Successful customer experience teams know that checklists and scripts don’t build trust with people; only other people can do that. If you want your customers to leave an interaction satisfied, you need the human touch. People really hate feeling like they’re talking to a robot—especially when they know it’s a live person on the other end.
To help your agents succeed, give them space to be human. The days of agent micromanagement are over—that kind of leadership only left agents feeling resistant to change, and left customers unhappy. These days, teams are leaning on software to automate the more mundane aspects of coaching, freeing managers up to focus on the person in front of them in their coaching sessions. This renewed emphasis on independence, trust, and growth leads to happier agents, and happier customers. As CX leaders, focus on the following when you’re coaching your agents:
CX agents want to feel trusted, and that comes from autonomy and less micromanagement.
Hovering over an agent’s every move will make them less confident in their performance. Allow them the space to be independent by giving them the reins to handle customer interactions from start to finish. They’ll use their QA scores to see where they’re succeeding and which areas need more work.
Set up processes that will empower employees to solve problems on their own. For instance, say your athletic clothing business messes up a customer’s order.
Allow the agent who is handling the conversation the freedom to offer a form of appeasement based on the company’s policies (for example, a $20 gift card and a shoebag on top of replacing the original order).
This gives the agent the space to customize the offering based on the agent’s understanding of the customer’s experience and needs, instead of following a formula. If the customer had professed a love of pink activewear for example, the agent could’ve gone the extra mile and offered the gift card and shoebag both in a matching shade of pink. Offering a customized form of appeasement for a bad experience is sure to lead to great CSAT, and a loyal customer.
Sharing ownership of an agent’s growth and performance with them leads to a more engaged workforce, while highlighting their expertise, and leading to a higher level of satisfaction. It also gives visibility into what needs improvement for better customer service management with clients. Start by providing agents with the tools they need to succeed: clear expectations, opportunities for growth, and software that guides them along the way.
Setting clear expectations of your team might sound restrictive, but when executed well, can be the most freeing policy change you can make.
In the appeasement example above, clear expectations were set for the agent: follow the appeasement chart, select the right appeasement, and customize it to the customer. Beyond this, the agent was given the leeway, trust, and independence to execute in a way they saw fit. Of course, this comes with a lot of practice and training—which is where QA scorecards come in.
QA scorecards spell out the team’s expectations of customer interactions, and therefore, what agents should and should not do. They provide a framework for agents to refer to, track their progress, and improve upon. Setting these clear expectations empowers agents to be creative within those boundaries, and removes the constraints of robotic scripts and flowcharts.
Having QA to set and check expectations also gives agents a voice.
Take the team at LevelUp, for example. Their QA program allowed agents to have full access to their QA scores and performance metrics, allowing them to track their progress against the clearly defined goals. More importantly, because the expectations had already been agreed upon and codified in the scorecards, agents had the ability to request a grade review if they disagreed with the grades they’ve received, and point to the original scorecards to back their claims up.
There’s always room for growth in the world of customer experience. Providing training and learning opportunities lets your agents know you’re willing to invest in them, thus heightening their job satisfaction, and leading to better engagement and lower employee turnover.
Having a QA program gives managers the data they need to plan for coaching sessions with their agents, and surfaces areas of growth as well as opportunities for improvement.
Here’s what an average CX team’s QA dashboard looks like. It’s immediately obvious which agents are struggling, and which agents need more help.
Equipping agents with tools like QA as part of your customer service management processes ensures that they’ll perform better. Going the extra mile to pair QA with services like an LMS or Screen Capture provides agents with highly contextualized training with a single click.
People appreciate it when their wins are celebrated—no matter if they’re big or small. It makes them feel appreciated, and in the case of bettering customer service management, it motivates agents to keep performing to the best of their ability.
While these celebrations can take the forms of prizes for best performing or most improved agents, some managers use tools like MaestroQA’s Agent Slack Shoutouts to celebrate good customer satisfaction ratings. If an agent receives good results on the CSAT survey, a shoutout is sent to the entire team.
Celebrating wins like these are a great way to uplift agents by showing them your appreciation, while giving them the chance to share what went well with their teammates, and allowing the whole team to learn from one agent’s success.
Ready to turn the page on micromanagement? Shift your focus from catching mistakes, to providing great coaching with MaestroQA today. Request a demo here.