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Call Center Quality Coaching Process Messages in this topic - RSS

Guest


11/1/2001
Guest
I am a supervisor in a 120-seat call center with 19 CSRs reporting to me. I would like information from other supervisors regarding quality review and quality coaching of CSRs. We have four call coaches who review four remotely taped phone calls each month for each CSR. These calls are reviewed in a coaching session. It is the intent that the coach work with the CSR to analyze good points and opportunities and to set goals for improvement. The scores on these calls are recorded as a part of that CSR's monthly performance. In addition, each supervisor coaches the CSRs on their team through one or two side-by-side coaching sessions each month. The number of side-by-sides to be held is dependent on the previous three months' call scores. I find that side-by-side coaching sessions of senior, experienced CSRs are not helpful. The senior CSR adopts behaviors and performance for my benefit that might not be a true representation of their performance when I am not sitting side by side. I would prefer to listen to the call without the CSR's knowledge and provide instant, non-recorded feedback. Do other supervisors perform the same type of side-by-side coaching? Is there something I am missing to make these sessions more helpful for senior, experienced CSRs? Are other supervisors listening to calls and providing instant feedback and do they find that helpful? I find this process very helpful with my new employees, but of very limited benefit to others. All feedback will be appreciated.

- Ann Hott, Prudential Insurance
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Guest


12/1/2001
Guest
In our organization our coaches are our front line managers as well. They have on average 15-17 CSRs each. The number of calls that are remotely evaluated depends on the function of the section and the length of call that their CSRs take. In the section that is most successful with coaching targets they are evaluating six calls per month and this is broken into two calls in week 1, one call in week 2, one call in week 3 and two calls in week 4. Somewhere within this month the coaches are meeting with the CSRs to review their statistics and call trends. We have determined that side-by-side sessions are for relationship building only, but if the CSR is having difficulty or is new we would do at least one side-by-side until they reach acceptable quality. What we've found is that our coaches simply don't have time to immediately give feedback. We are continually evaluating our quality program. I think that's key.

- G. Howard, SaskTel
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Guest


1/1/2002
Guest
We use a quality monitoring system that allows real time monitoring of the call and the computer activity. Each agent is monitored three times per month. Unless there is a serious issue, that requires immediate attention, coaching is done in scheduled sessions. We do not use side by side / in cube monitoring / coaching, especially for the senior group where ego can be an issue. We do relationship building through "floor" time that each of the supervisors have.

- Bill
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Guest


1/1/2002
Guest
I work in the quality and development group for our call center and am responsible for monitoring/coaching just over 100 representatives in addition to a full load of other duties. In order to help efficiency, I have incorporated using instant messaging and email to give immediate feedback to the reps and only conduct "formal" sit-down sessions as it is needed. When a representative receives immediate feedback on the call they are on, or the last call, they are far more prone to see how the improvement could have changed the call, or even change the call while in progress. The reps also seem to respond better to this as they feel less "interrogated," and there is less off the phone time for the reps, as well.

- Matthew A Nehrling
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Guest


4/1/2002
Guest
How often have we heard that side-by-side observations are not a true measurement of call quality because an agent is on his/her best behavior? Before you are quick to agree, think of it this way -- if an agent is on his/her best behavior while a coach/supervisor is conducting a side-by-side observation what does that indicate? It establishes that the agent is capable of performing the skills necessary for the job, whether they be technical or customer-service oriented. If the agent is struggling during a side-by-side observation, we as coaches/supervisors have to dig a little deeper. Was the agent nervous and we need to work with him/her to alleviate that feeling? Did the agent have the training necessary to perform the skills? Does the agent require additional training in one skill area? If side-by-side observations establish that an agent is capable, call observations completed using an automated recording system become the mechanism to determine whether or not an agent is consistent with those practices. One can also determine a motivation level for the agent to perform the roles and responsibilities he/she was hired to do. Coaching a person that is capable, but for one reason or another is not consistent, is approached differently than for the individual who requires training because he/she is not capable of performing the skills. We would hope that senior, experienced agents are setting a good example for those around them by demonstrating behaviors that are representative of leaders. Perhaps challenging those senior agents to become more involved in the development of new trainees with mentoring and peer-observations and recognizing them for consistent performances in both side-by-side and recorded observations is a way to keep their motivation and interest level high.

- Kimberly A. Palczynski, Ford Motor Company
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Guest


8/1/2003
Guest
I wholeheartedly agree with Kimberly's previous comments. Side-by-side monitoring is one of the best methods of answering the "will do" versus "can do" question. Once you've established a baseline of performance - i.e., the agent can proficiently demonstrate the skill when you are observing side by side - then you have valuable information to use in future coaching interactions. In addition, side-by-side monitoring provides an invaluable opportunity to catch the agent engaging in the right behaviors. This is, of course, followed up with generous, reinforcing praise to encourage the continuation of those behaviors. Wer're more likely to see agents doing the right things when we aren't watching when we praise them when we are. Regarding our veteran agents, once they are consistently achieving our minimum expectations and performing satisfactorily, then we have the opportunity to further engage them in their own professional development by asking them to identify the skills they would like to develop and focusing our observation and coaching efforts in these areas. The benefits are three-fold - the agent continues to grow, the supervisor enjoys increased buy-in to coaching and development efforts and the call center realizes the benefits of the agent's increased knowledge and skills. Best of luck to everyone in their coaching efforts!

- Anonymous
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Guest


9/14/2005
Guest
In my former company where I used to work as a Quality Assurance (QA) specialist, the system we used made sure that agents were monitored at random. Instead of monitoring individual phone extensions we were monitoring the VDN itself so that the QA agent had no way of 'singling out' specific agents. Two calls were recorded and analysed for each CSR and the reports issued at the end of each week. However, the QA agent could listen to a lot of live calls from each agent during real time monitoring. The system we were using made it possible for the QA agent to whisper hints to the CSR in the course of the call (real time feedback). If something extraordinary happens on the call , the CSR is pulled off the floor immediately and given feedback. This way the mistake does not carry into the next calls. We were not relying too much on side-by-side coaching because agents always put on a show for the QA agent and this does not paint the true picture of the agent's true performance. So mainly we gave feedback through the weekly recordings and real-time monitoring and from time to time through side-by-side coaching.

- Danilo, Ghana Telecom
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Guest


12/19/2005
Guest
In our call center each supervisor is on the floor for 3-4 hours of their day. We do side-by-side monitoring with all agents on the floor and provide instant feedback. We sit with each agent for a few calls, usually 4-5. This process does work. It is a little hard on the team to get other paperwork done; however, it really benefits sales.

- Anonymous
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Guest


4/28/2006
Guest
Ann, what you are doing sounds fantastic! The side by side coaching sounds a lot like the phone mentoring we do to transistion Reps out of training into solo work. I just wanted to plead the case for the random monitoring software....

We are a hospitality call center operating 24 hours a day with approximately 85 reps and 3500 calls per day. Our Quality Assurance (QA) program uses random monitoring software with audio and screen recording. QA coaching sessions are conducted monthly during the first 90 days, then quarterly or as frequently as needed if performance levels are questioned. During the QA coaching session, the QA Coordinator and rep listen to collected calls and evaluate the required elements on 9 calls which must include 5 different call "types" (hotel reservations, dinner res, cancellations, sold outs and event acceptance). The average of the four quarterly sessions directly reflects on the annual review.

The "buy-in" when the Rep actively listens to and grades themselves has had an excellent effect on our scores, job satisfaction and customer satisfaction. Our office average is in the high 80s. The QA sessions offer an excellent opportunity to discuss performance (as we view the screens to observe software use) and customer service (as we hear the entire call).

The QA process is introduced during training and becomes a natural part of the job. This may sound like extra work to some call centers, but the investment in time pays off and our property has been maintaining a coveted 4 diamond status for the past 6 years.

In my opinion, the random call collection and listening to the actual calls with the rep makes all the difference in the world!

- Mary Ellen Rydell
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Guest


6/2/2006
Guest
Absolutely agree with the comments here. The benefits of Side-by-Side are also in the "Do as I do, Do as I say, You can do it" approach. Demonstration is a powerful tool to get agents to emulate what you are looking for, get them to critique your style -- good and bad -- for objective discussion. The silent monitor is also a great way to look for the "little things that matter," the pauses, the phrases, the tones and the background noise that are really only apparent when you are one step away from the front line.

- Rob Belbin, SITEL Corp
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Guest


6/16/2006
Guest
I agree entirely that side/side coaching enables a series of actions required for employee development: Immediate feedback on great performance and areas for development, observable skill performance, relationship building, confidence in what the employee "can do" vs "will do," and "coaching presence" on the floor, etc.

I am interested in knowing what other companies use to document the coaching process. We use a standard form to capture specifics in the coaching process - What did the employee do well? What could they have done differently? What is the take-away from the coaching session? Could they demonstrate the skill? Comments - buy-in.

From my experience, the documentation is an integral part of the coaching process, as it records historical observations and provides information on progress. It also serves as a vehicle to capture the coach's and employee's commitment to each other to work on the takeaways.

Does anyone else use a standard form? What kind of information do you capture?

- Sean Carberry
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Guest


7/14/2006
Guest
Hi folks, a lot of interesting info here. I think all methods that you talk about have validity. It is down to getting to know the individual agent and using your skill to put your thoughts across in a way that they are most receptive to.

I did wonder what your thoughts on group coaching sessions are. That is, take 3 or 4 agents off of the floor and play some of their calls in the room. Get them to self-evaluate and critique each person's call.
Cheers

- Gerry Corr, Dell
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Guest


9/8/2006
Guest
I agree with some of the comments above regarding side-by-side as a great way to determine a benchmark point for a staff member. However, on a day-to-day basis it's not very helpful because you're not seeing true behavior.

What you're really tring to do in call monitoring is provide them with valuable feedback on a day-to-day basis on what can be improved. You can relate this back to a side-by-side session to show how they have achieved the results you're looking for.

One of the best monitoring techniques I've found is silent live monitoring, where you can bring them right in and address the good and bad points. It's fresh in their mind. Or, recorded monitoring with screen capture. Screen capture is critical because it provides the whole picture.

- JJ Popowich, LACERA
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Guest


10/6/2006
Guest
I also agree with many of the comments made. As you can see, there are different views to side-by-side coaching. This, in my eyes, is a fantastic way of measuring the CSR's ability. As stated above, this is a case of "well, if this is how they are with me beside them, then this is the way they should always be."

I, myself, will only side-by-side coach 1x per month, as I am a strong believer in getting the advisor unawares, also.

When quality checking, giving feedback to that CSR as soon as possible is critical. Don't let them forget the call. Ensure the call is fresh in their mind if not recorded. I have heard of instances where feedback is given the next day. This will only cause confusion for not only the CSRs, it will also cause you to lose track of exactly what needs to be coached on, be it positive or instances that need to be improved on.

I have 21 CSRs that I coach and motivate. They all receive one quality check per week, along with a minimum of 1/2 hour of coaching. Within the team, I have many experienced CSRs and although many have been there for many years, they still require the quality checking and coaching on a weekly basis. Experienced staff still value your input, as do the less experienced staff.

I also ensure that all team members receive a monthly personalised one-on-one session with me. This, I find, is one of the best ways of getting close with my team. Not only does it help them to explain to me what situations they may need to have more structured coaching on, it also allows me to set S.M.A.R.T objectives with the CSRs, to help make the job a little less mundaine.

Most of all, experienced CSRs will think that they have been there long enough that there is nothing that they don't know (this happens in all positions in any career). However, it is up to you to be that one step ahead, think of the impossible situation, structure a difficult call, keep up-to-date with new systems and structures within your company. Most of all, I have seen many supervisors/ team leaders be shot down by experienced staff. Be strong, focused and get them involved in the team. Just because they are experienced, DO NOT treat them with any less care as you would with a new CSR.

Experienced CSRs also need your input and feedback as much as the new CSRs.

- Euan, Dial-It
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Guest


10/20/2006
Guest
I agree with the comments above, but as a new QA (Quality Assurance) person in my company, I know that agents will put on show for you in a side-by-side. So, I randomly pull recorded calls and listen to them and then give feedback on the calls. However, in listening to recorded calls I provide the agents with feedback for a call of poor customer service.

- Yvette
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Guest


4/20/2007
Guest
Since most CSR's will perform at their top level during side-by-sides, I find this style of monitoring important for setting a baseline comparison. If you only listen to recorded calls it can sometimes be difficult to determine if a coaching opportunity is due to a skill or will issue. By performing side-by-sides you can accurately measure the rep's top performance ability. Since coaching has to be modeled differently based on the individual you are attempting to help, having this baseline is important. I think we sometimes get so caught up in "catching" bad behaviors that we begin acting more like a policeman handing out speeding tickets and less like motivators/coaches. In the end your coaching efforts have to be aimed at making your CSRs better at what they do.

- Ric Watts
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Guest


4/20/2007
Guest
I think that both methods work hand-in-hand. You will get an agent that is still new and has a problem navigating the system, therefore prolonging the call unnecessarily, and this is when a live assessment will be needed where you will be able to offer advice in a real-time environment. Providing feedback: in the company that I work for, we do assessments on a weekly basis where we send out feedback via email after the call has been assessed. Whether it was a bad or good call, feedback has to be given (so as to provide the agent in question tips and recommendations on where he/she can improve). We also have calibration sessions with the whole teams so as to give feedback (team trends, areas of concerns that we as assessors have picked up while assessing the agents.) We also do One-on-One sessions with agents that are not performing so as to find out what we as assessors can do to assist the agent in improving his/her scores.

- Lerato
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Guest


7/13/2007
Guest
Although I agree that remote monitoring is a good method of assessing an agent, side-by-side monitoring is also required to understand what capabilities an agent has. As most of us here have said, while on a side-by-side audit the agent puts on his best performance. It's important for a coach to know how good an agent can perform. Then, relate this performance with that of a remote audit.

As coaches, it is also important to have a sample call. That way we can play the call back to the agent and ask the agent to analyse his/her own mistakes, then coach him/her on what best can be improved. Perhaps it is also a good idea to have the agent's previous audit scores handy to show the trend how the agent is performing.

- Naveen
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Guest


9/21/2007
Guest
Side-by-Side Monitoring: This type of monitoring is beneficial especially for the new agents as we can assist them with a better call flow and set an example of proactive quality by not only pointing out defects, but also rectifying the errors then and there.

Live Monitoring: We can exactly plot out the errors committed by the agents, especially with the tenured agents as it reflects their personality on calls; moreover the agent isn't aware that he is being monitored and all his careless attitude is observed.

Remote Monitoring: We can easily prove the errors committed by the agents with the help of relevant track ids.

- Suresh Kumar, I2CWORLD
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Guest


10/5/2007
Guest
I work for an inbound call center company that has about 700 seats in my location. I supervise a team of 15-20 CSRs and each CSR is monitored a minimum of 10 calls a month. We use a variety of coaching methods.

Peer-to-peer: We use this primarily during the first 4-6 weeks that a CSR is on the floor, but it is also done if a performance issue has been identified. A well performing, tenured CSR sits side-by-side with the new employee and gives immediate feedback on what went well during the call and what were improvement opportunities.

Live monitoring with immediate feedback: We mainly use this after a coaching session has occurred to see if the CSR is putting coaching suggestions into practice. If you just discussed the need for empathy on their calls and the first call taken after the session lacks empathy, you quickly see the CSR isn't grasping the concept.

Recorded calls: Each supervisor monitors a minimum of five calls per CSR and Quality Assurance monitors another five. The supervisor coaches all 10 calls as they are completed throughout the month. The recorded calls have audio and video so the CSR and supervisor can see and discuss everything that was said and done on the call.

My team regularly averages around 95% every month with this type of coaching and feedback.

- Andrea
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