4 Challenges of Call Center Coaching

By Tracy Gao

0 min read

Many call centers implement rigorous training programs as part of the onboarding process for newly hired agents. These programs often involve learning about the company, the product, customer service processes, proper phone etiquette and more. Once agents are able to start picking up calls, supervisors often engage in live coaching sessions where they actively advise agents during phone calls.

Despite the existence of advanced call center software features that can help make live coaching sessions more seamless, supervisors and agents can still run into a number of issues. Some of these challenges include:

1. Supervisors lack visibility into the activities of agent trainees

Supervisors typically have a holistic view of what their agents are doing at any given point (live calls, agent status, etc). However, this information is only useful for live agent coaching sessions if supervisors are constantly checking their live reporting for calls being handled by trainees. Otherwise, it’s very likely that they will have no knowledge of such calls occurring and subsequently miss critical coaching opportunities.

2. Agents can’t focus on both the customer and supervisor during call whispering

Call whispering is a call center feature that allows supervisors to monitor live calls and coach agents directly while calls are in progress. Agents are able to hear supervisors speak, but callers cannot. Although call whispering is one the primary call center features used with live agent coaching, the feature can be distracting for agents who are unaccustomed to it. This is primarily due to the fact that it’s often difficult to listen to the customer and supervisor at the same time. For agents who are unable to divide their attention, customer service quality may decline during live coaching sessions.

3. Agents can’t notify supervisors when they need help during a call

While it’s easy for call center supervisors to initiate a live coaching session, it’s not as simple for agents to do so while they are handling a call. The process usually involves notifying a supervisor via an app outside of the call center software and typing out a request. Other times, agents might need to escalate the call. Neither of these situations are ideal and both can prevent a fast resolution of the customer’s issue.

4. Agents can’t ask supervisors to provide more information during live coaching sessions

When call whispering is used as the primary vehicle for live coaching, it’s impossible for agents to directly address supervisors in the phone call. This results in a one-sided conversation where the supervisor can speak directly to the agent, but the agent cannot easily ask the supervisor for clarification or further help. Without the ability to close the feedback loop, live coaching sessions can do more harm than good.

All of the above issues can be easily remedied by advanced call center software. A call center solution designed for superior agent coaching experiences will allow supervisors to get notified of trainee activity and provide a two-way communication method during live calls – all while allowing the agent to stay focused on the caller.

In our upcoming webinar on July 7, we’re partnering with Slack to examine how the popular communication app can be used by support teams to improve the call center experience for supervisors, agents and customers. You’ll learn:

  • How Talkdesk for Slack addresses the four challenges mentioned above
  • Ways to optimize Slack for use in the call center
  • Tips for using Slack to capture support knowledge
  • And more!

You can also learn more about call center coaching best practices here!

Find out how to improve the performance and the productivity of your call center agents.

How to Increase Call Center Agent Productivity


Tracy Gao

Tracy hails from Los Angeles and is a Talkdesk product marketer. She is an avid art lover and champagne enthusiast. When Tracy isn't hard at work, she enjoys traveling and feeding her relentless sweet tooth.