Eeny-meeny-miny-moach, Which Call Do I Choose to Coach?

I was shadowing several call coaches today as part of a call coach mentoring program for one of our clients. It was interesting to watch these coaches select the calls they were going to analyze. Most often, the coach quickly dismissed any call shorter than two minutes and any call longer than five minutes, gravitating to a call between three and five minutes in length. The assumption was that any call less than two minutes had no value for coaching purposes. Dismissing longer calls was done, admittedly, because they didn’t want to take the time to listen to them. Unfortunately, this is a common practice. There are a couple of problems with this approach:

  • You are not getting a truly random sample of the agents performance. If you are simply coaching an occasional call, it may not really not a major issue. If you are using the results for bonuses, performance management or incentive pay, then your sampling process may put you at risk.
  • You are ignoring real “moments of truth” in which customers are being impacted. Customers can make critical decisions about your company in thirty-second calls and thirty minute calls. To avoid listening to these calls is turning a blind eye to, what may be, very critical interactions between customers and CSRs.
  • You may be missing out on valuable data. Short calls often happen because of misdirected calls or other process problems. Quantifying why these are occurring could save you money and improve one call resolution as well as customer satisfaction. Likewise, longer calls may result from situations that have seriously gone awry for a customer. Digging in to the reasons may yield valuable information about problems in the service delivery system.

Capturing and analyzing a truly random sample of phone calls will, in the long run, protect and benefit everyone involved.

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flickr photo courtesy of lotusutol

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