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Call Center Coaching Feedback: Everything You Need to Know

Megan Black
Megan Black
Call Center Coaching Feedback: Everything You Need to Know

Call centers provide a vital point of contact between companies and their customers. Contact center agents must be equipped with skills, knowledge, and tools to provide the best possible service to customers.

Coaching is one of the most effective ways to support frontline agents. But providing effective coaching also means providing meaningful feedback.

Call center coaching feedback helps agents identify areas for improvement, develop new skills, and make meaningful changes to their performance. In this post, we’re going to look at:

  • Examples of effective call center coaching feedback
  • Tips and best practices for delivering feedback to agents
  • Common coaching feedback mistakes… and how to avoid them

Are you tasked with coaching call center agents? This post will provide valuable insights into delivering coaching feedback that helps your agents–and your entire organization–succeed. 

5 Examples of Effective Call Center Coaching Feedback 

Call center coaching ensures that frontline team members provide the best possible customer service experience. One of the best ways to improve an agent’s performance is through call center coaching feedback. 

But not all feedback is created equal.

Effective call center coaching feedback needs to be: clear, constructive, specific, timely, and consistent. 

1. Clear 

When giving call center agent feedback, it's important for supervisors to be clear and direct about what they’re communicating. 

Call center feedback example: 

"I noticed that during the call, you didn't provide the customer with a clear resolution to their problem. Can you work on being more concise in your explanations?" 

When the coach is specific about what the issue is–and provides a clear direction for improvement–the agent will be more likely to understand and make the necessary changes.

2. Constructive 

Call center agent feedback should always be constructive and helpful. Focus on what the agent did well. Then focus on how they can improve. 

Call center feedback example: 

"You did a great job with handling the customer's initial request. Next time, try to anticipate their follow-up questions so that you can provide more thorough assistance." 

This way, contact center supervisors recognize the positive aspects of the associate’s performance while also providing guidance for improvement.

3. Specific

Generic feedback isn't helpful. Coaches must be specific about what the agent needs to be improved. When a supervisor isn’t direct, it’s easy for an agent to be confused or feel that the comment isn’t related to their performance.

Contact center feedback example: 

"Your average handle time has been increasing over the past few weeks. Let's work together to identify the specific areas where you can save time and streamline your process." 

Pinpoint the specific areas for improvement to give the agent a clear direction on what the issue is and how to improve. 

4. Timely

It’s important to provide feedback as soon as possible after an interaction. On a daily basis, contact center agents are dealing with a lot of customer interactions. If the coach’s response is delayed, it becomes very difficult for an agent to tie the feedback to a specific case.

Contact center feedback example: 

"I wanted to give you feedback on the call you just took. You did a great job with calming the customer down and providing a solution that worked for them." 

Providing timely feedback allows coaches to reinforce positive behavior quickly. Plus, supervisors can address areas for improvement before they become ingrained habits.

5. Consistent

Consistency is key to delivering long-term effective feedback. By consistently reinforcing positive behavior and providing guidance for improvement, coaches help agents develop good habits that will become second nature over time. 

Contact center feedback example: 

"You've been doing a great job with greeting customers politely and using their names. Keep up the good work!" 

Consistently reinforcing positive behavior makes agents more likely to continue that behavior in the future.

In conclusion, call center coaching feedback should be clear, constructive, specific, timely, and consistent. Incorporating these five components into your coaching strategy helps call center agents improve their performance, provide better customer service, and ultimately contribute to the success of the entire organization.

The Right Way to Deliver Call Center Coaching Feedback

It’s clear that providing call center agent feedback is an essential part of a supervisor’s role. Feedback helps contact center associates understand their strengths and weaknesses. It also provides guidance on how agents can improve their performance. 

But delivering feedback is not always easy. Especially if the feedback is negative. 

Here are some tips on how to deliver call center coaching feedback effectively:

Start with a positive. 

Begin by acknowledging the agent's strengths and positive behaviors. This will help build trust and create a more receptive environment to share your coaching feedback.

Provide specific examples. 

Use specific examples of the agent’s call center behavior. These should be behaviors the coach observed during the agent’s communication with the customer. Specific examples will help the agent understand the feedback and see how it relates to their performance.

Focus on behaviors.

Make sure supervisors provide feedback on the agent's behavior and not on their personal qualities. The feedback should feel helpful and constructive, not like a personal attack.

Encourage two-way communication. 

Encourage the agent to ask questions and provide feedback on their own performance. This will help create a collaborative and open environment for coaching.

Summarize and provide next steps. 

Summarize the feedback and provide actionable next steps for the agent to take. This will help the agent understand what they need to do to improve and how they can apply the feedback to future interactions.

Follow up. Follow up. Follow up. 

Supervisors need to have timely follow-ups with their call center agents. The coaching feedback follow-up is the time to review how the associate is progressing, see which tactics are or aren’t working, and recognize the agent for the progress made so far. 

Remember that effective coaching is an ongoing process, so it's important to provide regular feedback and support to help agents continually improve.

Call Center Coaching Feedback Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Call center coaching is a vital part of ensuring high-quality customer service. But just because most teams are doing it, doesn’t mean they’re doing it well. 

Here are some common call center coaching mistakes to avoid:

Focusing on negative feedback only.

It's essential to provide agents with constructive feedback on areas they need to improve. However, focusing solely on negative feedback can be harmful. This could cause agents to become defensive. Always balance any negative contact center feedback with positive feedback on areas where the agent excels.

Being too vague.

When giving feedback, coaches need to be specific, provide concrete examples, and use any data available. Vague feedback such as, "You need to improve your customer service skills," isn’t helpful. (Even though it might be accurate!) 

Instead, provide specific examples like, "During the call with this customer, you interrupted them several times. Let's work on actively listening and allowing the customer to finish speaking before responding."

Failing to set clear goals.

Without clear goals, it's challenging to measure progress and success. Coaches must work with the agents to set specific, measurable, and achievable goals. This will help call center agents stay focused and motivated to make improvements.

Ignoring different learning styles.

Everyone learns differently. Call center supervisors need to consider different learning styles when coaching. Some agents may prefer visual aids. Others may learn best through hands-on training. And many agents might need a combination of both. 

Understanding each agent's learning style can help coaches provide feedback that is tailored to each associate’s needs. This leads to significant call center performance improvements.

Failing to follow up.

Following up is a crucial part of the coaching process. Without follow-up, it's challenging to determine whether agents are making any progress. Make sure coaches are scheduling regular check-ins to discuss progress and provide additional feedback. This will help your agent stay on track and continue to make improvements.

Not involving the agent in the feedback process.

Coaching is most effective when it is a collaborative effort between the coach and the agent. Failing to involve the agent in the feedback process can lead to a lack of buy-in from the frontline associate. And this may cause them to become resistant to change. 

Make sure to ask for the agent's input and ideas for improvement. Then, have the call center associates and supervisors work together to develop a plan for implementing the feedback.

Overloading the agent with feedback.

Providing too much feedback all at once can be overwhelming. This might cause the agent to get discouraged. Focus on one or two areas of improvement at a time and provide actionable steps for the associate to take. This approach will help the agent stay focused and motivated without feeling overwhelmed.

For a better call center coaching ROI, avoid these seven common coaching mistakes. This is the key to providing effective coaching that leads to significant improvements in your call center's overall performance.

Benefits of Efficient Call Center Coaching Feedback

Coaching sure seems like a lot of work. Is call center coaching really worth the effort?

Effective call center coaching feedback is essential for improving the employee experience, customer service, and overall call center performance. Here are some of the key benefits of providing effective call center coaching feedback:

Improved Employee Engagement and Job Satisfaction 

One of the primary benefits of effective coaching feedback is improved employee engagement and job satisfaction. When agents receive feedback that helps them to improve their communication, problem-solving, and customer service skills, they feel more confident and empowered in their role. 

This leads to higher levels of job satisfaction, employee engagement, and a better overall employee experience.

Increased Agent Retention 

Providing effective coaching feedback can help to improve agent retention by creating a culture of growth and development within the call center. 

When agents feel valued, supported, and equipped with the skills they need to succeed, they are more likely to stay with the organization long-term. This reduces turnover and the associated costs of hiring and training new agents, which can have a positive impact on the overall employee experience.

Higher Quality Work 

Effective coaching feedback helps agents to identify areas for improvement and make meaningful changes to their performance. This leads to higher quality work and more consistent results across the call center. 

Agents are better equipped to handle complex customer issues, resolve problems efficiently, and provide excellent service that meets or exceeds customer expectations. This, in turn, can have a positive impact on the employee experience by helping agents to feel more confident and fulfilled in their work.

Greater Efficiency and Productivity 

Effective coaching feedback helps agents to identify opportunities for streamlining their work processes, reducing average handle time (AHT), and increasing productivity. This leads to greater efficiency across the call center and enables agents to handle a higher volume of calls without sacrificing quality. Greater efficiency leads to improved customer satisfaction (C-SAT) and higher levels of agent engagement and retention.

Improved Overall Call Center Performance 

Effective coaching feedback helps to improve the performance of individual agents, which, in turn, improves the overall performance of the call center. 

When agents are equipped with the skills and tools they need to succeed, the organization can better meet the needs of their customers, resolve issues quickly, and drive higher levels of customer satisfaction. 

In conclusion, providing effective call center coaching feedback is essential for improving the employee experience, customer satisfaction, and overall call center performance.

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Benefit
Result
💯
Improved Performance & Customer Experience
Month over month gains in Issue Resolution,
FCR and NPS;
Month over month reductions in Handle times,
ACW and Hold
👥
Winning additional client headcount
30% improvement in sales conversion
💪
Retaining talented people
8-point reduction in turnover
💰
Improving financial performance
10% increase in utilization

Summary

The future of success in your contact center is contingent on how you impact performance in ways that are both immediate and sustainable. And it doesn’t matter whether your agents are on-site, at-home, full-time, part-time, or temporary – you must deliver on performance.

Coaching is one of the most significant tools we can use to deliver on the engagement and performance of our people – but we must develop our processes, our people and leadership skills, and our technology tools, in order to overthrow the pervasive challenges to achieving greater coaching effectiveness and supercharging contact center performance!

Unlock the potential of your employees and skyrocket your ROI with cutting-edge coaching.

call center coaching cta@0.5x

Connect with the authors:

Melissa Pollock Customer Success at AmplifAI

Jim Rembach President at CX Media

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Call Center Coaching

The Comprehensive Guide to Improving Agent Performance

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Megan Black

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