Performance coaching plays a crucial role in developing novice advisors into expert advisors in the customer service industry. By providing targeted guidance and support, coaches can help advisors bridge the gap between their initial stage of knowledge and skills to the advanced level of expertise.
In this blog, we will explore how you can utilize performance coaching to transform novice advisors into confident and knowledgeable experts who excel in everyday customer interactions.
Understanding the difference: novice vs. expert
The first step in developing an effective coaching strategy is to understand the differences between a novice and an experienced advisor. A novice advisor may lack the skills, knowledge, or confidence to provide accurate answers and solutions to customer inquiries. They are still learning how to navigate customer service processes and procedures while also gaining experience with company products and services.
On the other hand, experienced advisors have a higher level of customer service proficiency and possess greater confidence in their ability to provide accurate solutions. They are well-versed with company products and services, aware of customer service standards, and have developed communication skills that naturally build trust with customers.
Utilizing Performance Coaching:
Performance coaching is a powerful tool to guide novice advisors through their developmental journey toward expertise.
Here are some key strategies that performance coaches can apply to help novice advisors develop into experts:
- Assess their proficiency levels
This is an important starting point in performance coaching. By assessing the proficiency levels of novice advisors, coaches can gain insight into their current strengths and weaknesses. This will allow coaches to identify where improvement is needed and create a development plan tailored to each individual’s needs.
With BUPLAS Coaching, we recommend assessing the professional developmental needs of advisors through these 4 key areas:
– Knowledge of Product, Process, Systems
– Customer Service Skills
– Attitude and Presentation
– Communication and Cultural Awareness
Through a holistic communication skills assessment like BUPLAS, you can further evaluate their performance and identify areas for communication coaching through an analysis of their Discourse, Interactive, and Solution Strategy skills.
- Understand their learning needs and approach
Novice advisors, typically within the first 30 to 60 days of their role, require significant guidance and support as they navigate their learning journey. At this stage, their learning needs revolve around acquiring foundational knowledge and skills, focusing on routine tasks and accuracy. Novice advisors benefit from controlled learning activities that help them develop skills in a context-free manner.
- Provide coaching suitable for the nesting stage
Novice advisors are still acquiring foundational skills and knowledge, so coaches should be available to provide “nesting” support.
With a nesting support approach, the coach takes on a directive role and focuses on boosting the advisor’s confidence in basic call management , email writing, or chat handling skills. The coach also provides clear guidance and step-by-step instructions to help the novice advisor navigate their daily interactions with customers.
By breaking down complex tasks into manageable steps, the coach ensures that the advisor gains a solid understanding of fundamental techniques and processes in customer service interactions.
- Offer positive support and constructive criticism
Novice advisors oftentimes lack confidence. They tend to be unsure of outcomes and get easily upset or shut down during difficult customer scenarios.
To help develop novice advisors into a highly professional and accountable expert, it’s imperative for coaches to provide positive support and constructive criticism. By offering timely, positive feedback on tasks performed well, the coach helps instill a sense of pride and achievement in the advisor.
At the same time, constructive criticism should be delivered with empathy and understanding so that the advisor feels supported and encouraged to make improvements.
- Offer continuous learning and guidance
Finally, schedule weekly coaching sessions so you can provide dedicated time to provide constructive feedback, address any challenges or questions, and offer ongoing support to the advisor.
Likewise, encourage novice advisors to engage in continuous learning by providing access to resources, workshops, and mentoring opportunities. By offering continuous learning opportunities and support mechanisms, you demonstrate your commitment to the growth and development of novice advisors. This not only enhances their skills and knowledge but also cultivates a sense of engagement and motivation.
To summarize, performance coaching is an essential component to the journey of a novice to expert in any field.
As a coach, your main objectives are to assess their proficiency levels, determine their learning needs and approach, provide support suitable for the nesting stage, give positive reinforcement and constructive criticism, and offer continuous support. By combining all of these techniques together with your coaching knowledge and expertise you can indeed help elevate a beginner’s abilities and performance.
If you are interested in learning more about how to become an effective coach – and even potentially gain certification in the process – be sure to contact us at BUPLAS today!