Why do some CX coaches rocket results and others just fizzle out? Natalie Calvert, director of CX High Performance explains what you can learn from elite customer experience (CX) coaches.
These days it takes much more than a great idea, a nurturing approach and green sofas to get a wickedly sustainable performance transformation programme off the blocks.
Ouch! This hurts to say but it is true, traditional coaching methods usually FAIL Customer Teams and individuals.
The hard truth is that mainstream traditional coaching often doesn’t work in CX environments for a variety of reasons - not enough time, not enough places, not enough follow through and not enough expertise.
Or you get a real push on coaching – ‘let’s just find a way’ – that usually lasts for about 4-6 weeks (or until the coaching flurry ends) then business demand creeps in and it’s all hands to the deck and guess what goes first? Yup, the coaching programme.
Or the coaching culture isn’t quite where it needs to be...
What advisors are TOLD
What advisors THINK
You are on a coaching programme ...
We coach for quality ..
Come to the coaching room ...
Coaching got cancelled again ...
We have a continuous improvement project...
I am on my way out...
Compliance failures have been highlighted again...
What have I done wrong now...
It doesn’t matter anyway...
Another cost cutting efficiency programme
Why do CX High Performance Coaches do it better?
Now this might sound a tad mad, however, before we go any further the very first thing to recognise is that CX High Performance coaching is different – you know what Einstein said ‘Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results - well never was it truer than here.
CX High Performance coaching is distinctly different in several ways – one of which is achieving purpose. A clearly defined purpose which drives High Performance in customer-centric environments; it’s a fundamental step of the commitment process between CX coach and coachee. Think about it for a second or two. It is very powerful.
#1 Awesome Habit of Successful CX Coaches: PURPOSE
Articulating Purpose is critical in terms of:
1. What you are here for
2. What do you aim to achieve?
3. When will you do it by?
4. How will you sustain it?
5. What's the business benefit?
Remember: Purpose is led first and foremost by the CUSTOMER and second by the individual need.
CX High Performance coaching #1 Awesome Habit is PURPOSE – knowing what is it is, is critical to success.
The challenge is living it.
#2 Awesome Habit of Successful CX Coaches: "WHAT HIGH PERFORMANCE LOOKS LIKE?"
CX High Performance Coaches know ‘What High Performance looks like?’ and ...
They know where Purpose is
They know exactly the route to get there
They know deeply what is involved
You see, when it comes to CX High Performance coaching, it is defined (know the destination), planned (know the journey), and has a clear glide path (know the logistics) of what is involved to achieve it.
Whoa – wait a minute. That’s not all.
The conversation is what really matters.
Building the right conversation.
A conversation you can successfully replicate, totally naturally. Right first time, every time.
#3 Awesome Habit of Successful CX Coaches: GREAT Conversations
Contrary to popular coaching belief successful CX coaching differs greatly from general coaching models because it is not only about the ‘questioning’ model of coaching – it is much more about the HOW. The very practical demonstration of HOW. To be technical about terms it is much closer to mentoring than to coaching. But, generally we refer to ‘coaching’ in CX Teams so I am going to stick with that.
Often CX Coaches coach what they did best in the past when they were in a similar role, not what IS best today.
Successful CX coaches are dual skilled in coaching + conversations.
Your best people might or might not be your best coaches. However, what’s key is to have CX Coaches who have the agility and capacity, to both know ‘What does high performance look like?’ and to enable others to reach it. They can actually do it themselves.
Yes, they need to become masterful at ‘What does CX High Performance look like?’.
CX Coaches must have the very best skills, knowledge and use it. Motivate others to take on board new behaviours, have much better conversations and deliver better results.
When in a coaching situation, the CX Coach can specifically lead/take/shape and guide the coachee in how to have great conversations.
The CX Coach skill set has to be much higher to raise the performance bar – to High Performance.
Ensure your CX coaches are equipped to achieve new levels of performance and have the tools to replicate it across every individual and every team. Build in the time to get it right and you’ll reap the big rewards.
#4 Awesome Habit of Successful CX Coaches: Valued
Your CX Coaches are a valuable part of the team – they are not a separate team (though they will have a coaching team or a ‘coaches coach’ too – but that’s for another day/article).
Valued means that CX Coaches work alongside teams through thick and thin, the ups and the downs, success and the not so successful times, the easy and tough decisions they are plugged into everything with their teams.
The value must be commercial and monetised – so it’s not a ‘nice to have’ but a recognised ‘must do’.
The company lets them be part of it - they are given the time, the encouragement and the skills. This means that there is a strong CX commitment to coaching because everyone benefits from the difference it makes.
In fast paced customer service & sales operations, the CX coach of today is the manager of the future. Or will it be that as more complex conversations with higher value customers become the norm, following the automation of transactional conversations, the role of the manager will be redefined as a coach.
Next time you think of buying green sofas or even a pink one (which I saw recently) please stop for a second and consider how engaged your CX Coaches are with Purpose, do they know ‘What CX high performance looks like?', can they role model great conversations and is their true value understood?
Thank you for taking the time to read this posting, please do get in touch if you'd like to explore these ideas further and how your organisation may benefit at firstname.lastname@example.org, call me on 07785 228844.