transactions, it’s hard to believe that we still have customers who love to call our representatives in our centers and branches. Some of our customers just feel better speaking to a representative when they need to share personal information and concerns. Others may be worried about online hackers despite the excellent safeguards you’ve put in place. We need to help our staff understand the advantages of providing great service in a variety of customer contact touch points. It’s important [...]

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Are You Showing Sincere Agent Appreciation?
August 31, 2017

Are You Showing Sincere Agent Appreciation?

We train our agents to thank our customers and show appreciation for their business. We coach to ensure that they make the customer feel important and valued, and sound sincere when they do this. A poorly given thanks is no better than saying nothing and the customer can hear the insincerity in our word choices, tone and the attitude shown by the agent throughout the interactions. Showing no interest at the start or during the call and then saying thanks at the end will only make things worse. As managers, we also need to make sure we are showing the [...]

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A Rose By Any Other Name... Agent Word Choices
August 17, 2017

A Rose By Any Other Name... Agent Word Choices

When coaching with our agents, we have many important skills to focus on such as listening, use of empathy, following correct procedures and engaging with our customers. One skill that can be overlooked is word choice, in other words the words and phrases that an agent uses either in writing or when speaking with customers. It’s important that our agents understand the impact of their word choices on customer satisfaction and engagement. When our communication is done in written form or verbal without visual body language to enhance or confirm what we are trying to say, how the customer actually [...]

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More Coaching Misses and How to Fix Them (Part 2)
August 8, 2017

More Coaching Misses and How to Fix Them (Part 2)

Welcome to the follow-up to “Coaching Misses and Fixes.” Last time we looked at some of the coaching improvement opportunities. Here are some more ideas for your consideration: Avoid talking about other agents and their skill problems Your agents don’t really care how coworker “Mary” struggles with the same skill issue or that coworker “Joe” is a natural at giving empathy. They are merely being polite when they nod their head in agreement as you talk about them. Plus Mary and Joe may not appreciate you sharing their coaching information with a coworker. Our agents want the discussion to be [...]

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