Agent Engagement

7 Signs You Need Better Customer Service Coaching

Between online reviews and social media comments and customer emails, calls, texts, and chats, it can feel like your customer service team is carrying the weight of the world—or at least your brand’s reputation—on your shoulders. The company is depending on you and your agents to offer up exceptional customer service, and you want to deliver. 

Still, there may be signs both your customers and agents need more support.

The good news is, by being proactive and making key improvements to your customer service coaching, you can drive improvements in employee engagement and customer satisfaction, lifetime value, loyalty, and more.

7 Signs You Need Better Customer Service Coaching

1. Your company keeps receiving the same kinds of negative customer feedback via social media and online reviews

Some negative customer feedback is to be expected. Everyone, both employees and customers, can have a bad day. Patterns of consistent complaints, however, could point to underlying issues within your company’s training and QA programs.

Retailer Williams-Sonoma was able to achieve a more than 50% improvement in their net promoter score (NPS) by replacing traditional training methods in favor of adopting in-the-moment micro-coaching, based on agent-level real-time customer feedback. This personalized approach to training helped managers pinpoint issues on the spot to improve service performance.

2. Your company’s customer satisfaction KPIs are falling below internal or industry benchmarks

KPIs like customer satisfaction (CSAT), NPS, and customer effort score (CES) can help you understand how well you’re meeting your customers’ needs and measure the impact of your customer service team and customer service coaching.

When these metrics start to fall below your company’s internal goals or industry standards, that may signal a need to regroup and recalibrate as a team.

 3. Team members don’t seem as happy or productive as they could be

Dozens of research studies analyzing the relationship between employee engagement and customer satisfaction have found that employees who are happy are less likely to make mistakes and more likely to be productive.

They’re also more likely to help their employers find ways to improve customer service and boost sales and profits.

That’s why effective customer service training programs focus not only on providing learning opportunities but also prioritize recognizing team members, encouraging team building, and connecting employees to the company’s mission. 

Customer Service Coaching Plan: 9 Tips for How to Coach More Successful Agents

4. Agent attrition is high

It’s an unfortunate reality that the average attrition rate for contact centers is between 30 and 45%. Considering it can cost up to $15,000 to hire, onboard, and train new agents, that rate is unsustainable for most businesses. 

Before team members give notice, there are warning signs to be on the lookout for—indicators some agents may need more support, encouragement, and recognition. 

Pay attention when team members seem isolated, disconnected from the brand, like they need more positive reinforcement, or like they want to feel empowered to solve customer issues on their own. These are all indicators of dwindling morale.

One strategy that can help?

Recalibrating your team’s coaching, training, and QA process so each individual agent gets the access to team leadership support and recognition that they deserve, with an ideal 5:1 praise-to-criticism ratio.  

5. Average handle time and other metrics are slipping

When everything’s running like a well-oiled machine, it’s easier to hit your goals for first response time (FRT), average handle time, average resolution time, and first contact resolution (FCR).

When team members aren’t empowered to act on their own, feel less motivated, have knowledge gaps, or otherwise lack the resources to succeed, these signals of team performance may be negatively impacted. 

7 Signs You Need Better Customer Service Coaching

That’s why customer-centric brands offer micro-coaching sessions dedicated to guiding improvements in FCR and other KPIs as part of their customer service coaching.

6. Your current customer service coaching is too boring

The more specific, relevant, and, let’s face it, interesting, your training and coaching sessions are, the more effective they may be.

One 2016 study found that contact centers that integrated gamification into their customer service training and coaching programs were more likely to see improvements in agent attrition, customer satisfaction, and customer lifetime value.

7. Helpful resources aren’t offered at the right time…

…right when employees are first hired. From Disney to Zappos, legendary brands that set themselves apart from the competition prioritize customer-focused job training starting on day one for each new employee.

How to Improve Your Team’s Service Delivery Through Coaching

Ready to deliver more effective 1:1 coaching sessions with your agents? Get practical examples that work and actionable tips on how to take your coaching program to the next level with our Customer Service Coaching Plan.

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