A medium sized Victorian business wanted to shift the quality of its client interactions from ‘good’ to ‘great’ beginning with its call centre staff.
Bridges developed and implemented a coaching program for team leaders and staff to help transform both the client and employee experience. The program was also designed to develop a coaching style of leadership for the business.
The program began with a focus on the quality of telephone calls in the call centre, and expanded to include other frontline areas interacting by telephone with clients.
In consultation with staff and team leaders, quality standards were developed and became the focus of the program which was the key to its success.
“We wanted to build greater rapport with clients, listen more closely to their needs and make the client experience top of mind.” – team leader
The business had recently installed telephone technology enabling staff to self-assess their calls – this became an integral part of the coaching program.
Workshops for team leaders were designed to shift leadership practice from training and advising, to a coaching style. Intensive individual and group coaching sessions embedded these new skills and developed a high level of trust between the leaders.
This was followed by workshops for staff to explain the purpose of coaching and the benefits to them if their team leaders used the approach. Some staff were apprehensive, associating a coaching session with negative feedback, or they were concerned about using the new technology for self-assessment. Through the workshops, Bridges played a significant role in overcoming staff resistance.
Team leaders shared innovative practices with their staff. Some recorded their own calls to put staff at ease about self-assessment, inviting staff to assess call quality.
Bridges developed 80 team leaders as coaches, and worked with these team leaders to coach 457 staff.
“The goals I set during coaching sessions with my team leader were small and not difficult to reach but made a big difference to the call experience.” – call centre staff member
“I’ve improved the quality of the interaction with clients by listening more closely to exactly what they want. And I feel better about the way I’m doing my job.” – call centre staff member
The business has reported a significant increase in the quality of telephone calls. The result is improved customer satisfaction indicators of 4% over each six month period, reaching the highest satisfaction score in the history of the business.
A coaching style of leadership has been developed with a number of outstanding coaches. There has been an observable increase in leadership effectiveness. Acting team leaders have been promoted into substantive roles because they present as capable leaders at interview.