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Agent Retention Through Positive Coaching …

Agent Retention Through Positive Coaching
Sally Cordova and Judy McKee Presented at the ATA 2009 This includes the Positive Coach Approach and a Case Study regardign Positive Coaching techniques and agent retention.

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  • 1. Agent Retention Through Positive Coaching
  • 2. The Positive Coach Approach
    • Developed for Call Centers
    • Judy McKee
    • Sally Cordova
    • In Addition we have with us Aaron Taylor from
    • who will give some information, thoughts, and statistics on how he has applied the Positive Coach Approach and the LAMA Technique to enhance the strengths of his entire company.
  • 3.
    • Retention - Agents leave because
    • They would like to feel like adults who manage themselves.
    • Would like more time for training.
    • The Coaching Experience feels like a parental environment
    • What is called “Coaching” is really an Evaluation
    • People grade the agents who don’t ever have to do the job.
    • Agents feel they don’t get all the guidance they need.
    • Neither the managers nor the representatives know there is another way.
  • 4. Define Coaching vs. Monitoring
    • Coaching:
    • Act of Polishing or Refining Learned Techniques Through Demonstration, Practice and Continuous Assessment .
    • Monitoring:
    • Using Surveillance to observe, assist and supply leadership with quality problems or situations that need to be corrected .
    The Positive Coach Approach ©
  • 5. Benefits – for Agent, Coach and Company
    • Improved Measured Performance
    • Less Pressure
    • Greater Job Satisfaction
    • Increase Self-Esteem
      • Agent
      • Coach
    • Less Turnover
    • Customers for Life
    • Company Profits
    McKee Consulting, LLC The Positive Coach Approach ©
  • 6. Function of the Coach
    • Tutor
    • Instructor
    • Knowledgeable
      • Through Experience
      • Excellent Working Knowledge
    • Develop The Skills Of Others
    McKee Consulting, LLC The Positive Coach Approach ©
  • 7. How To Be A Positive Coach
    • Apply Imperatives
      • Intention – Maintain successful and happy agents
      • Relationship – Never make the agent feel wrong or stupid
      • Discipline – Maintain your position as a Positive Coach by keeping your skills honed
      • Skills – LAMA and Positive Coach Approach
      • LAMA Technique
      • Eight Guiding Principles
      • High Five Method
    McKee Consulting, LLC The Positive Coach Approach © Know What to Say AND How to Say it!
  • 8. The LAMA © Technique McKee Consulting, LLC The Positive Coach Approach ©
  • 9. The L-A-M-A for Coaches
    • L isten to: Customer, Agent or Tape
    • A cknowledge the Agent - Situation
    • M ake Comments or Statements
      • Don’t Give Answers
      • Offer the Simple Truth
    • A sk a Question
      • Obtain Feedback
      • Ask for Agreement
      • Define the Time Line
      • Determine the Development Path
    The Positive Coach Approach ©
  • 10. The Eight Guiding Principles McKee Consulting, LLC The Positive Coach Approach © Create and Maintain a Safe Environment Create a Consultative Environment Build Self-Esteem by Focusing on the Positives Maintain an Adult Training Environment Responsibility to Learn/Grow Lies with Agent Time Lines are Essential Bi-Lateral Action Agreements Questions are the Key
  • 11. McKee Consulting, LLC The Positive Coach Approach © High Five Coach Approach
    • Expectations
    • Acknowledgments
    • Challenges
    • Self Correction
    • Personal Performance Plan
    • Here’s AARON….Taylor
  • 13. Quality & Coaching – “The Soft Side of Customer Care” Call Center Myth Revealed…….. Contributed By: Aaron Taylor – Sr. Director of Customer Care
  • 14. Bio: Aaron Taylor AARON TAYLOR - is a senior level call center executive with over 5-years of experience in call center start-up and =management. A former partner at GEINE Technologies, a 250 seat outsourced call center where his clients included House of Blues, Perot Systems, United Airlines,, and many others. From 2003-2006 Aaron served as Sr. Director of Contact Centers for where he designed and implemented a world-class, multi-channel Customer Care organization and supported the addition of over 12 million new customers. In 2006, Aaron was hired by a former client and assumed the role of Director of Customer Care at In this capacity, he led the effort to re-organize the entire contact center structure and launched several highly effective initiatives surrounding Operations, Technology, Quality and Training, Revenue Enhancement, and Customer Satisfaction. Aaron is currently Sr. Director of Customer care for (formerly where he is the senior customer advocate for the organization managing both the strategic and operational aspects of the Customer Care organization. Aaron is a frequent lecturer at various industry events and has been published in Contact Professional Magazine. Currently, Aaron is providing a wide-array of call center and customer care consulting services and has recently worked with companies like, Yokohama Tire, The City of El Monte, GE Capital, Superior Engineering, and many others.
  • 15. Why are commun-ication & coaching skills key?
    • Key Stats After Implementing LAMA & High-Five Coaching:
      • saw call center Customer Satisfaction increase from 61% to 78% over 8 consecutive months.
      • realized a 22% reduction in Average Handle Time (AHT) due to enhanced call control.
      • has seen an 86% reduction in escalated complaints as a result of the guiding principle “Never make a customer feel wrong or stupid”. .
  • 16. Improves financial performance/increases revenue. – Launched customer retention program that YTD has prevented/protected millions. – Added over a million dollars in Life Time Value due to LAMA retention efforts . (Keep account open) eHarmony – Realized a 20% reduction in refunds and a 37% increase in retained account.
  • 17. Improves Financial Performance & Increases Revenue!
    • Case Study: WITHOUT LAMA –
    • Call Center with over 1,500 Retention Opportunities per day!
    • Historical Retention rates in the 3%-5% range.
    • Retention Team Cost
      • Nearly no retention efforts!
      • Over 25 Full Time Employees required!
      • Team is a COST CENTER!
    See Graph >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
  • 18.
    • Consistently retaining over $145,000/month in subscription fees.
    • Team Becomes a Profit Center!
    After the LAMA© Training and HIGH FIVE Coaching LAMA Introduced!
  • 19. EMPLOYEE Turnover Quotes from the Experts! According to ICMI, reps felt that call centers were….. “ Impersonal and cold, leaving reps feeling isolated and unhappy; research shows that dissatisfaction with job conditions leads to turnover.” ICMI also concluded that….. “ High turnover centers also tend to offer less on-the-job training . It is likely that low amounts of training erode rep confidence and comfort in their job performance, and as a result, they are more likely to quit.”
  • 20. Turnover – Negative Impact
    • Estimates indicate that on the surface, each new call center employee costs $24,500 to train (Training Costs, Lack of Available Productivity, Opportunity Loss). As a result of turnover the call center also suffers from:
    • Inexperienced pool of agents leads to lower conversion/retention rates & lower CSAT.
    • Management time spent training instead of managing operation.
    • Inconsistent Customer Experience – Lower CSAT
    • Increases AHT by an estimated 17%
  • 21. Turnover – The Solution…..
    • Call Center has experienced an amazing annual turnover rate of less than 3% (YTD in 2009)….!!!
    • LAMA©/COACHING Advantages
  • 22. Common Coaching Challenges
    • How to handle them with
    • The Positive Coach Approach
  • 23. I don’t know ----- Just tell me
    • What to say
    • What to do differently
    • What product to offer
    • How to fix it.
    • How remind myself
    • How to Self-correct
    • L - to the Agent’s opinion.
    • A - This is a new process. It’s not easy learning new things.
    • M - I know the answer but I also know you can think of it as well. You can probably come up with answers that are even better for you and in your own words.
    • A - What ????? Or How???
    McKee Consulting, LLC The Positive Coach Approach ©
  • 24. McKee Consulting, LLC The Positive Coach Approach © I Did the Best I Could L - Listen to the agent’s opinion of his/her performance. A - I know you did, and thank you. M - I also know that you can do so much better. You have what it takes to be really good at this. A - Do you think that we could role play it and come up with a way to do this even better? And another thing . . .
  • 25. McKee Consulting, LLC The Positive Coach Approach © L - Listen to the agent’s opinion of his/her performance. A – I understand. I thought that it was in the training but maybe not. M – I think that we can fix this right now. A – If we go over this today, will you use this from now on? Nobody ever told me that
  • 26. The Positive Coach Approach © Don’t Say: Manipulative Questions that intimidate and create fear. How to say it. Set Up Questions in a fair manner to inspire and acknowledge . Did you like the way that call went? Don’t intimidate people into making themselves wrong. What would you like to improve on that call? What did you like or dislike on the call? Could you tell me where the customer was beginning to get irritated? Judgment call -- the agent already knows you don’t like it. I thought I heard some irritation on the part of the customer when he said: “AS I SAID” What did you think when that happened? Great Opener….. Excellent job…. (These expressions don’t mean anything.) Your opener was clear, sounded helpful and got straight to the point. The customer must have been glad to have gotten you on the telephone.
  • 27. Coach Training Programs
    • Positive Coaching
      • Consultative Coaching
      • Sally Cordova
        • Meets with Supervisors
        • Listens to Agents on tape or in person
        • Demonstrates the Positive Coach Approach
        • Assists Supervisors in Learning Coaching Techniques in a Safe Environment
        • Self Coaching Program
        • Self Discovery Program
        • Self Correction Program
    • Tele-Sales - Train the Trainer
    • - Judy McKee - Sally Cordova
        • Training the Supervisors, Managers and Coaches in the Art of Positive Coaching
        • The LAMA Technique
        • Communication for Coaching
        • Tele-Sales Training and Coaching
        • Behavioral Style Coaching
        • Customer Service Call Path Control
        • Up-Selling and Cross Selling
        • Coaching – Side-by-Side
    The Positive Coach Approach ©
  • 28. Information Please The Positive Coach Approach ©
    • Sally Cordova – Contact by E-mail: [email_address]
    • McKee Consulting New Web Site – Go to:
    • Newsletters, Articles and Tips and more!
    • Scroll down the home page
    • Download Whatever you want
    • Webinars
    • Call Judy McKee – Sally Cordova - 760-738-8200
    • Email Judy McKee – [email_address]