Support teams are at the frontline of customer engagement. When these teams are firing on all cylinders they can turn unhappy customers into promoters, set up success teams to drive more revenue, and share critical customer insights that help your business grow.
However, to keep flourishing, support teams need, well, support. That’s why it’s essential that you put in place coaching for your support agents. That means having a clear approach to supporting their development and building their skills.
By putting coaching in place, experienced agents and managers can organically share their wisdom and knowledge with new hires. Not only does this strengthen the bonds between a team, and improve retention of hires, but it also enables your organization to deliver a better and more consistent experience for customers. And this, ultimately, means that they’re able to solve customer challenges faster—driving down that crucial time-to-resolution metric.
While great support training and development is about helping teams reach their full potential, one thing that’s often overlooked is the technology that can help drive that performance. Choosing the right tools to deliver coaching is increasingly important today—particularly as the support role itself is built around technology.
Most support agents will spend their day using a range of software, from help desk and CRM solutions to business phone systems. With the right features, these tools can not only enable agents to connect with customers in need of help, but provide the insights and learnings needed for successful agent development. And that goes for whether teams are working together in a shared office, or connecting from remote locations.
But with the world of support software always evolving, it’s not easy to identify the tools that are the right fit for your business. That’s why we’re taking a closer look at what you need from a solution and the features that can help your team solve common coaching challenges.
How to Choose Tools for Coaching
If you’re ready to improve your coaching but aren’t sure how to assess the tools that are out there, try answering a few questions to see if they meet your needs.
Does the solution integrate with your existing support tools?
This is a biggy. With dozens of apps to keep track of already, it’s important that tools you use for agent development don’t add to a sense of ‘tech overload’. To avoid this, look for solutions that integrate with your existing tools, or that already have coaching features built-in as part of a wider platform—like your business phone system. Leading solutions should have their own app and integration ecosystem, making them simple to connect with other business-critical tools.
How easy is it to use?
Support teams are busy. That means they don’t want to lose any time wrestling with technology—they expect it to simply work. If a coaching solution is overly complex or unintuitive it’s more likely to hinder agents than help them. Seek out tools that make people want to use them—while rich features are essential, having a clear, intuitive, consumer-grade interface is also key. This also ensures that everyone, whether a new hire or an experienced support agent, can use the tool without specialist training or a lengthy onboarding process.
Can it scale as you onboard new support agents?
Your support team may not be the same size forever. For that reason, choosing a tool that can grow or can account for temporary spikes in users—for example for seasonal peaks—is important. Checking up-front about how easy it is to add new users to a tool—and the associated costs—can help you future-proof your decision.
How Aircall’s Essential Coaching Features Help Your Team
At Aircall, we believe in giving users access to everything they need to deliver great coaching—and more. So let’s take a closer look at some of the challenges support teams face when it comes to training and upskilling agents, and the features we offer to help tackle them.
Challenge: Time-consuming or overwhelming daily demands
Solving customer challenges is, rightly, priority number one for support teams. However, it’s still important to block out time to deliver upskilling—if you don’t do this, in the long term customer experience will suffer (as will your agents). However, coaching doesn’t have to be a huge time drain. There are features that can streamline the process to help fit into a support agent’s busy schedule.
Solution: AI call and voicemail transcription
Aircall’s call and voicemail transcription offers a simple and intuitive way to automatically transcribe customer interactions. That means instant access to insights that can help your agents learn and improve, without the need for time-consuming note-taking. In your support development program, you can use these as real-world scenarios to train new hires or to pinpoint areas to improve with more experienced agents.
Solution: Call monitoring and whispering
Coaching doesn’t always have to sit outside of the day-to-day work. If you’re struggling to find time for a standalone training session, you can use call monitoring and call whispering to deliver coaching in real-time during a customer interaction. With call monitoring, managers can listen in on calls live to assess how interactions are progressing. With the call whispering feature, managers can take this a step further and join a call with an agent, without the customer being aware. They’re then able to ‘whisper’ or share advice with the agent directly, while still providing a seamless experience for the customer. This is a great way to weave learning into a busy day.
Solution: Availability statuses
It can be hard to understand when agents are available for a coaching session (or if they’re already in one)—particularly when busy teams are working remotely. To better meet the needs of remote workers, Aircall’s availability statuses show when an agent is free or busy and support team managers can use this function to track who is available and who isn’t via the live activity feed. This makes it easier to both keep track of individual performance and find the right moment to reach out to set a coaching session in motion.
Challenge: Measuring success and understanding feedback
To deliver great coaching to your support teams, you need sight of where your agents are in their development, and where they need to go. When you’re managing a busy team and juggling the demands of your own role, that isn’t always easy. That’s why here at Aircall we’ve built a suite of features that simplify measuring success and gathering feedback. We've also created a free template you can use to analyze a rep's skills and identify areas of improvement.
With Aircall’s analytics dashboard, support managers can easily assess call data to evaluate agent or team performance. Metrics like missed calls, call volume per day, wait time, and response time can take the guesswork out of targeting your upskilling efforts. And by filtering these analytics by user, it’s easy to identify specific areas of improvement to focus on.
Solution: Call recording
At the heart of an effective customer support operation is a clear record of interactions. These help you understand customer feedback and build a plan to address the challenges your agents face. It’s possible for managers to set Aircall’s call recording system to automatically record every time your employees pick up the phone, giving you a clear picture of how every interaction has progressed. With those insights, it’s easy to get clarity on team performance and to start delivering the development they need.
Challenge: Customer support agent turnover
It’s common for customer support to have a fairly high turnover of agents. When this happens it can be hard to ensure that everyone—new hires and veteran employees—are receiving the same level of coaching and support. Meanwhile, getting fresh employees up to speed can become resource intensive. However, with a few useful tools you can ensure a consistent approach and better learning opportunities—which in turn can help lead to greater retention. Win-win.
Solution: Live feed and dashboard
By using Aircall’s activity feed, it’s possible to gain immediate insights into how your team is performing. That enables you to assess how both new hires and more experienced colleagues are delivering on metrics like missed calls, waiting times, and more. Armed with those data points, you can optimize agent availability and pinpoint where you need to offer more support through coaching. Meanwhile, our live coaching feature helps you get new team members up to speed quickly wherever they might be working—whether in a shared office or as part of a remote team.
Challenge: Limited tools and resources available
Finding the right tools to deliver a great training and development experience can be tricky. The software available is always evolving—which means keeping track of the latest and greatest features can be a time-consuming task. Couple that with schedule constraints and lean budgets, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed or to struggle with identifying the right balance between features and costs. That’s why Aircall includes all the most important tools you need to deliver upskilling for agents right out of the box.
So, let’s take a look at some of those features, and how they enable you to drive great coaching experiences for your support team, even when resources are tight.
Solution: AI call and voicemail transcription
Ok, you caught us—we did mention this one above. We’ll admit we’re excited about our new AI features! But hear us out—it’s worth looking specifically at how they can offer you time and resource savings.
Transcription can be a huge drain on teams. We found in our AI Index report that the average worker spends 2.2 hours on transcription and writing up notes each and every week. That’s time that could be dedicated to coaching, or supporting customers. By using Aircall’s transcription features, agents can get that time back to focus on more important work (while also building a bank of helpful content that you can use to onboard, coach, and train others).
Solution: Warm transfer and call assignment
Support coaching, even on a budget, is all about helping your agents do the best work of their lives. Using Aircall’s warm transfer feature can help agents achieve great things by sharing knowledge. It enables micro-coaching moments throughout the day by enabling agents to quickly speak before routing a customer call through. Meanwhile, with agents always in the know, alongside efficient call assignment features that keeps callers on the right journey, the customer experience is seamless.
Solution: Help desk integrations
While a feature-packed business phone solution is essential for every support team, it’s unlikely to be the only tool in the box. To maximize the value of the solution it’s important to integrate them with critical support tools, like help desk platforms such as Intercom and Zendesk. This enables your business phone to share information directly with those platforms—for example, on-call length or customer activity.
With Aircall’s native and API-based integrations, you can be confident that your platforms can easily talk to one another. On top of that, by using integrations, agents with limited time don’t need to keep swapping between tools, meaning they can focus on developing their team’s skills.
Solution: Quality assurance integrations
Aircall’s integrations aren’t limited to helpdesk tools alone. In fact, there are over 100 different integrations available, including for quality assurance platforms like Klaus or Maestro. By integrating these tools with Aircall, it’s possible to gain clear data on customer support performance, and grade support agents on different areas of their role. Using these learnings, you can then design a coaching support program that’s clearly tailored to the needs of individuals, and the business.
Try Aircall to Transform How You Coach Your Support Team
Support coaching is easily overlooked, but it can drive an incredible impact for your business. From more satisfied customers (and the improved CSAT scores to prove it) to more engaged teams and boosted retention, support team development really can transform your organization.
And while the personal touch is important in both coaching and your customer interactions, it doesn’t mean that coaching has to be time-intensive. By using the right tools and platforms, you can rapidly gain insights into customer interaction, build training materials, identify learning opportunities for agents, and track performance.
Ready to put some of those tools into practice? Download our template to get started.
Published on September 25, 2023.