KPIs and Transparency Are Key to Training Call Center Agents

Many agents know how to deliver a great customer experience (CX) innately. Most of them, however, need to be trained for it.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measure the success of an organization and should reflect its culture and ability to meet customer expectations. This is especially the case with call center agents, who are often viewed by consumers as the “gateway” to the business.

It’s one thing to teach a new employee how to use a customer relationship management (CRM) system or other service solution, it’s another to help them develop the ability to empathize with sometimes demanding and difficult customers. This training cannot be the same for everyone, since each person has a different learning pace and individual needs. Similarly, a single training approach or method is inadequate for a contact center because each employee has different strengths and opportunities.

For these reasons, companies need a coaching performance program; one that is dedicated to building a call center that meets or exceeds customer expectations.

What Is Coaching Performance?

DMG Consulting, a leading independent contact center and back-office industry research and analytics firm, defines coaching performance as “a standards- and data-driven process for improving and maintaining employee performance and engagement.)”

Performance coaching uses all kinds of KPIs to create goals for each department and individual. KPIs are measured and shared with each agent on an ongoing basis. By involving employees in your success, this approach lets call center agents know how they’re doing and can modify their strategy based on their performance.

What differentiates performance coaching from general coaching is that it is based on the individual performance of each agent measured against predefined (and agreed upon) goals and KPIs. This transparency ensures that everyone involved in the process knows what they are striving to achieve, giving them a great opportunity to achieve it.

Setting, Communicating and Monitoring Goals

One of the most common complaints from agents in call centers (whether they are dedicated to customer service, sales, collections or other functions) is that they do not have visibility into how they are performing in relation to their daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. It’s even more frustrating when agents are simply not aware of their goals and objectives.

Coaching performance solves these problems; it is designed to ensure that agents, and their supervisors, managers, quality management specialists, and trainers, are all on the same page. Since performance coaching provides insight into the goals of each agent, the team and the entire call center, you know exactly how they are performing at all times.

Training to Engage and Retain Agents and Supervisors

Coaching performance empowers agents by giving them easy access to their personal goals and up-to-date information on how they’re achieving them. This eliminates the frustration of waiting for a supervisor, business analyst, or operations manager to find time to share this data with them, which could happen once a day, a week, or longer. Giving agents this visibility greatly improves the dynamics of a call center.

It’s also great for supervisors because it allows them time to focus on helping and training agents, rather than creating reports and dashboards. (Too often, contact center supervisors have little time to spend on actual coaching.)

When a performance coaching approach is applied, supervisors (as well as agents) have easy access to the data they need, freeing them up to spend their time building and delivering unique and effective training plans for each agent. This allows supervisors to do their job: help agents deliver a great experience, which clearly improves CX and the brand.

In conclusion, providing real-time transparency into performance is good for agents, supervisors, the call center, the business, and the customer. A standardized program improves employee engagement, success, and retention. In addition, it improves the results of the company.