When done right, coaching plays a substantial role in helping employees feel engaged and engaged employees are far more likely to deliver on their company objectives. In the customer service industry that means consumers are more likely to receive a rewarding and satisfying experience.
The key than becomes how to do coach the right way. While not a science, there are a few strategies, that if deployed the right way will ensure that coaching is received openly and with an intent to change for the better. And that is the intent, an exchange of ideas and feedback that helps someone learn in order to improve.
How to coach effectively?
- Create a program - this is a documented process that defines and demonstrates effective coaching
- Teach shared principles - coaching styles and approaches may vary, the goals should be the same
- Be consistent - All Leaders must commit to the principal of coaching every day - No days off here
- Don't settle on just one style - mix it up with one on one, group, peer to peer and self coaching
- Coach in various ways - On the spot, side by side, in a breakout room - variety is important!
- Confirm that your coaching is effective - measure your results and seek input from employees
Tip: Participation is Key. Employees need to feel a part of the coaching process. It is essential that leaders ask employees they are coaching questions to encourage their participation. This will increase engagement and the likelihood that the employee is committed to improving. Moreover, they will enjoy the experience more!
Coaching is one of the most important elements in creating world class customer experiences. No matter what an employee is accountable for, if he or she is made aware of what they are doing well and how they can improve it is a certainty that they will be more successful. And with the success of your employees comes the happiness of your customers. Happy customers spend more money with you!
The challenge is that often when things get hectic, and in most customer service and sales operations this happens frequently, coaching is the first thing that stops. The adage is "I don't have the time." When that happens, please keep this in mind: the time you invest in coaching, even when in a crisis, will repay itself tenfold in the long run. Effective coaching has a direct link to employee engagement and cannot stop. Better you be creative and coach less often and for shorter periods of time vs. not at all. It simply too important.
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Have a terrific 2014 and we will talk to you soon!