Connecting with Clients: A Coaching Experience


Today’s post is a guest blog from Rich Cunningham, one of our proficient Call Center Team Leaders.

When I first arrived at Signature Worldwide, there were so many things to learn. Probably the most vital aspect I needed to become familiar with was what exactly my department (Coaching) did for our clients.

After a few weeks on the job, I found myself struggling to try and clearly describe our role. I would touch on the process…yeah, that’s it…the PROCESS!!!! However, the more I talked of the process I found I would not only confuse myself, but the person/people I was describing it to: “Well, you see, people call in and get to practice skills”. Or better yet, “We can tackle anything related to customer service, to basically help them effectively work with people”. Finally, I just settled on the safe description of “We offer BEST PRACTICES”. Ah!!!! There it is…best practices…that’s clear, right???? Ultimately, I would then have to describe what exactly “Best Practices” meant in relation to our clients and their Magic Formulas…then describe Magic Formulas…then go back to what coaching actually is…in short, most of the time it would end with puzzled looks on faces, along with the sneaking suspicion that I had no idea what my own department actually did!!! I call it the “Okay, let’s find another topic to discuss” look. My conclusion was that I would have better luck trying to describe Quantum Physics (which is a scary thought).

However, as time passed and I got to sit with coaches…listening to them with clients, hearing the positive impact, getting the opportunity to take calls myself and nervously stagger through the formulas with them…I realized that its not the process that is the most vital, but rather the CONNECTION made between coach and caller. Of course, people call in and want to sharpen their skills, get clarification on the meaning and order of the various Magic Formulas, etc…but it goes much further than that for a coach. Our HR Director calls it the “Ah Ha moment”, which is the most inspiring time for a coach. When the caller gathers unique insight and is truly excited to put it into action…the inspiration is usually followed with the phrase “Ah Ha”, which is something every coach strives for with every call…our Home Run. Every caller that reaches a coach is searching for something (a better phrase, suggestions, anything) to help them improve in their respective profession, and the importance of that is not lost on any coach. I found that, with the connections comes trust…trust that what the coach is telling them is correct, trust that the coach is well-versed, prepared, etc.

Simply put, a good coach builds relationships with every caller, whether it’s a first-timer or a ten-year veteran. Developing the relationship, actively listening to their inquiry and/or situation they are going through, adding effective and versatile communication (tailored to that particular person), providing suggestions for quality improvement that will stick…and you got yourself one heck of a coaching call. 

Now if I could just explain that to my friends…

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