Since the earliest days of the call center, the industry’s most visible metrics have focused largely on quantity – calls per hour, average handle time and idle time, just to name a few. But today, a growing number of companies are asking questions about the qualitative side – such as, “How are we interacting with customers and prospects? Are our messages resonating? Are we creating a positive experience? Are we getting the results we want from our contact center?”
Leaders looking to answer these questions often consider implementing a coaching program to provide feedback and guidance to improve agent performance. But somewhere along the way, one more question is inevitably asked, “Will a coaching program deliver strong enough results to justify the cost?” For Dan Bergstrom, director of demand generation for Workfront, a provider of cloud-based enterprise work management solutions, the answer is a resounding “Yes.”
After Dan joined Workfront in 2012, he realized the company was lacking metrics and insights into the quality of the calls the agents were handling in his U.S. and U.K. call centers. To address this, Dan chose inContact’s cloud contact center solution with built-in call recording and playback, robust reporting and an easy-to-use interface, coupled with the inContact Agent for Salesforce, which seamlessly integrates with Salesforce.com, Workfront’s CRM platform. Armed with information from the system, Dan then launched a coaching program to increase the effectiveness of the inbound and outbound teams.
The program started with a single coach who provided targeted feedback to agents who needed extra assistance with behaviors like communication, active listening and closing. The program took a two-pronged approach: first, making the agents aware of their current state through call listening and guidance; and second, holding the agents accountable for month-over-month improvements in the areas identified for coaching.
The program quickly began delivering results. Call quality improved considerably – and more importantly, lead conversion rates began to rise as the agents became more effective. In fact, one year after starting the coaching program, rates have risen from 50 percent to 80 percent.
The coaching program also has helped Dan’s team become more efficient, increasing sales pipeline coverage to 92 percent. This, combined with higher conversion rates, has helped achieve 49 percent year-over-year growth in Workfront’s subscription service. With these impressive results, Workfront’s program now has expanded to include three full-time coaches across Workfront’s contact centers.
By creating such a robust coaching program to focus on the qualitative side of the business, Workfront has clearly reaped the benefits on the quantitative side as well.