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“Reviewing calls together helped me with my confidence.“
I would like to nominate Lisa Jones for Supervisor of the Year. As I reflect on this past SQM year it is difficult to come up with one specific example of a call that Lisa assisted me with but she definitely took the time to help me get my SQM percentage up. It was clear to me right from the start that she wanted me to succeed. She cared if I succeeded and could see the potential in me. I was one of the CCRs with the lowest SQM score in the call centre in 2008 with a rating of 30%. You can only imagine how discouraged this made me feel. She understood some of the barriers I had already overcome and what lay ahead.
Lisa was able to sit with me and determine what I could improve on. In reviewing calls, I learned that the tone of my voice has an impact on the member’s impression. I was not using the word ‘resolve’ and there were opportunities for me to take more ownership of the call. It was also noted that I was very thorough with my answers and efficient in handling the member’s request. So together we found ways to bring the calls together to ensure the members were very satisfied.
We did a lot of role playing with various scenarios, especially when a member indicated that they were unhappy with Sun Life. Lisa shared her own personal skills in handling escalated calls as she herself continues to take these types of calls if needed. This was accomplished by giving me different suggestions on how to adjust my tone and have a calming effect on the member in order to de-escalate the call. The different role plays helped me recognize what was the most appropriate way to handle a particular member situation. I learned how to find the answers myself, rather than just being told what to do, while knowing she was there to support me if I was taking the wrong path.
Reviewing calls together helped me with my confidence on the phones as well. By knowing that she was confident in my future success, the successes started to happen. Lisa was extremely encouraging and put a lot of effort into motivating my spirit which helped me to achieve certification this year. Yes, I am proud to say – I am certified in 2009 with a WCC rating of 82%. It was through her coaching and passion to see me succeed that helped me with this achievement. My call monitoring scores also improved this year, especially in the category of phone etiquette. Lisa was really able to help me understand what I needed to change in order to turn a somewhat satisfied member to a very satisfied member. I could not have achieved this without her help. I really appreciate the time she took out of her schedule to help me. Lisa is a great supervisor and really deserves this recognition.
Lisa Jones – Sun Life Financial
“My fcr csat rating jumped from 65 to 86 percent.“
I would like to share with you just a few of the many reasons I think Jeff should be Supervisor of the Year. I’ve been with Sun Life Financial for a while now and I’ve worked with a few different Supervisors, each with their own approach to coaching. Jeff tailors his approach to coaching to meet each individual’s needs and ensures that we’re getting what we need to succeed.
Jeff provides me with positive feedback in every coaching session, but he helps me to realize that I can do better and that I can continue to improve my performance. When we identify problem areas or goals we work together to come up with a plan of action and then it’s up to me to choose which path to take to achieve my goal, one step at a time. I know that my Supervisor is there to support me and assist me but at the same time, I’m the one who is in control of my success. He makes sure that I don’t forget that. After I’ve decided which plan of action I’m going to follow, Jeff makes sure to follow up with me, to check in on my progress. I feel like I have the power and control to improve my performance at my job, because I’m given the option to choose how to go about it.
An example of this is my Average Handle Time. Reducing my AHT has a direct impact on my CSAT score – when I’m managing the length of time I’m on a call, I can speak to more members and resolve more issues over the course of the day. When I’m more efficient on a call, it leads to members having their inquiries or issues resolved much more quickly than they anticipated – the member is more satisfied with me, and with the company as a whole. When I was struggling to meet the AHT target, I would stress about this metric and that can be evident in conversations with members. During our coaching sessions, Jeff offered tips and reviewed some call monitoring notes that could help me to reduce my AHT, to help alleviate my stress and to improve the member’s experience. Some of the tips he offered were writing down each call’s AHT and then thinking what contributed to the length of the call, thinking about how to phrase questions to get to the heart of a member’s issue, making a list of comments that members make to be sure that I addressed every one of them, and reflective, or active listening, to be sure that I am focused on the call at hand. Jeff always made sure that any tips he gave me didn’t affect other performance areas where I was currently excelling, such as accuracy or ensuring a positive member experience.
Here’s the proof: My AHT dropped from 440 to 400, which has a big impact on my calls, and on the CCC as a whole. My FCR CSAT rating jumped from 65% to 86% and my WCC soared from 50% to 84%.
I’ve had an opportunity to take some courses offered by the company to improve my communication and writing skills and I think those, coupled with the tips and tricks I’ve received from Jeff in our coaching sessions, have made a significant contribution to the success I’ve experienced this year. At the end of my coaching sessions I feel good about my job and the impact that I have to our members and to the company and that’s the way a front line representative should feel about their job in order to provide the best possible service to the customer. When I feel good about what I do and how I do it, it’s reflected in the conversation and I know that the member can feel the pride I have for my work.
Jeff Weber – Sun Life Financial
“I would occasionally interrupt the client.“
I owe my world class call success to my manager, Lucy Isherwood, and here is why:
I was doing well with my qualities but not exceptional and it was bothering me. I could not figure out why I was getting excellent but not exceptional. It was not an obvious reason and so it was hard to discover the precise reason.
Lucy asked me if I felt I would benefit from her listening to some of my previous calls to find out what it was that may be holding the client back from giving me the exceptional grade.
A couple of days passed before Lucy asked to speak with me. She said it was a tough one to pinpoint because I am usually very thorough in my calls. Lucy felt it wasn’t because of technical reasons that the client did not score the call high.
But, Lucy persevered and she discovered that I would occasionally interrupt the client. It was usually a minor, little interruption, but Lucy felt that maybe this was it. I was doubtful but agreed to work on this.
Lucy worked with me over a two month period. We focused our coaching sessions on determining whether I was still interrupting clients and if I was, Lucy counseled me on how else I could have handled the call. Since I respect Lucy’s opinion and appreciate her managing skills, I chose to follow her advice, doubtful though I still was. Lucy was right! Over the two months of coaching sessions with Lucy my qualities steadily increased to a level of typically 100 to 125.
If Lucy had not taken the initiative and worked so hard identifying the issue and then working with me (patiently) for so long I might still be getting lower scores. But, most important of all, my clients now feel they are getting world class service from me and Lucy shares in that success.
Lucy Isherwood – Rogers
“I was able to explain how the sim card worked in everyday terms.“
Let me start by saying that I am lucky to have had Sue as my Team Manager for several years now and with her guidance and coaching I was an SQM Certified Consultant for the year of 2008 with an average of 76% for world class calls. For the year of 2009 I have again met the parameters to again become certified with my world class calls at 90% – a definite increase over the past year!!
Sue does not accept nor does she allow you to accept standards that are preset but encourages you and the team to strive above this and to never accept complacency. During one of our coaching sessions I brought up a situation as to a customer not being able to understand how a SIM card worked. Sue encouraged me to see through the eyes of the customer and understand their perception. I needed to perceive what the customer was asking and be able to relate and connect with the customer. Sue advised me not to be technical and to speak in terms that the customer would understand. Once this idea was presented I was able to explain how the SIM card worked in everyday terms rather than technical terms. From this one coaching session I have been able to implement the same ideas into many different situations.
Sue will never encourage complacency as there is no growth there. She is about all of us reaching for the top, then seeing that top was just another step toward excellence!
In my 14 years with Rogers I have never had a manager like Sue. Anyone can manage a team but it takes a very special coach with strong leadership skills to guide you to new heights! I could not think of anyone more deserving the role of Supervisor of the Year, as she is a visionary!
Susan Fordyce – Rogers
“I reached my goal of 100 percent world class calls for a single month.“
Earlier this year my results were suffering like never before and I was at a loss to explain why. I felt that I was trying and doing everything possible but failing. Specifically, I was suffering in PCS, CQA and sales. I remember emailing Michelle on a Friday saying that I am worried. Before I even signed out she replied with, “don’t worry about it we will fix it, have a good weekend.” On Monday, like she promised, we came up with a plan. We would work in small steps and tackle one issue at a time.
We started with World Class scores. Michelle sat with me and listened to more than a few calls in a row to get a good idea on what I was doing well and what I could build on. The most important thing she noticed was that I was very process oriented and tried to take too many calls too fast. The first suggestion by Michelle was to take it easy, take a deep breath and slow down! She said this is not a race and the slower I go, the easier it will be to remember everything that needs to be said and say little things to improve collector experience (like addressing them by name, find out why they are going, make them feel like they are creating a great trip instead of ordering a pizza). Well, the proof was in the pudding. My world class started to climb steadily until September when I reached my goal of 100% World Class calls for a single month. At the same time because I was taking my time, my CQA steadily improved as well, to near perfect. I am now part of the top 25% who are exempt from CQA for this quarter.
With her approach and dedication to coaching and making us successful I have no doubt in my mind that I will continue to be successful in this role and use the experience I gained from her coaching to be successful in future roles as well. Michelle defines the very standard that all other supervisors should be judged on and there is nobody better that her to be given the honour of Supervisor of the Year. She deserves it.
Michelle Medeiros – LoyaltyOne – The Airmiles Group
“We worked on three ‘take aways’ I found easy to implement.“
Maria has been my CCL for the last 4 months and I think she is incredible. My work and development since we have worked together has been on World Class Scores. I have had difficulty this year in improving this number from around 45%. Maria was understanding with me and we built an action plan to make sure we could double this number by the end of the year.
The first step was to make this goal our goal not just my problem. Second, she took time to do side-by-sides and show me that I am already doing some awesome work. Third, we worked on 3 “take aways” that I found easy to implement (smile on the phone, promote website and ask if they were satisfied). These are easy facts, but when you take a million phone calls like I have, having someone as caring as Maria to remind you is great. The fourth step that we implemented is me taking ownership of the call. I thank Maria for listening to all my ideas and getting enthusiastic about all of them. I have come up with (1) taking my mind off AHT, (2) never assume the collector knows what you are talking about and (3) putting myself in the collector’s shoes. I just want to thank Maria for helping me grow in my position (my current score is 70%) and I really hope she wins this award because she deserves it.
Maria Heighington – LoyaltyOne – The Airmiles Group