What Is the Best Way to Coach a Phone Call?

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We were recently asked…

“In the contact centre, the focus of coaching is too often on the process of call monitoring and quality analysis (QA), instead of simply working together with the advisor to help them meet their full potential – we ask what is the best way to coach a phone call?

So we asked the question of our readers and here are all the answers that you need to know:

  • The Team Leader and the Advisor Review the Call Together

    The team leader and the advisor review the call together, looking at what went well so that can be celebrated and shared, and the advisor leading on what they will do differently next time.
    Don’t try and change ten things, focus on one or two.

    And, remember, even in the most challenging conversations, there will always be something that was great. Don’t lose sight of that and don’t forget that everything that we do ends up in front of the customer.

    Thanks to Martine

  • Team Leader Reviews

    I opted for team leader reviews as ultimately both should listen for it to be a great call but the team leader most definitely must listen for the conversation to be two way and add value.
    QA is a safety net that should feed insight and support development and the coach’s role isn’t always a luxury people have and isn’t a replacement for the team leader, so get TL and advisor together.

    Thanks to Garry

  • Advisor Reviews With a Guiding Coach

    Advisor reviews with a guiding coach.

    Thanks to Ethan

  • Review Yourself

    Simply working together is not easy sometimes. Hence reviewing oneself is a new way to address it head on.

    Thanks to Anuj

  • Coach and Advisor Reviewing Calls

    I believe it should be coach and advisor reviewing calls until both feel confidence in the methods. But in all, the more people who have time to listen in and give progressive advice would be ideal!

    Thanks to Kyle

  • The Call Should Be Reviewed By a Coach

    I think first and foremost the call should be reviewed by a coach and or/TL following a scoring legend.
    Before feedback is given, the agent should get a chance to review on their own before collaborating with the coach to get the fullest feedback.

    Thanks to Ian

  • Advisors Evaluate Their Own Calls

    Letting advisors evaluate their own calls with the help of their team leader improves their quality of work.

    Thanks to Morwamampuru

  • Review Their Own Calls

    In many, if not most, cases, the service rep isn’t doing things wrong or poorly on purpose, so giving them the possibility to “review their own calls” e.g. enriched with customer feedback, will help them to become aware of how certain actions impact the end result and they can adjust accordingly.

    This doesn’t mean you can stop the monitoring and more structural coaching altogether, but it can reduce the need for it quite a bit.

    Thanks to David

  • Team Leader and Agent to Listen to the Call

    QA is just a compliance tick box, rarely adds any CX or CE value and, if you are not careful, becomes a leaky bucket pouring in money for QA headcount and delivering a set of unactionable data.

    I’m not a huge fan of coach/team lead being separate roles for the purpose of call handling skills development, and that’s mostly what this post focuses on.
    The post is really a nonsense question. How can the best way to coach ever be leaving it to an agent or anyone else to listen to the call in isolation? Does the poster understand the meaning and mechanics of coaching?

    The best solution is for the team leader and agent to listen to the call together and from that may follow some elements of coaching.

    Thanks to Tom

  • Start With the Voice of the Customer

    Quality Assurance is useful from a risk and compliance checkpoint, but not from a customer experience standpoint.

    From a customer experience standpoint, you MUST start with the Voice of the Customer. Then, the coach and advisor review together to identify potential improvements in line with feedback, and team leader reviews as a sense check.

    Any KPIs should be purely Voice of the Customer for Customer Experience, with Quality Assurance solely for legal compliance.

    Thanks to Diren

  • Don’t Just Be Reactive

    You should be using coaching as a way to see these bad habits and action them before complaints come in, not just be reactive. Not all customers will fill out surveys, etc. but will happily tell anyone who listens about the bad experience they received when contacting the company. This is what you’re missing.

    I’ve always seen QA as second-hand information. QA of customer experience is less valid than direct voice of customer. QA sales results are less valid than sales numbers. QA compliance results are less valid than number of lawsuits paid out, but in that case, you don’t want to pay out multiple lawsuits to start gaining usable data.

    Thanks to Ian

  • Coaching Should Be Used to Address Bad Habits

    Coaching should be used to address bad habits and make improvements before complaints come in.

    The problem I find with coaching scorecards is that they are often built once and not reviewed for years, and they slowly lose relevance to what customers actually want to experience.
    Where this is the KPI, as opposed to the actual Voice of the Customer, your agents and your business unit are incentivized against what customers want or need.

    Voice of the Customer always reacts in real time to customers changing needs. While I understand that not all customers will fill in surveys, equally not all calls will be QAed. We rely on aggregates to identify risks and behaviours that will potentially cause complaints. With QA you’re making assumptions about what customers want, so are capturing perceived risks while missing actual risks.

    Thus, the coaching should be exactly the same, but should be informed primarily by Voice of the Customer instead of QA results.

    Effectively reviewing and rebuilding QA scorecards is very resource intensive and really needs to be done quarterly to remain relevant. I think straight Voice of Customer is more effective and more efficient.

    Thanks to Diren

Other articles on coaching a phone call:

Author: Rachael Trickey

Published On: 12th Jul 2022 - Last modified: 13th Jul 2022
Read more about - Call Centre Questions, ,

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