Based on the nature of their job, call center employees are expected to have excellent communication skills. Additionally, agents are expected to be:
- Able to adapt to sudden change;
- Comfortable in fast-paced environments;
Some call center employees lack a few necessary skills needed to succeed in their roles. However, with determination, patience, and coaching, call centers can ensure their staff’s baseline skill level is above sub-par.
Call center coaching is beneficial (and necessary) to ensure both established and new call agents are up to date on workplace processes. However, implementing poor coaching techniques can be just as damaging to a call center as failure to implement coaching at all. A few call center coaching challenges include, but aren’t limited to:
- Making time to prepare for sessions;
- Finding bandwidth to complete training;
- Scaling the amount of education and time to spend on each session.
One solution to the troubles above is considering real-time coaching. Just as it sounds, real-time coaching is a system that assists call center managers with identifying coaching opportunities in real-time.
The Importance of Real-time Coaching
Real-time coaching offers the best feedback possible. In return, agents can apply constructive criticism promptly, which can help improve their overall performance.
It also helps pinpoint exactly where an agent’s performance needs to be enhanced. For instance, with the help of this system, coaches can provide useful feedback to agents, such as what trigger words are and how to identify them.
While it may be tempting to provide feedback based on personal preference rather than constructive criticism, it’s important to refrain from doing so. For this can be seen as micromanaging and overly critical.
Even when it’s unintentional, micromanaging is seen as a poor coaching practice. In fact, according to a Yoh Survey on the lack of respect in the workplace, out of 1,000 employees studied:
- 37% would quit if their manager was overly critical;
- 35% would quit if their manager micromanaged them;
- 34% would quit if they felt their voice and opinions weren’t being heard.
This coaching should tailor feedback in such a way as to show the utmost respect for call center agents.
The Benefits of Speech Analytics to Real-time Coaching
Real-time speech analytics is a technology that understands phone conversations and automatically alerts call center representatives with the best thing to say, live on each call. Blending this technology with real-time coaching gives managers the ability to provide valuable feedback.
This isn’t the only way speech analytics improves real-time coaching. Let’s take a closer look at the additional benefits of speech analytics.
Shortens Training Time
Real-time coaching can shorten the amount of time managers spend finding training opportunities. Speech analytics helps reduce training time even more.
Real-time speech analytics can instantly respond to a rep’s query without wasting valuable time. Because it is a system instead of a person, every agent can utilize real-time speech analytics. Whereas coaches are unable to provide instant, one-on-one advice to every agent.
Personalizes Training Experience
Not every agent needs extensive training in the same areas. While one rep needs guidance on staying on script, another may need help reducing call handling times. Real-time speech analytics only trains agents on what — as determined by the analytics system — needs improving.
In comparison, call center coaches tend to educate employees en masse with a standard processes guide and training exercises. While doing so is still beneficial, it doesn’t have as much of an impact on trainees as personalized training experiences do.
Last but certainly not least, speech analytics helps promote self-efficiency in the workplace. When call center representatives can go to work knowing they’ll receive help on-demand rather than having to wait, it can encourage them to go above and beyond in return.
Self-reliant training also helps hold reps accountable for the level of customer service they provide. Notifying agents in real-time of what they need to improve on eliminates the excuse of not knowing what to do if a job is done poorly.
How To Use Speech Analytics for Real-time Coaching
Now that the benefits of real-time speech analytics have been established, it’s time to discuss how it’s used. Listed below are a few ways to use speech analytics for real-time coaching.
Flag Trigger Words
A trigger word is an important word or phrase frequently used in customer service interactions. There are numerous examples of popular trigger words and phrases during customer calls, a few of which are:
- How are you;
- I can help;
- I understand;
- Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
Speech analytics systems help identify the above trigger words and more. In return, these systems use this information to educate agents on trigger words to say on calls.
Automate Lessons and Instructions
If real-time coaching intends to offer instant guidance, then automating the way call reps receive training lessons is a must. One way to achieve this is by implementing multiple systems including speech analytics programs and other AI programs, such as real-time quality assurance.
In doing so, not only are you generating instant lessons and instructions, but it also helps you keep on track with current call center trends.
Flag Areas of Improvement or Exceptional Performance
Speech analytics notifies representatives when they can improve. It can flag moments of exceptional performance as well.
A few exceptional performance examples worthy of being flagged include excellent conversation techniques and high-quality messaging. It’s important to note that if an AI recognizes hard work in an agent, then it’s important they receive the personal recognition as well.