The Olympics are in full swing and there is nothing more exciting than watching athletes who have dedicated so much time, effort and energy to being the best. These people believe in what they do and are willing to show up and compete on behalf of their countries. But the road to Sochi, or any other Olympic event, is not easy. It’s filled with tears, sweat, injuries, recoveries and a spirit of pushing beyond adversity so that person can simply become the best.
Granted contact center agents are not Olympic athletes, but the spirit and desire of those who want to be the best is similar. They are dedicated to their craft, believing in providing the very best customer service, delivering outstanding information and ensuring resolution to transactions in an expedient and friendly manner.
Whether it’s Olympic athletes or agents, the following steps ensure that you create gold medal teams:
- Pick the Best Talent – with athletes, the talent scouts evaluate performance, statistics and look for potential. It is similar with agents. We must ask the best questions, evaluate potential and look for the right skills and attitude.
- Make Improvements – even the best athletes have room to grow, and so do agents. Once the best talent is selected, it’s time to implement a knowledge transfer methodology that gets the agent, or athlete, up to speed more quickly. For agents, this includes classes, role playing and testing. For athletes, it’s training, testing and more training.
- Continued Coaching – a critical component of an athlete’s success is having the right coach. It is similar for agents. Coaches ensure the right information is delivered so that the athlete, or agent, can make appropriate adjustments and continue the journey to being the best. Our data shows that agents receiving continuous coaching through quality assurance are able to improve more quickly and maintain the improvements longer.
- Developing the Right Processes – talent and coaching are foundational elements but can only go as far as processes and tools allow. Think about the bobsled teams. They don’t always have to practice in the snow, and they do not always run the bobsled in training. They have varying processes that ensure maximum athleticism, flexibility and teamwork. The same is true for contact centers. Ensuring the right processes, tools and methodologies are in place provides an environment for success.
- Analyze, Evaluate and Move Forward– coaches using the right processes, tools and methodologies provide feedback to athletes who can then analyze and consequently improve their performance. Together they will determine the best course of action for continued training. This process moves beyond the coach / athlete relationship into other areas. Think of an Olympic hockey team. The general manager, trainers, and coaches will evaluate the team as a whole to determine course corrections.In a contact center, the quality assurance and development teams begin the process with consistent feedback to the agents. The operations team will ensure continued communications with the client, which then creates a 360 degree communication cycle to ensure agents are consistently provided the right feedback. The analyses of the project, metrics, customer feedback and agent performance form a solid process that can be evaluated for opportunities to improve and maintain continued growth.
Olympic athletes and top-tier performing agents actually have a lot in common, particularly with their winning mindset. When you combine that with the outstanding coaching, strong processes and right tools, you too can have gold medal agents in your contact center!