How to Use Technology to Personalize Coaching

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Richard Correia of NICE shares his advice for using technology to personalize and improve contact centre coaching.

Coaching isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavour. Just as a good teacher tailors instruction to the pupil, taking into consideration whether the student is a visual, auditory, reading/writing or kinesthetic learner, an effective coach considers how each agent learns best.

While one agent may respond well to a one-on-one conversation, another may thrive with peer coaching or a trivia-based activity to instill the knowledge needed to do their job.

The challenge lies in identifying those coaching activities. Once you’ve identified who and where to focus coaching efforts, how do you personalize the coaching, and how do you measure the effectiveness of coaching, both immediately and over the long run?

An increasing number of organizations are turning to structured coaching programs to affect the behaviours that most impact their important KPIs.

This is markedly different from the typical sporadic coaching associated with an evaluation; instead, it’s a SMART coaching program, meaning it is structured, measurable, adaptive, recognizable and time-bound. And, importantly, it is tied to a KPI.

Just as an organization employs an ERP solution to manage enterprise resources or a BPM solution to manage the business processes, supervisors can use a performance program management tool to manage the performance programs across the organization.

Take a look at the video below to see how the NICE Performance Management tool can help you to spot who needs additional one-to-one coaching.

In action, it looks something like this: Donna, a contact centre supervisor, is creating a coaching program for an agent named John using a performance management tool.

The program can be structured to be as detailed or as simple as she’d like; the key is that it is personalized and individualized to John with tasks that have historically affected the KPI she’s targeting and that he has responded well to in the past.

Donna has a personalized dashboard that shows her relevant interactions to add to each program, and she schedules a preparation meeting for John. Personalized AI built into the NPM system automatically recommends the tasks to assign; John, for example, has responded well in the past to trivia.

Donna’s dashboard gives her insight into all of the coaching programs in use across her contact centre.

It shows each agent and which programs are currently running, including information about progress, status and the number of tasks that have been completed; each agent has a different coaching program for a different length of time, depending on the overall goals for their individualized SMART programs.

The dashboard enables her to see that coaching programs are spread appropriately across the agents she manages and shows her the impact of each program on the KPI she is trying to influence.

In doing so, it also provides her with valuable insight into the effectiveness of her coaching. For the first time, Donna and other managers can see the impact of each coaching activity on each KPI, enabling them to quantify the value of coaching.

It also enables the organization to standardize coaching effectiveness and create a benchmark for the organization. And as soon as you can measure coaching effectiveness, you can begin to improve it.

The top desired skill for frontline managers is coaching, according to a recent survey in Chief Learning Officer Magazine, but it’s hard to get it right without the proper tools.

A coaching program that is SMART, with AI that identifies not only who and what to coach but also the coaching tasks that will have the greatest impact on a KPI, empowers managers to deliver great coaching that is personalized to the individual – and keep improving as a coach.

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