Assessing the Call Coach

Bigstockphoto_business_meeting_1264Connie Smith, one of the all-time best Call Center bloggers, recently reported on her company’s Call Coaching Best Practices forum. It sounds like there were a lot of great discussions and plenty of great take aways.

Connie mentioned that one of the hot topics at the forum was "How do you measure your coaches?" It’s a great question, and Connie even provided a great coaches assessment tool from the forum that helps managers and CSRs grade the coaches on a thorough list of applicable behaviors.

As I thought about the question, my immediate response was that a part of a call coaches assessment should be the actual results in their team’s behaviors. I’ve known many great people who were popular call coaches with their team. However, their coaching did not result in lasting behavior change and an enhanced customer experience. As a call coach, I love to pull out trend charts of the teams I coach and see the measured improvement over time. The improvement, or lack of improvement, tell me if I’m on track or not.

There is also a warning that must come with measuring results. I’m surprised by the number of companies who provide significant incentives to their quality managers, call coaches and supervisors based soley on their team’s quality scores. These would be the quality scores that the quality managers, call coaches and supervisors generate by their own assessment. If you tell a call center supervisor that you’ll give him a bonus if his quality scores are 95 or better, then put him in charge of his own quality scores – what do you want to bet he’ll make sure his score is 95 whether his team’s performance warrants it or not?

Call coaching needs to produce results, but the results need to be measurably real.

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