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Successful customer-centric businesses understand the critical role played by a robust CX Quality Assurance (QA) program.

Not only can QA guide continuous improvement in product and service knowledge, but it also focuses on the human elements of customer interactions. It helps agents align their behaviour with your organisation’s expectations. QA measures the things that agents can control. It provides a foundation for feedback, coaching, training, and professional development for the broader team.

When it comes to customer service, contact centres serve as the primary interface for businesses to engage with their customers. They can build or break your organisational reputation with customers, co-delivering the experience your customers remember and talk about. Traditionally, the success of these centres has been measured through key performance indicators (KPIs) such as Average Handling Time (AHT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and First Contact Resolution (FCR)

We all know the COVID pandemic accelerated the global shift toward remote work, transforming the way businesses operate across industries. For contact centres in Australia, this was a game changing moment, where previously considered impossible proved to be not only possible but effective. Now that the dust has settled, what are we seeing in contact centres, what are the predictions for the next 12 months, and have we been able to reach a middle ground that works for all stakeholders?

In the fiscal balancing act of tightening budgets and a stronger need for a return on investment, the decision to cut or continue workplace coaching requires careful consideration. Is coaching just a line item, a ‘tick and flick’ activity, or is it the key to unlocking employee potential and driving results that set you apart from others?

When considering the value of an investment, we traditionally look at the expected results against the resources expended. But when it comes to personal or professional development, the metrics become a little nuanced. What is it that makes coaching a worthy investment?

To appreciate the worth of coaching, we must first distinguish between horizontal and vertical development. Horizontal development pertains to the absorption of content—reading books, listening to podcasts, or attending lectures. While informative, this type of development often remains theoretical. Without deliberate application, knowledge can easily be forgotten, leaving us unchanged in thought or behaviour.

Contrastingly, vertical development delves deeper. It’s not just about acquiring knowledge but fully embodying it. Real-world scenarios, challenges, and experiences push individuals out of their comfort zones, compelling them to adapt and evolve. Think about an impending deadline that requires your complete and undivided attention alongside the urgent client issue that needs urgent resolution. Top that off with differing views on how things should be done and depleted energy from a restless night’s sleep and an empty stomach and you have the perfect storm.

It’s in these pressure cooker situations that true transformation has the opportunity to take place, but it’s not a given. Transformation will only happen if we take the opportunity, after the event (when emotions have subsided, we’re rested and have eaten) to reflect and make sense of things with the value of hindsight. Unfortunately, in our frantic modern world, most of us neglect this crucial step and miss potential growth opportunities. We view being still as negative or unproductive, and with a never-ending to-do list the urge to keep doing is often too strong to resist.

Enter coaching.

For many people, it is only when working with a coach, that they give themselves permission to be still and reflect – and this is where their value is uncovered. A coach creates the space for reflection and holds it, through discomfort, resistance and even denial – until realisations are found.

Coaching exceeds the surface-level knowledge transfer, it allows for vertical learning and transformation. According to the International Coaching Federation, coaching involves a “thought-provoking and creative process that inspires individuals to maximise their personal and professional potential.” Coaches don’t merely provide answers. Instead, they prompt individuals with powerful questions to introspect, challenge their beliefs, and view situations from varied perspectives. This process often exposes untapped resources of imagination, blind spots, productivity, and leadership within the coachee.

The power of coaching doesn’t end with the coaching sessions. A skilled coach instils the art of self-questioning. Over time, individuals adopt strategies around these reflective habits, which allows the value to continue to be delivered well after the coaching relationship has concluded. So, when assessing the value of a coach, we shouldn’t simply calculate the hours and money spent, we should consider the lasting impact of their guidance.

Coaching is not a passive undertaking; it’s a dynamic partnership focused on the individual. It swiftly transitions one from a state of stagnation to empowerment. Coaches don’t dictate the path but help individuals discover their own. The real magic lies not in the answers provided but the questions asked.

In our busy, often overwhelming world, a coach serves as an invaluable partner. They offer a space free of judgment or bias, dedicated solely to the coachees success. As the landscape of work and life continues to evolve, coaching emerges as a tool not just for the elite but for anyone seeking clarity amidst the chaos.

 

Shelley Flett

Shelley Flett is a leadership development & team performance expert with over 15 years working as, for and with leaders to build capability, increase effectiveness and create high performance team cultures. She has a rich leadership, operations and customer service background with people being central to everything she’s done in her career. Shelley is the Author of ‘The Dynamic Leader: Become the leader others are inspired to follow’ and ‘Feedback: Seek it, Give it, Connect with it’. For more information about how Shelley can help your leaders visit www.shelleyflett.com.

Australia’s workplace health and safety (WHS) legislation is undergoing a metamorphosis, leaving the old rules in the dust and ushering in a new era of occupational caution. It’s not just a makeover; it’s a legislative glow-up that has businesses scrambling to update their safety dance routines. As the legal landscape shifts, employers are trading in their old WHS handbooks for the latest edition, trying to navigate a maze of regulatory changes that aren’t straightforward or easily understood. So, buckle up your steel-toed boots because the only constant is change, and it’s knocking on the office door like a safety inspector with a bone to pick.