Featured Image for the blog: 4 things a call center manager can do to coach agents in 1 click with Sharpen

Coaching is broken.

Call center managers are bogged down with time-sucking tasks every week, leaving less than 7 percent of time left to coach agents. That means you have three hours TOTAL per week to coach every. single. agent. You spend more than twice as much time driving to work than you do coaching your agents any given week. It’s a perpetual problem, and it’s one that doesn’t have an in-your-face solution. It’s not like you can wave a magic wand, say “abracadabra,” and make more hours appear in the day. But your agents need more of your time.

Agents are humans. They need outstanding coaching and development to succeed. Scheduled six-month check-ins aren’t enough. Coaching needs to be in-the-moment and frequent. That’s how you give agents actionable learning, so they can grow. And, agents need coaching that enriches their day-to-day work, not pulls them away from their jobs.

Our development team here at Sharpen saw the challenges call center managers are dealing with to provide strong training, so they built a product to help.

Sharpen Q makes coaching a part of the daily workflow. You can coach your agents inside Sharpen Q so they can get and give feedback in a matter of seconds. And, lessons and comments show up in your agents’ queue, so when they’re not getting slammed with cases (and after they’ve taken a breather), they have quick access to an extra dose of coaching. In-the-moment feedback creates a better agent experience and a culture of learning. Plus, it makes it easier for you to coach, for your agents to digest information, and most importantly, for your customers to get the best service possible.

We know you’re pressed for time. We don’t have a magic wand, but maybe a magic mouse-click will do the trick. Here are four things you can do to coach agents in one click with Sharpen.

1. Send a microlearning lesson to an agent.

Sharpen uses bots to monitor your agents’ interactions, then proactively sends you the moments with identified coaching opportunities. Say you have an agent whose volume is getting a little high or who has extra-lengthy calls, a bot will send you these interactions to monitor and review, along with potential lessons that can help your agents. You choose the lesson you want, then press send to send a pre-crafted lesson to the agent (or the bot can just handle that for you automatically).

2. Tag an interaction with feedback.

Tag interactions with words like “good,” “bad,” “needs improvement,” or anything else you think up. When you’re listening to an agent’s call or viewing their interactions, you can highlight a section of the interaction and tag it with any feedback you chose to accompany it. You don’t have to leave the interaction and write a note on a Post-It to hand to your agent. Tagging lets you instantly mark a highlighted section with feedback. Then, your agents can view it in-line during playback. After tagging interactions, you can take it a step further and add notes to provide more specific information in each highlighted section.

3. Respond to a coaching moment in your Q.

With Coaching turned on in your Q, you can see when agents respond to your feedback from previous interactions. Click the word answer, and instantly respond to your agent to keep the conversation going. Coaching is a two-way street.

4. Pause an agent’s Q.

If you see calls stacking up for one of your agents, or bots tell you about several bad interactions in a row, you can instantly press pause to put an agent’s queue on hold. Then you have time to discover the coaching moment they need to get back on track. A face-to-face conversation can break down your agents’ blockers, or even see if personal factors are holding them back in moments like these. Everyone has a day where their kid is sick or their car won’t start. Sometimes a personal conversation or some quick words of inspiration can solve the problem. Pressing pause lets you check in with agents, so there’s less risk of bad customer experiences.

Being a call center manager is a tough job. You have a team full of humans who depend on you to learn and grow. You only have a combined total of about three hours a week to make it happen, but you can do it. The more you coach your agents, the more they can help themselves and your customers. The benefits of empowering your agents far outweigh the time commitment. Take advantage of the magic mouse-click while your wand is on backorder. Use Sharpen to help make coaching easier and more effective for your agents.