Call Monitoring Feedback Tips For Helpdesk Supervisors
Article by Donna Earl
Every successful help desk manager, supervisor, and lead knows that superior agent performance creates customer/user satisfaction. Well delivered feedback guides agents to develop the highest level of skill in handling user interactions. Call monitoring is essential to assure all agent calls are handled consistently and professionally. Based on call monitoring, agents need feedback to help them develop highest level of proficiency in assisting customers. Here are tips for offering feedback:
- Provide feedback to agents frequently and in private. Make sure you offer feedback to all agents, and don’t “pick on” certain agents unduly. Agents need to feel they’re treated fairly, especially when their calls are being audited.
- If your system allows for the agent to listen to the recording, allow them to listen and tell you what they heard, before you offer feedback. Often they are far more critical of themselves than the supervisor. Before playing the recording, ask them to listen for what they did right during the call, rather than just self-critique. Don’t allow the agent to become defensive and point fingers at the customer. Keep the conversation focused on agent performance and steps for improvement.
- When you provide feedback, start by pointing out what the agent did well during the call. Give them specifics about what they said, or how they handled the call. Reinforce positive call handling and good customer service skills.
- Detail one or two skills to improve. People feel overwhelmed by too much negative feedback, and can only learn if they focus on changing one or two behaviors. Role play with the agent. You demonstrate the ideal way of responding to the customer, then let the agent practice handling the call appropriately. Compliment the agent on their ability to use good call handling skills. Remind the agent that effective call handling takes practice.
- In addition to feedback on call handling, also include feedback to agent on documentation of the call. Entering tickets, documenting interaction with customers, and closing tickets is an essential part of their responsibility. Agents who perform well on the phone but don’t document are only performing part of their job. For optimal agent performance, feedback session should include a review of call documentation.
- Resist the temptation to use the “sandwich method” i.e. the old praise, criticism, praise “sandwich.” This approach is feedback whiplash – too much back and forth to make sense. Instead begin with positive feedback, and leave the agent with improved skills they’ve just practiced and role played.
- Take notes on your call monitoring sheets while you’re offering feedback. During future sessions the notes will help you offer the agent perspective on their growth. When you performance review time rolls around, you’ll have ample material to write a detailed and thorough performance review.
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