The biggest cause of turnover in the contact center industry is Negative FEEDBACK and everybody still does it!  Why ? ? ?

Usually I do not use words like “sucks” but I want your attention on my intention. Thank you for opening this blog. I want to help you be able to help the agents enjoy their jobs more.  I want companies to retain their agents and have much less turnover, and of course, I want everyone to use The Positive Coach Approach.

Feedback simply doesn’t work when it is negative.  Agents don’t ever quit their job. They quit their supervisor, their manager, their coach, or their quality call checker.

It seems people would rather be RIGHT, than happy.

Supervisors are racking their brains for a new formula, a new way to correct, a different way to “hold people accountable.”  What they really want are results that work for everyone; the Customer, the Company, and the Agent.  When applying feedback or monitoring using computer based bots, or when supervisors threaten with bad grades or poor quality assessments, they have forgotten that the agent is one of the three components to the equation.  I do know that they mean well…

This type of simplicity is very difficult for complicated minds. The technical methods are holding us hostage.

What do we want?

  • A happy atmosphere where people thrive and create a safe environment for the customers, and are wide open for the opportunity to sell something of value to the customer. This way everyone thrives; the Company, the Customer, and the Agent.
  • A happy environment with LESS TURNOVER
  • A new way to feel good about coaching

The Contact Centers are filled with good people who want to do a good job.  The people you hire come on with great anticipation, and they want to do it right.

And, just as soon as they get trained and start to work, the “feedback” starts. 

Oh, yes, it’s kind at first…and then the real compliance and quality checks start to rear their ugly heads.  Words like “I want to hold people accountable.” And, “Constructive criticism is good for them.” Or even, “I have told that agent a million times to do it my way, and he/she still insists on doing it the wrong way!”

It’s okay to train and to coach, but if you call coaching “feedback” then your agents may feel criticized, and it will not be a good experience for them. Remember that you want happy agents, doing a great job for the customer and the company.

You only have to give up one thing…BEING RIGHT!                     Then the agents will do a GREAT JOB!

You don’t really have to be right.  All you can do is, trust that you hired adults who can self-correct, if you show them how.

The price you pay to be right goes across all lines, and is at every level. (Take this part home.)  This price is too high.  The agents QUIT!  The cost of turnover in the USA, is in the billions. Still, companies try every kind of scheme, every type of new way to hear what the agents are saying using robotics and artificial intelligence.  It is artificial…it is artificial!  It is unkind, and it is simulated intelligence. It’s not REAL.

ARTIFICIAL: Made in imitation, produced by humans, affected, or feigned

INTELLIGENCE: A capacity for reasoning or understanding, knowledge of an event or circumstance received or imparted, a gathering or distribution of secret information

Kindness: Gentle, tender and good, showing or based on gentleness or consideration

COACH: A person who instructs or trains and supports an athlete or performer

Nowhere in the dictionary does it say, criticizes, manipulates, schemes, grades, demeans, or makes the ‘coachee’ feel wrong or stupid. (I know you don’t mean it but you have been trained.)

Let’s consider a NEW way, listen to a new voice, the voice of “What Works” and not the voice of what’s right or wrong.

Here is some advice from this old coach.  I am not old school, I only have old values.  I am not uncool, I am very cool, I have sunglasses to prove it.  I am not righteous, I am kind.

Believe people are phenomenal when given the chance to show their true colors

  • Clarity is POWER

o   Put your attention on your intention

  • notice whenever you are bitter, anxious, righteous, parental, and right…usually you have a form in your hand

o   Put your attention on your intention to support in a kind way

  • Ask your agents to make the call great and to self-correct if needed
  • Ask them how they will do that and what they will fix
  • Ask them when they will have it done
  • First comes AWARENESS, then Enlightenment

o   Pay attention to your own mind and notice when you don’t think they can do it without your help and criticism

o   STOP this thinking immediately

o   Open the doors to a coaching experience instead of a FEEDBACK one

  • Pat yourself on the back for giving up the following:

o   Being parental – you just give it up, it doesn’t work anyway

o   Being manipulative – “Wouldn’t it be better if you just did what I say?”

o   Being forgetful about how KIND you really are and how much you want the agent to succeed and be happy to stay in their job

FEEDBACK doesn’t work, kindness and believing in your agent’s capability to SELF correct works.  These are human principles and they will never fail. They cannot fail, they are as real as gravity.

It’s always your choice.  Choose the Positive Coach Approach, even if you have to admit at first…it’s new to you.  Tell your agents and they will get it!  They are so smart and will STAY at their JOB much longer if they like IT and YOU.

~Judy McKee