Engage Customers as Frontline Coaches

by Susan Hash, Contact Center Pipeline| Oct 18, 2013 | Tags : q&a customer coaching

A Q&A with tpc Senior Partner Scott O. Thomas from the September 2012 edition of Contact Center Pipeline.

Effective coaching is one of the most critical activities to ensure the success of frontline agents.

Yet in today's do-more-with-less business environment, supervisors are struggling to deliver timely coaching to their teams.
What if you could get help from your most valuable and available resource? Customers are passionate about the service experience, and are eager to provide accurate, reliable and constructive feedback to help contact center agents improve their performance. It’s an inter- esting solution—and one that is built into an easy-to-use, scalable and centrally managed platform called Customer Driven Manager (CDM), developed by Tamer Partners Corporation. CDM is an enterprise management solution that helps to synchronize customers and front- line employees to produce an affordable world-class sales and service experience. We asked Tamer Partners’ Senior Partner Scott Thomas to tell us more about the customer-driven feedback solution.

How are customers involved in the coaching process?

CDM asks the customer to evaluate the agent’s performance and provides an opportunity to offer advice to the agent. Among other things, customers are asked to rate the agent on skills, knowledge, courtesy, professionalism and the ability to efficiently resolve the issue at hand. CDM also determines if the customer’s issue was successfully addressed on the first contact.

How often are surveys conducted?

Using this new tool, our clients are able to capture and analyze detailed customer feedback across all contact channels (telephone, Internet and retail) right after an interaction with a customer. Surveys are triggered based on interactions a customer may have at any of these customer channels.

Can this be targeted toward specific performance issues?

At the highest level, CDM can accomplish any specific internal or external surveying objec- tives our clients have. CDM can manage Customer Satisfaction, Net Promoter and Customer Loyalty campaigns while also handling New Hire Training Surveys, Employee Satisfaction and 360 Degree Leadership programs. CDM takes a dramatic turn from other applications by engaging the customer in improving each individual employee’s performance. Individual Action Surveys (IAS) can be sent to gather feedback about a specific performance gap for each employee.
There is no limit to the number of these surveys that can be created. Employees can have multiple IAS’s running at any given time. Each employee can have his or her own specific plan. CDM’s proprietary IAS modules allow customers to coach employees on the specific performance areas they seek to improve. Customers can help improve empathy, active lis- tening, etiquette, selling—you name it!

How is feedback delivered?

Every employee has his or her own unique profile and portal in CDM. They can view the feedback from each customer and view an overview of their scores compared to their team and the company averages.

How do agents feel about receiving feedback directly from customers? Is there any difference when received from customers rather than their supervisor?

Generally, it is the employee’s reaction to the feedback that results in improved satisfaction scores. Employees are often more receptive to constructive feedback from customers than from their managers. They are more likely to change behavior when customers give them advice.

Is there any conflict with other surveys that other areas of the company may be sending to customers?

There are many options to address this issue. CDM surveys are fully customizable so that the surveys sent may ask different questions than other company surveys. In addition, the files sent to CDM to initiate the surveys can be edited to omit customers who have been sent other surveys.

Does the customer understand the impact they are making by providing their feedback on the agent’s performance?

Customers do realize the impact and generally are invested in providing feedback because they want to receive good service. Many customers view their feedback as a way to ensure that they get better service in the future.

What is the impact on customer satisfaction?

CDM impacts customer satisfaction by actually changing employee behavior. As custom- ers identify performance gaps and then provide targeted feedback in these areas through the IAS process, employee behavior starts to change. When employees improve, customer satisfaction improves.

For more information about Customer Driven Manager,
visit Tamer Partners at www.tamerpartners.com

Susan Hash
is the Editor of Contact Center Pipeline

Follow @SusanHash on Twitter