The customer service landscape is continuously evolving as customer expectations change. In this New Age of customer service, it is not just about management — it is about coaching your team to help them grow within their roles and beyond.
Managers and team leaders should set out to proactively spot learning opportunities based on performance-related data and provide agents with actionable advice to deliver great customer service. Because when you understand what your agents need, you can ensure they have the right knowledge and tools to do their work successfully.
It’s not always easy to change how we work or introduce new strategies successfully. That’s why we decided to invite Jaclyn Thompson, Team Lead of the CX Advocacy Team at Loom, Anton Valchev, Head of Client Relations Department at Trading 212, and Jessica Sinclair, Customer Service Team Leader at END. to share their expertise with us.
Hosted by Shaakirah Chettiar, our Head of Customer Experience, our panelists got to share their thoughts and strategies on performance coaching by answering some of the most frequently asked questions:
How do you proactively spot learning opportunities based on performance-based data?
How do you give agents actionable advice?
What are the best practices or processes that you currently use to celebrate that success and track progress?
- The first thing is first — before you can start implementing a coaching strategy, you need to make sure that your agents take complete ownership of the work that they are doing. If agents have bought into what they are doing and are clear about expectations, they are more receptive to feedback and being course-corrected.
- Be open to feedback yourself — to encourage the right mindset about feedback and coaching, you have to ensure that agents understand that feedback is something good. Feedback from your team can highlight your own blind spots and where you can improve. When you encourage them to give feedback on your performance, you lead by example, making them more open to receiving feedback too.
- Normalize feedback — You don’t need to pull someone aside and turn giving feedback or advice into a big thing. We all work collaboratively to encourage success and drive performance. To ensure that feedback is not seen as something negative, be transparent about it, it’s okay to have discussions in the room. Consistency, no matter the level, becomes key.
- Don’t keep secrets — Be transparent about the metrics you are tracking and evaluating their performance against.
- Use the data — It will provide insight into what bothers your clients and how your team performs. It allows you to act proactively, not reactively.
- Get the team involved — peer-to-peer feedback is very important to foster a culture of collaboration and performance coaching. It allows your team to flex their empathy muscles and shows them that everyone makes mistakes, and it is okay. Together, we all learn and grow.
- Be consistent — commit to a performance plan and execute it regardless of the season or if you are in peak periods.
- Don’t criticize — Coaching and feedback are not just about pointing out what went wrong but also what went right. It’s about offering learning support.
- Be clear — the main thing is, they need to understand WHY you’re giving them that feedback.
- Write it down — having a record of the feedback you provide and everything you’ve discussed means that you have something to refer back to during your next session.
- Celebrate the individual wins — not everyone has the same goals; naturally, you should personalize your incentive scheme to reflect this. When you set personalized goals, you can see how they shine, grow and develop when they reach their targets.
- Be adaptable — Be open to trial and error. Coaching is about collaboration, and if your strategy isn’t working, be humble enough to admit it, then change it.
- Keep it going — Make sure the feedback is a back and forth process. One session won’t change much.
We look forward to having more sessions with industry leaders to share their actionable feedback, advice, and insights to help you on your performance coaching journey.
We hope you will join us in our quest to be at the forefront of customer service delivery. To discover more insights, you’re always welcome to join our virtual meetups and subscribe to our blog!