As any call centre manager knows (or should know), providing feedback to call centre phone agents is an integral part of promoting business success. It’s of vital importance that employees who work on the phone are given regular tips about how to better overcome objections, provide accurate answers and calm irate customers. As well, advice on how to boost sales is always a big help!
But what are the keys to making the feedback you provide as effective as possible? Here are three:
1. Use the “sandwich technique”.
At SIClytics, we’ve long heralded the act of placing negative feedback in between two slices of positive feedback. It’s important to remember that your employees are people – people with feelings. The more you do to support their emotional well-being, the better at their jobs they will be. There’s no question about it. When offering your feedback, be sure to include ample amounts of praise while also helping out with areas of concern.
On TalkDesk.com, Shauna Geraghty champions this technique. “Start the coaching session with something they have recently improved, are consistently doing well, or a strength,” she advises, “This will put the agent at ease and increase the likelihood that they will be receptive to what comes next. After you provide negative feedback, make sure you end the coaching session on a positive note by again highlighting something they are doing well.”
2. Accept feedback from your reps in return.
All feedback sessions should be two-way streets. It’s important to hear, directly from your phone agents, about any issues they may be having. Remember that they are on the “front lines”, speaking directly to your customers on a daily basis. They are aware of the needs, concerns and requests of your customer base. Hearing them out will help you to develop even better business practices.
“When you’re giving feedback, listen to your agents,” advises Texas-based Electronic Voice Services, “There may be a reason they do things a certain way even though it violates your company’s policy — a reason you need to know about so you can address it. Once you’ve discussed the behaviours you want an agent to change, work with them to create an action plan to bring about the desired changes.”
3. Participate in some role play.
If you’d like to see just how effective your feedback has been, engage your phone agent in a make-believe call to see how well he/she has adjusted. It’s a good way to test just how much his/her performance has been enhanced by your help. Naturally, you can use the exercise to correct any mistakes or offer extra pieces of advice that will help your rep on actual calls.
“Start by selecting a recent interaction that they had with a customer that could be optimized,” suggests Geraghty, “Then, role play that scenario making the agent the customer and you the agent. Once the agent has an understanding of what you would say in that situation, switch roles. When they are role playing the agent, provide them with helpful feedback so they can tweak their approach accordingly.”
To provide you with greater ease in delivering feedback, SIClytics offers Live Call Monitoring services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.