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Call Monitoring and Agent Coaching (Best Practices) Dr. Jon Anton Director of Research Center for Customer-Driven Quality Purdue University Sponsored by HyperQuality Monitor and evaluate your calls overnight Recommend specific actions for coaching Off-premises and on-demand

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Call Monitoring and Agent Coaching(Best Practices)Dr. Jon AntonDirector of ResearchCenter for Customer-Driven QualityPurdue UniversitySponsored byHyperQuality

a special thanks to our sponsor
Monitor and evaluate your calls overnight

Recommend specific actions for coaching

Off-premises and on-demand

A special thanks to our Sponsor:
200 000

200,000 +

The number of contact centers in the world…

15 000 000 000

15,000,000,000 +

The number of contacts between customers and companies in 2007…


50 +

Average number of agents per contact center…

5 000 000


Approximate number of agents working in contact centers worldwide…

a big industry that requires a lot of people and complex enabling technology
a BIG industry…


requires a lot of people…


complex enabling technology

all slides can be found as follows

All slides can be found as follows:

Go to:

Search for: “Monitor and Coaching”



Call Monitoring and Agent Coaching

Your Name Here

has attended a seminar focused on Call Monitoring and Agent Coaching leading to operational efficiency and effectiveness.

March 2007

Introduction to BenchmarkPortal

The 24 key processes in all call centers

Agent coaching best practices

Call monitoring best practices

Example of evaluations tied to coaching

Return on investment (ROI)

Conclusions and Recommendations

the benchmarkportal database
Largest call center performance database in the world

Collecting data since 1995

Over 46,000 members of our Benchmarking Community

The BenchmarkPortal Database
multi channel benchmarking




Web self-service

Multi-Channel Benchmarking
benchmarking center processes





Many more….

Benchmarking Center Processes

Compared you to others in the your industry…

Metrics related to “Quantity” of calls handled


Performance Matrix


Caller Sat



The “real” challenge is:

“balancing Quality and Cost…”


Performance Matrix

Caller Sat

Quality Index

Cost Index


Performance Matrix

Low High

Caller Sat

Cost Index


Performance Matrix


Please take a quick guess….

Which quadrant are you in?

Caller Sat



Performance Matrix

Corporate Liability

High Quality

Low Cost


The Quality Index

This is where

you want to be

The Cost Index


“Best Practices” result when highly creative companies optimize the combination of people, processes, and technologies to achieve the highest possible customer satisfaction at the minimum cost…


Telephone Channel

Moment of Truth

“The Call”

Internal Metrics

External Metrics



Response Time

Service Level

And More

  • Customer Experience
  • Reaching an agent
  • Getting a response
  • Issue resolved

24 processes that

Impact “The Call”

Hiring New Employees

Call Quality Monitoring

Training Employees

Call Routing

Employee Development


And eighteen more processes…


24 Processes affecting “The Call”

Analytics and Reporting

Hiring New Employees

Call Center Performance Evaluation

Training Agents

Caller Satisfaction Measurement

Agent Development

Caller Service Recovery

Real-Time Expert Help for Agents

Agent Satisfaction Measurement

Agent Compensation

Caller Self Service

Telephone Service Improvement

Performance Benchmarking

Information Access

CRM Implementation

Agent Workforce Optimization

Teleservices Outsourcing

Call Quality Monitoring

Facilities Management

Agent Coaching

Call Routing

Information Technology

Call Center Communications



We expect our Agents to do “everything!”

handle more customers

address more

complex requests

handle more volume

give customers

choice and control

provide more


be more


and accessible

personalize it

do it faster

incorporate new


lower costs

ensure closure

and commitment



deliver “great” service


What can we learn from

Professional Coaches?

in sports the following are universal equalizers
the size of the arena is fixed,

the rules of play are set in concrete,

the caliber of the referees is universal,

the selection of players is controlled by league rules,

the number of total players (50) on a team is controlled (football),

there is a “salary cap” for the total team, which limits the “rich from getting richer”,

to name only a few.

In sports, the following are universal “equalizers”
in call centers almost everything is uncontrolled regarding coaching
the budget allocate to coaching is different at every call center,

agents are geographically different,

agents are culturally different,

the ratio of coaches to agents is different

who does the coaching is different

In call centers, almost everything is uncontrolled regarding coaching

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Longest serving President
  • Great depression President
  • World War II President
  • Coaching a nation

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strengths."

  • Knute Rockne
  • Knute Rockne had such an outstanding career that he is an American folk hero.
  • Coached Notre Dame to five undefeated seasons without a tie.
  • Known as one of the most innovative and charismatic coaches of his era.

“They call it coaching, but really it’s teaching!”

  • Vince Lombardi
  • Super Bowl trophy was named the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy
  • Named NFL Coach of the Year in 1959
  • Named NFL Coach of the Decade in the 1960s

“When coaching, seek first to discover before passing judgment!”

  • Charlene Stringer
  • The only coach in NCAA history to lead three different women's programs to the NCAA Championships.
  • Led her teams to 20 NCAA Tournament appearances

“I'm here to be your coach…

I'm not here to be your friend.”

Herb Brooks

Considered by many to be the greatest ice hockey coach ever. In 1980, he coached the U.S. Olympic team to beat the Soviets, considered by many to be the greatest ice hockey team in the world at the time.


“I don't yell a lot. In fact, yelling will be rare. When I get mad, I usually talk at the same volume I'm talking now. But, when I get really mad…. I whisper .”

  • Tony Dungy
  • First African-American head coach to win the Super Bowl on February 4, 2007, when his Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears.
  • The first coach in Colts history to make the playoffs and win at least 10 games in six consecutive years.

“Most people have the will to win,

few have the will to prepare to win.”

  • Bobby Knight
  • Had 902 career wins
  • Winningest coach in history
  • National coach of the year four times

“I don’t mind being tough, because my dad was tough,”

“I don’t mind showing affection, because my mother showed affection.”

  • Patricia Summitt
  • As head coach of the 1984 U.S. Women’s U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team, saw her team bring home the gold.
  • The first woman basketball coach to break the million-dollar-a-year salary ceiling.

“Just because a guy doesn’t have experience doesn’t mean he won’t be good.”

  • Lou Holtz
  • He is the only coach in NCAA history to lead six different programs to college bowl games.
  • He was the third winningest head football coach in the country

“Believe deep down in your heart that you're destined to do great things.”

  • Joe Paterno
  • Holds more bowl victories (24) than any coach in history.
  • Is the only coach to have won each of the current five major bowls—Rose, Orange, Fiesta, Sugar and the Cotton Bowl, at least once.

Coaching is a learned skill that needs to be taught, practiced, and continually developed.


“A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.”

John Wooden

Coached UCLA Bruins Basketball

10 national championships

(7 of them in a row)

88 consecutive victories

what is coaching is
The art of mastering change and standing for values that don’t change

The science of motivating people to meet “their” goals

The ability to inspire and develop others

The art of creating a vision and coaching others to strive to achieve it

The science of protecting your “students” from danger and exposing them to reality

What is coaching is:

Herb Brooks

agents will not actively look for reasons to leave the company when the supervisor
treats them fairly

coaches them personally to enhance their performance

advocates issues important to them

operates with integrity & consistency

shows flexibility in finding solutions to unique situations

Agents will not actively look for reasons to leave the company when the supervisor:

Purdue Research


Agent Attrition Problem

55% of front line workers are often thinking of quitting or are already making plans to quit within the next year

Source: Sibson & Company

high cost of agent turnover
Average Cost to Recruit, Hire, & Train an Agent = $6,500/agent

Annual Turnover Rate in 2007 = 23%

Average Call Center Staffing in U.S. = 100 Agents

Average Annual Replacement Cost of Turnover = $228,000

High Cost of Agent Turnover

This Does Not Account for Hidden Costs

hidden costs of agent turnover
Lost Knowledge and Experience

Impact on Employee Morale

Rescheduling Costs to Balance Workload

Overtime Costs to Maintain Coverage

HR Costs of Separation (Exit Interviews, Halting Payroll, COBRA)

Productivity Drop

Hidden Costs of Agent Turnover

Employer’s Level of Influence over Employees’ Decision to Stay



Employees’ Level of Control

over Decision to Leave


who should coach the agent
The primary coach should be the supervisor

If delegated, it normally falls to the team lead

The least effect method is to have the QA person do the coaching

Who Should Coach the Agent?

Supervisor – The Critical Link

  • I am the youngest member of the management team!
  • I have the most direct reports!
  • I have very little coaching experience!

Oh my!

agent coaching
Minimum five times per month

Preferably, there should be coaching every week

If there is a problem detected in how the agent is handling customer calls, the coaching should be immediate

New agents need to be coach much more often, potentially every day

Agent Coaching
Tell me about...?


What do you think about…?

How do you feel about…?

What was your understanding…?

Seek first to discover before rendering judgment…..ask questions like:

John Wooden


The Results 80/20 Coaching Rule

(who does the talking)





pure listening is when you are not

thinking about lunch

watching people walk by your office

answering telephone calls

setting up appointments

text messaging

Pure listening is when you are NOT:

Pat Summitt

how to facilitate constructive performance feedback
A safe environment ensures honesty

Feedback should be specific and mutually developed

Build on strengths and unique potential

Dialogue creates shared responsibility

Challenging limiting assumptions leads to awareness and action

How to Facilitate Constructive Performance Feedback

Joe Paterno

smart performance goal setting characteristics


Agreed upon


Time bound

“SMART” Performance Goal Setting Characteristics:

Lou Holtz

what winning coaches do
Attract, select, retain the best people.

Develop the individual to augment the team.

Are doers, not preachers.

Develop a strategy & vision for the individual.

Relentlessly upgrades the team by evaluating, coaching, and building self-confidence.

Ensure that people not only see the vision, but that they also live and breath it.

Get under everyone’s skin, exuding positive energy and optimism.

What Winning Coaches Do

Purdue Research

what winning coaches do more
Establish trust with candor, transparency, and credit.

Have the courage to make unpopular decisions and gut calls.

Probe & push with a curiosity that borders on skepticism, making sure their questions are answered with action.

Inspire risk-taking and learning by setting the example.

Celebrate the successes of their people through their people.

What Winning Coaches Do (more)

Purdue Research

agent coaching current state future state

Agent CoachingCurrent State Future State

  • Evaluation (evals) always late
  • Supervisors too busy to coach
  • Lucky to be coached a few times a month
  • No training for coaches
  • Agent often demoralized by untrained coaches
  • Process produces minimum behavioral changes
  • Move call monitoring to a third party located off-shore
  • Add a caller feedback system
  • Do more evals for less
  • Ensure that all evals are ready for agent coaching at the beginning of the next day
  • Drive feedback directly back to the agent thru a “dashboard” for self management
  • Don’t tie quality scores to performance pay
  • Conduct word mining to “dig deeper” into caller feedback
  • Develop coaches into retention champions
we asked a statistical sample of callers and found the following hierarchy of needs
We asked a statistical sample of callers


found the following hierarchy of needs…


Hierarchy of Caller Needs




Know Me

Value My Business

Accurate Answer

Caring, Empathic Voice

Fast Access to Assistance


Lack of time

to monitor


Call Center

Time Management Quadrants

Important and


Important but

Not Urgent

Not Urgent and

Not Important

Urgent but

Not Important

Source: Stephen Covey


Let’s review the current

approach to call monitoring


Service Experience

  • What did the caller perceive about their call experience?
  • What was the emotional memory of the event?
  • Did the call experience drive loyalty?

Monitoring Components


Compliance “Audit”

  • Was the answer correct?
  • Were the company’s “policies” adhered to?
  • Were the company’s “procedures” followed?

Monitoring Components

challenges with internal qa
Moving your best Agents off the phone to do quality monitoring,

When call volumes go up, monitors often go back to call handling,

Monitoring scores are more often questioned when done by local staff,

Favoritism can occur due to normal promotion from within.

Challenges with Internal QA

Outsourcer Time-Management Quadrants

Important and


(Call Evaluations)

Important but

Not Urgent

Not Urgent and

Not Important

Urgent but

Not Important

Source: Stephen Covey

an outsourced partner can
listen to your calls,

score for script adherence, intelligibility, grammar, or use any other criteria you set,

flag exception situations for your follow-up,

generate direct feedback to your Agents and/or Coaches

An Outsourced Partner Can:
an outsourced partner can95
Free-up your supervisors for agent development through coaching.

Get you feedback quickly by providing hourly, daily or weekly reporting as well as annotated copies of all reviewed records so you can provide fast feedback to your agents.

You’re in control. You set the schedule, the criteria, the sampling and the reports. The outsourcer executes based on your instructions and change with you as your needs evolve.

An Outsourced Partner Can:
call quality monitoring current state future state

Call Quality MonitoringCurrent State Future State

  • Record calls
  • Random monitoring of individual agents
  • Fill out forms (check-lists)
  • Provide written feedback to agents
  • Give “evals” to supervisors to coach
  • Tie quality scores to performance pay
  • Often takes top agents off of the phone to do QA
  • Move call monitoring to a third party located off-shore
  • Do more evals for less
  • Ensure that all evals are ready for agent coaching at the beginning of the next day
  • Drive feedback directly back to the agent thru a “dashboard” for self-management
  • Don’t tie quality scores to performance pay
  • Conduct word mining to “dig deeper” into caller feedback
with this kind of feedback
Coaches can focus on those Agents that really need coaching

Coaches can listen to those calls where the Agent scored poorly

Coaches can delegate service recovery on calls where the caller was disappointed

With this kind of feedback:
biggest savings for outsourcing call monitoring
Save at least 20% off of current cost

Put your best Agents back on the telephone

Achieve the credibility of third-party impartiality

Biggest Savings for Outsourcing Call Monitoring
effective agent coaching easily pays for it self many times over by
Reducing agent turnover (16%)

Reducing call handle time (22%)

Improving caller satisfaction (14%)

Increasing sales (26%)

Increasing sales add-ons (11%)

Minimizing negative impact of complaints (18%)

Effective agent coaching easily pays for it self many times over by:





Become Bilingual

contact center lingo
We increased contacts handled 12%.

We reduced average handle time 8%.

We increased CSR Occupancy 10%.Up-sells improved 7%.

We benchmark in the top 20% of our industry.

Contact Center “Lingo”
business lingo
We increased contacts handled by 12% and added $120,000 in revenue per month

We reduced average handle time 8% and saved $28,000 per month

Up-sells improved 7% or $52,000 per month

Business “Lingo”





Show Results in Both Languages


Peel the Onion –

What are the layers of value?


Market Share

Basic Value Triad

Customer Satisfaction

Financial Measures

Competitive Position

Focusing on the “little things”

Experimenting with what works best for you in coaching

Adopt a style that works for you

Don’t do everything at once, instead pick the low hanging fruit

Improvement is a continuous process, not a “big bang” happening…