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8 steps to effective


Objective: To instill the importance of the Ask vs. Tell Philosophy in
order to create an atmosphere of empowerment for the CSR. This in turn
will produce longer lasting results in the phone calls and in the relationship
between the CSR and the manager.

Always remember to set S.M.A.R.T. goals.

We must always have a goal to strive for. This is the same for a manager
and a Rep. But setting goals is not as easy as it may seem. We must have
structure in order not to set ourselves up to fail. So when setting a goal be
sure and follow the following procedure:


What is a Coaching Conversation?
A forum allowing both management and CSR to discuss concerns with the
telephone calls and jointly identifying the steps that needs to be taken to
ensure that the guidelines that have been set for the CSR are being
followed. The following should be discussed in each Conversation:

The Concerns
The I mportance
The Solutions
The Buy I n

We must also establish what type of coaching will best suit the agent we
are speaking with. To do this we use N.L.P. (Neural Linguistic
Programming). There are 3 types of coaching to help you with the agent.

Audio: Some people are better at just hearing what they need to do.
Ex: a musician can hear a song on the radio and be able to pick up the
instrument and play the tune.
Visual: Some people need to see the process in order to learn it. Ex:
An Artist need just look at a painting to be able to paint it.
Kenestitic: Some people need hands on coaching Ex: A mechanic
would need to be under the hood to learn how to fix the car.

The purpose of a coaching conversation is:
Primarily-To improve the quality of the call that is being placed
Secondary-To get the CSR a Sale
Overall-To develop a productive relationship between the CSR and the

Two types of CSRs
Receptive-CSR is easily coached because they are attentive and receptive
to constructive criticism. These CSRs greatly improve with little difficulty.

Non-receptive-CSR is more difficult to coach. These CSRs will not be
receptive to new ideas or constructive criticism. These CSRs are
challenges, but have great rewards for managers who can motivate them.
These CSRs are challenging you while others are watching. If you can
handle the difficult CSRs the others will notice and gain respect.
Conversely, if you let the non-receptive CSR win, you will lose respect and
other normally receptive CSRs may turn into non-receptive CSRs as well.

Problem Resolution Exercise:
Role Play with a partner; one being the coach and the other being the non-
receptive CSR. Work to effectively communicate the message, but without
creating a confrontational atmosphere.

Coaching Conversations:
Tone and delivery will allow the CSR to understand the importance of a
coaching conversation and managements expectations. The manager
should lead the conversation; however, the CSR should provide input.
Questions are a must to enable you to empower the CSR.

The logic behind the 8 steps to coaching is to create an Ask vs. Tell
environment. The most successful coaching conversations are the ones that
CSR does most of the talking. If a CSR feels he/she identifies their own
problems and came up with their own solutions, they are more likely to
take ownership and fix those areas of concern. Threatening the CSR in
any situation is a lost inspiration to improve is the key:

8 Steps to Coaching:

Ask about the call
Identify concern/refer to training
Explain the importance/give examples
Role Play
Check for comprehension
Move on
Follow up

Coaching Model
Step Coaching Step Desired Result
Ask the CSR what they thought about
the call and indicate a positive area
Get the CSR involved in the process. Get them
to take the ownership of their development.
Treat them with respect; most be people do not
like to be told.
Ask the CSR about the area you feel
needs improvement. For Example
what do you think about your close
Allow the CSR to answer the question.
If they are vague, ask specifics about
the topic. For Example In training
you learned 3 types of closes, what are
This allows you to focus on the area you have
concern with. Without telling the CSR that they
have a problem.
Once the issue/area has been identified
explain the importance. Remember to
ask questions and give an analogy to
help the CSR visualize the situation
People respond better when they understand
why they are doing what they are doing. When
they can put it all together it makes sense.
Give examples of the correct way and
role-play the skill. Give a number of
examples. Have them repeat to you 3-4
times. Repetition and practice are the
keys to improving skill.
People learn more quickly when they can see or
hear the correct way. Examples provide the
CSR this learning tool.
Check for comprehension by asking,
Do you see how that works?, Why is it
important? Always ensure your
comprehensive checks are not yes and
no questions.
You must make certain the CSR has understood
the discussion and has learned. Checking
comprehension allows you to evaluate their level
of understanding.
Fire the CSR up and get them back on
the telephone. This should be done
sincerely in a fashion that shows
confidence and trust in their ability to
Pump confidence into the CSR with encouraging
words. Regardless of how little they may have
improved at the skill you want them believing
they are on their way. Attitude is everything!
Give CSR room. Do not stand over
them waiting to evaluate the call. This
makes them uncomfortable and
uptight. Move to the other TSR you are
working with that hour and keep an ear
open as you do want to evaluate the
result of your session.
Show confidence in your people. If you stand
over a CSR they will be hesitant and nervous.
Give them space and show some faith.
Follow up and hold the CSR
accountable for executing the skill.
Ensure your actions had effect. It is also
imperative that you hold your CSRs
accountable for trying and working on the areas
that have been coached. If you, through silent
monitoring, find they are not executing the skill
coached it is important to make them aware of
your expectations.

8 questions to a coaching conversation:

These questions will enable the manager to have more effective coaching
sessions this will help create the Ask vs. Tell environment. These may
not be all the questions the manager will ask, but it will give the manager
structure that corresponds to the 8 steps to coaching.

What did you think of that last call?

How would you have felt if you were the customer?

What do you think you did really well on that call?

What do you think we can work on to make your calls sound even

Do you remember back in training

Why is that so important?

What two things are you going to work on?

Can you do that on every call?

Ask about the call:
Use to gauge the CSRs ability to identify what the concerns are
with their own phone call
Allows for more ownership over the phone call which
empowers the CSR.
Creates an Ask vs. Tell environment

Identify concerns /refer to training
Have CSR point out the most important weakness. You may need to
lead CSR to correct answer.
Relate selling skill issue back to training.

Explain the importance/give examples
Insure that CSR understands why we execute the basics the way we
do. and how that can benefit the CSR and the company>
People generally need to know why things are done a certain way.
This is a very important step which will help you to create more buy-
in form the CSR.
Give examples outside of your company. If the CSR is not able to
understand the importance. (Remember that most of the CSRs are not
that experienced they do not understand the jargon or lingo that we
use. If you can give someone a reference point from everyday real
life they will be able to better grasp the concept).

Role Play
This is a critical step were the actual behavior is changed. Be patient
and recognize improvements, but make sure that the new behavior is
Repetition is the mother of school: meaning the more you do
something the better you become. Ex: Michael Jordan
Role play is continuous until the CSR can properly execute the selling
skill. Role Play at least 4 times after they execute the skill properly.
This solidifies learning period.

Check for comprehension
Have CSR review what was discussed and why it was important.
Make sure that the CSR fully understands the concepts and holds
them accountable

Display confidence in CSR ability to execute new techniques and
explain how that will benefit them and the client.
Inspire CSR to achieve higher levels of success.

Move on
Empowers CSR

Follow up
Most important step because to truly change behavior skill has to be
repeated numerous times. Although the CSR may want to change
there may have not been enough repetitions left. A manager must
anticipate that repetitions are a necessity
Use active listening skills
Follow up through shadow monitoring or additional coaching

As a manager executing the 8 steps to coaching is vital to your success!
The most important aspect of the manager is the development of your
people. Coaching sessions are where the CSR and the manager make
real progress towards achieving individual and company goals.