Call Center Coaching: 5 More Tips to Ensure Your Success


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Our pre­vi­ous post on call cen­ter coach­ing titled, “Call Cen­ter Coach­ing: 5 Tips to Ensure Your Suc­cess,” gave tips to help you improve your man­age­ment style in a sup­port or call cen­ter environment.

We’re pleased to present the next 5 essen­tial skills that will help improve your coach­ing ability.

  1. Spend some time each day prais­ing your agents. Tak­ing time to give feed­back is an essen­tial skill of man­ag­ing. Offer­ing praise and con­struc­tive feedback—and know­ing when and how—will help your agents improve—often dramatically.

When you praise your employ­ees, gen­uinely and on a reg­u­lar basis, you help val­i­date their work and demon­strate your sup­port. Call cen­ter envi­ron­ments can be harsh—especially if you have an abun­dance of upset or dif­fi­cult cus­tomers—so it’s your job as a call cen­ter coach to ensure your agents feel supported.

When you find ways to praise your agents, you’ll notice that they’ll be more recep­tive to your con­struc­tive feed­back. Think of giv­ing praise as a foun­da­tion of sorts—by build­ing a base and giv­ing your agents con­fi­dence, you’ll then be able to refine their skills through con­struc­tive feedback.

You may find it help­ful to develop a reminder sys­tem to ensure you give praise every day. For exam­ple, cre­ate an alpha­bet­i­cal form of all of your agents and high­light each name that you’ve given praise to that week. Repeat on a weekly basis. Or, select an aspect of a team’s work that they’ve done well and send the group a col­lec­tive e-mail con­grat­u­lat­ing them on a job well done.

They’ll appre­ci­ate the sentiment.

  1. Be obser­vant and present. One of the best ways to build sol­i­dar­ity and show sup­port is to be in the trenches, so to speak, with your agents. Spend time each day on the call floor and observ­ing how your agents work. Take note of items that need to be addressed before a more seri­ous prob­lem emerges. Inter­act with your agents and give them praise and feed­back as you make your rounds.

You don’t want your team to feel uneasy or as though you’re “spy­ing” on them, so make sure you com­mu­ni­cate that you’re there to sup­port, not crit­i­cize or micro­man­age them.

  1. Get to know your team mem­bers. One of the best ways to build rap­port with your agents is to inter­act with them on a daily basis. It’s great to be on the floor, observ­ing and work­ing along­side your agents, as we dis­cussed in point 3, but take it a step far­ther by interacting—meaningfully.

When you get to know your agents on a per­sonal level, you set a tone of open com­mu­ni­ca­tion and dia­logue. Your agents will feel more com­fort­able approach­ing you with issues, and you’ll find it’s eas­ier to solve prob­lems once you under­stand the unique per­son­al­ity of each agent.

Inter­act­ing with your agents fre­quently doesn’t mean you need to need to take them out for beer or invite them over to din­ner, but it does require you take time to learn their back­grounds, pre­vi­ous accom­plish­ments, and interests.

  1. Get feed­back. In the world of call cen­ters, you reg­u­larly work with all sorts of feed­back, such as CSAT scores, res­o­lu­tion rates, and other call cen­ter met­rics, to name a few. Met­rics are essen­tial to run­ning a cen­ter efficiently—no doubt about it—but it’s also equally impor­tant to under­stand what’s going on with your agents that may be influ­enc­ing your met­rics. This is where agent feed­back comes in. As a call cen­ter coach, how often do you solicit feed­back from your agents on how you’re doing, what cus­tomer issues they’re deal­ing with, or whether they have sug­ges­tions for change?

How you ask for feed­back will vary based on the topic, but send­ing out ques­tions via email, cre­at­ing a sug­ges­tion box, or ask­ing directly are all great meth­ods. When you solicit feed­back from your team, make sure you ask open-ended ques­tions (so you’re not get­ting “yes” and “no” responses) and be sure to thank your agents for their input. Need a sur­vey to deter­mine your employ­ees’ views of the work­place? Down­load one here.

  1. Empower your team. Our final call cen­ter coach­ing tip to add to your arse­nal is empowerment.

Empow­er­ing your agents means that you demon­strate respect and equip each employee with a sense of respon­si­bil­ity. You’ll find that empow­ered agents will take more own­er­ship in their work, have increased moti­va­tion, and look for ways to improve at their job.

Every call cen­ter envi­ron­ment is dif­fer­ent, and the level of auton­omy allowed varies based on expe­ri­ence, but you can make your agents feel empow­ered by fol­low­ing these tips:

  • Com­mu­ni­cate to your agents that they are professionals.
  • Del­e­gate appro­pri­ate por­tions of your job (with super­vi­sion) to help empower and spread the responsibility.
  • Allow your agents to take some risks.
  • Give your agents respon­si­bil­ity to make deci­sions that affect their work—don’t hand­i­cap them by mak­ing all of the deci­sions for them.
  • Ask agents how they would do some­thing instead of sim­ply telling them what to do—first get their input and ask them to think the prob­lem through.
  • Teach agents what you know.

Effec­tive call cen­ter coach­ing can improve your call cen­ter met­rics, cre­ate engaged employ­ees, reduce turnover, and help your oper­a­tion be more cost effec­tive. Most of all, devel­op­ing and refin­ing your man­age­r­ial skills will result in a team that works for you, not against you, which is a win-win for all involved.

For a more thor­ough guide on suc­cess­ful call cen­ter coach­ing, be sure to down­load the 8-page white paper, “The Cost of Poor Employee Super­vi­sion & Best Prac­tices for Improv­ing Skills.” In it, you’ll find what lead­ing com­pa­nies are doing to increase the skill set of their super­vi­sors, learn the results of their efforts, and find a list of other resources to help you cre­ate a suc­cess­ful call cen­ter environment.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peggy Carlaw
Peggy Carlaw is the founder of Impact Learning Systems. Impact helps companies develop and implement customer service strategies to improve the customer experience. Their consulting services and training programs help organizations create a customer-focused culture while producing measurable business results. Peggy is also the author of three books published by McGraw-Hill including Managing and Motivating Contact Center Employees.


  1. I used to work in a call centre, in fact I’ve worked in a few but the best one had a fantastic atmosphere and one of the things they did is a monthly team incentive.

    They basically had 3 different prizes depending on the productivity of the team.

    A great prize, a medium prize and an ok prize where the company pays for the team to do something. The ok one is easy to get and the best one everyone has to work but the best one could be a night out paid for so it keeps everyone motivated as well as bonding when everyone gets together once a month.


  2. Thanks for your comment, Scott. It sounds like you worked in a great place. And, yes, team incentives can really help create satisfied, engaged employees.

    Unfortunately, many centers rely on incentives alone to keep employees happy and motivated. Creating that fantastic atmosphere you mentioned starts from management on down. As someone once said, “When’s the last time you heard an employee say, ‘My boss treats me like dirt, but I’m holding out for employee appreciation week. I’ll get a balloon and a hot dog and I’ll be over the top!”


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