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Consumers are facing an explosion of choices. In the 1990s, the average grocery store carried 7,000 items. Today’s grocery stores carry 40,000 items. The internet allows consumers to compare car insurance rates in seconds, discover a new makeup product by watching a social media star on YouTube or get recommendations for plumbers from 500 of their closest friends. Businesses today don’t just have to overcome the many choices that consumers have, they have to stand out in an environment cluttered with information. What makes a customer decide to engage with one business over another?

According to a 2017 Gartner survey, 81 percent of companies plan to compete mostly or entirely on the basis of customer experience by 2019, a smart choice considering that studies show customer experience will be more important for consumers than price or product by 2020. While there are a variety of ways to ensure your customer experience efforts are successful, few are as effective at providing immediate results as Northridge Performance Coaching, a unique training program developed by The Northridge Group that utilizes immediate feedback techniques to coach contact center agents and customer service representatives to provide better customer experiences. Here are 3 ways that Northridge Performance Coaching can ensure your Contact Center’s customer experience will improve:

It Provides Instant Feedback

While typical quality monitoring programs provide feedback to agents on a wide variety of behaviors throughout the course of a week or month, Performance Coaching focuses on improving specific agent traits in real time. In Performance Coaching exercises, agents are tested in real-world customer scenarios and may not even be aware that a call is a test.  Most importantly, at the end of the interaction, they are provided with feedback on strengths and weaknesses immediately. This allows them to quickly recognize problematic behavior and make adjustments immediately which helps to cement performance improvement.

It Ensures Compliance

In Performance Coaching, a script or scenario is carefully crafted to test agents on their product knowledge, issue resolution skills, or use of compliance specific language. This can be especially helpful for airlines, insurance providers, healthcare providers and other companies that must adhere to strict regulatory restrictions. Performance Coaching can aid in identifying potential mistakes in relaying compliance-related information. Preventing such issues before they arise can save millions of dollars in potential fines.

It Provides Proactive (Instead of Passive) Coaching

Passive instruction typically yields low retention rates for learners and makes it difficult for them to recognize and remediate prior mistakes. In contrast, Performance Coaching employs a “practice by doing” approach that gives agents the opportunity to immediately clear up their misconceptions of what a particular behavior sounds like. It also provides the opportunity for agents to receive praise for the positive behaviors they demonstrate which increases the likelihood that those behaviors will be repeated and leads to good habits. When agents exhibit the behaviors that have been proven to positively correlate with good customer experiences, customers respond by continuing to engage with the business and use their products or services.

Northridge was recently engaged to utilize its Performance Coaching method with a major benefits administration provider that aimed to improve its new customer onboarding process while maintaining regulatory compliance demands.

Read our Performance Coaching case study to learn more about how we improved our client’s customer experience.

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