What is performance coaching and why your CX team could use it?

Learn how to coach your call center team more effectively and drive better performance.

Last updated on: 
August 10, 2023
Josh Witty
Josh Witty
November 17, 2022
6 min read

Employee engagement and performance management are critical for business success. Organizations can boost productivity, service delivery, and customer satisfaction by integrating performance coaching into the employee development process. 

This post discusses performance coaching, how contact center coaching works, and why agent coaching will benefit your customer outcomes.  

What is coaching in a contact center?

In a contact center, performance coaching is a technique that involves assisting employees, teams, or other colleagues in identifying areas of strength and development to achieve pre-defined goals. Organizations can coach agents in multiple areas, such as time management, problem-solving, communication, and process improvement. 

How coaching customer service agents works

In contact centers, coaching agents and reviewing performance are done with a mix of data-driven benchmarks and qualitative feedback. Coaching provides managers the opportunity to share feedback and resources to guide improvement and ensure optimal results. 

There are different variations of how the performance coaching process works, but most classifications fall within these 5 steps: 

1. Identify your goals

Contact center coaching aims to raise agent performance to achieve specific laid-out goals. To do this, managers need to pinpoint their plans and targets, and align team goals with overall business objectives. Organizations can use AI-driven performance management solutions that automatically set goals based on recent performance data and tweak them based business outcomes needed.

Managers should consider setting mini goals as quarterly or monthly goals might seem overwhelming or too difficult to achieve. Managers can also encourage performance by creating a mini-goal contest for teams with leaderboards and an incentive.  

2. Evaluate your employees’ current performance

After identifying goals, evaluating the current state of each agent’s performance is necessary for effective coaching. Managers and employees need realtime information determine an agent’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to expected objectives. This process enables both the manager and the agent realtime visibility into activities that drive success, areas of improvement, and performance gaps. 

Fairness in employee assessments is essential for a receptive response to feedback. Per a 2021 Gartner Reimagine HR survey, employees who work in a high-fairness environment perform 26% better than those who don’t and are 27% less likely to quit. This approach reduces the high churn rate characterized by most contact centers. 

3. Provide tailored feedback

Improvement comes after evaluating an agent's current performance. Managers need to work on each of the issues identified with the employees. For the feedback to be impactful, managers need to address performance gaps and tailor coaching to each agent’s performance based on needs, skills, and strengths. 

A performance management solution that provides real-time data supports timely feedback and direction for teams. With Pathlight, managers can embed performance snapshots and reports in real-time to guide skill development and course correction, which makes coaching programs effective. 

4. Listen 

When you empower frontlines with real-time performance data, they will often raise their hands for coaching or assistance. They may also have ideas to improve training, processes, or your product. Pathlight offers pre-set agenda templates and empowers managers to have more impactful 1:1 collaboration with team members.  

5. Review employee progress

Monitoring agent progress after identifying gaps and providing guidance is vital to team growth. Managers should compare current and previous performance to determine the effectiveness of coaching programs and how to improve guidance. Constructive feedback and positive coaching motivate agents to work on themselves and improve.

How CLEAR Managers Went From Crunching Data to Coaching Their Teams Using Pathlight

Benefits of CX coaching for your team 

Support leaders are aware of rising customer expectations, yet many cannot fully meet these demands. High performance coaching is invaluable to any organization looking to align its teams with trends, customer expectations, and company direction.

Here are some reasons why coaching and feedback as a performance management technique will be very helpful for your contact center. 

  • Efficiency. According to Open Access Government, about 63% of organizations offering high performance coaching for their employees saw income and revenue growth. Coaching enhances productivity and enables agents to handle high contact volumes better.
  • Personal development. Performance coaching allows manager to individualize their approach. The personalized nature of coaching, which takes each agent's needs into account, promotes high levels of productivity, creativity, and job satisfaction
  • Better customer service. Customer-centric functions such as call centers and contact centers prioritize customer satisfaction. Since employees are constantly dealing with loads of customer inquiries and requests, interaction is at the core of call centers and success is measured by the quality of customer service. Performance coaching ensures excellent service delivery and boosts customer experiences. 

Pathlight provides teams with customer service coaching tools

Pathlight is a performance management solution that provides you with the necessary tools to supercharge coaching and onboarding, regardless of your team’s location. Performance coaching guides and realigns contact center teams in improving employee and customer experience. 

Pathlight offers managers customizable coaching and 1:1 agenda templates to kickstart their performance management strategy. 

Want to transform your team with actionable insights? Schedule a Pathlight demo today. 

Frequently asked questions

What do you do in your first coaching session?

Coaching shouldn’t wait for a structured session. With everyone having insights into performance and the ability to coach on that data at anytime, feedback sessions should be surprise-free. Here’s a simple way to structure a first-time coaching session with an agent:

  • Applaud great performance 
  • Review data on the current state of events 
  • In a palatable manner, provide constructive feedback 
  • Ask for employee feedback and listen
  • Provide resources for improvement 

How do you prepare for a coaching call?

The essence of workforce coaching is to drive improvement. Review performance intelligence and other relevant analytics against company benchmarks. Highlight inconsistencies with current performance and existing benchmarks. Map out a plan for addressing any gaps. Construct your feedback. 

What are good coaching questions?

For agent performance optimization, managers should consider questions such as: 

  • What went well on this call?
  • What do you think frustrated your customer during this conversation?
  • How might you approach this situation differently next time? 
  • What resources do you think you need to improve?
  • How would you categorize this customer problem?

Want to see a custom demo of Pathlight or get help finding the right plan? We'd love to chat.

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