An Advice Column Only for
Contact Center Managers
In response to a series of reader questions around coaching contact center rep performance, last month we featured best practices from four Certified Master Coaches – Stephaine Huston from HealthNow of New York Inc.; Denita Johnson from Toyota/Lexus Financial Services; Crystal Halter-Spratt from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina; and Carol Troxell from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. These women are true contact center champions dedicated to supporting coaching cultures in their organizations that lift individual and team performance, as well as targeted business results.
Here are additional best practices shared by our featured master coaches. This is part two of a two-part series. Part one appeared in last month’s issue of Challenge Solved.
Carol Troxell, Business Analyst, Senior Care Division
from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
“Sometimes I identify staff or I’ll ask coaches to identify staff that needs some extra coaching around a specific skill or behavior. I then provide the identified reps with additional one-on-one training. We call it an ‘ICARE lab’ because it gives an opportunity to show those reps that we care by providing focused training in a lab or private environment. Typically, what I’ll do is have them listen to a phone call that gave them a bit of a challenge. We listen to the call together and I have them calibrate that call with me. We talk about what they did, what they didn’t do and what areas they need help in. I also tell them that I’m going to listen in on future calls so we can continue working together. I make sure that I tell them their manager is looking at them and they want them to be great in their jobs. They are not coming in for extra coaching because they are doing something bad, it’s all about improvement and having that extra one-on-one attention so they can succeed.”
Crystal Halter-Spratt, Master Coach
from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
“Every time we have a new coach, we have a Coach Meet and Greet party. It’s a forum where the coach has an opportunity to sit down to meet his or her new team and for the team to get to know the new coach better by asking questions. We also have a huge Coaching Wall that everyone passes. It encompasses our stats, information about our coaches, performance tips and other items of interest. It’s really a big wall so we have fun filling it up!”
Denita Johnson, CSCE Master Coach/WIIT – Communication Liaison from Toyota/Lexus Financial Services
“It’s important for the team leaders to be involved with and support the ServiceMentor (customer service training) program. In our environment, we refer to the program as the ABS program, which means Always Better Service. We believe that if team members do not see this involvement from our leadership team, members may become disengaged and reluctant to use the model. Because of this, we run a lot of contests. We are now planning a new contest called ABS Apollo. Team members are coming up with scripts which they will use to challenge each other using the ABS model. The winning team will get a breakfast or lunch. We like the fun to influence the work.”
Stephaine Huston, Service Performance Coordinator/Quality & Performance Management
from HealthNow of New York Inc.
“I attend the coaching calibrations with representatives and so does Quality (our auditing folks). We work very closely and collaboratively with one another. This helps reinforce the message that there is team work. All of the supervisors also attend those calibration sessions, again, reinforcing that message of collaboration and team work. In addition, when I meet with the supervisors on a monthly basis to review calls, I ask supervisors to select a quality audit that they would like to review and practice coaching on. I think it helps that those quality audits are not just falling on deaf ears, that supervisors are actually coaching to them. Also, during many of our CoachingMentor (supervisor and coach training) classes we’ll have supervisors and quality coaches participate together in the training class to drive home the point that it’s a collaboration (not “us versus them”) and that we all work together ensuring that we are providing exceptional customer service.”
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