ACE (Agent Coaching & Evaluation) is a simple, streamlined agent evaluation solution built right into the core SupportLogic SX™ platform. It enables a manager to provide in-context mentoring to their agents and ensure a consistent case review process.
The Evaluations module steps you through the workflow of establishing your ACE process. Start by defining your Evaluation Criteria and use the In-Context Feedback to provide ongoing coaching. Case Evaluation level sets the rubric by which assessments are made and monitor Agent Performance to track whether your input is helping agents improve customer experience.
What is ACE?
ACE is an agent evaluation solution that structurally supports continued review and improvement for support organizations. It is made up of three components:
- Standardized evaluation criteria with rubrics which you define
- In-context coaching accessible throughout SupportLogic
- Performance management tools that allow you to measure performance over time
SupportLogic recommends cases for review using Machine Learning algorithms. The recommendations include a variety of cases, both with positive and negative sentiments. This is designed to help you provide positive feedback as well as negative feedback.
Before You Begin
Some things you may need to consider before starting the implementation of ACE are:
How will your organization establish norms for evaluation criteria?
Will your evaluation setup need to comply with your Human Resources standards?
How will you encourage the evaluation process to become habitual by managers?
What key behaviors are you looking to target for performance improvement?
Case Review Setup Process
Some items you may need to consider prior to configuring the Case Review Process are:
- Interaction Types you want to evaluate on. These are specific messages within a case that can be leveraged to pinpoint areas of improvement or call-outs for accolades.
- Case Timeline: highlight any case message to perform a custom case review
- Case Review: configure how your rating system will be configured, i.e. 3 tiered versus 5 tiered
- Publish: the review process you have configured in order for it to be live
Determine Your Evaluation Criteria
You may have criteria defined already from an existing performance review process or informally defined in spreadsheets you only pull out at the end of the quarter when doing evaluations. These could be starting places for you to determine a list of criteria for your organization.
If you are starting from scratch, some things to consider for evaluation criteria:
- It is a good idea to start with your organization's stated goals for reference. For example:
- does your company stress making your customers feel at home?
- does your website emphasize details and accuracy?
- are they centered around ease of use or more towards strategic value creation?
- Ideally, your evaluation criteria will tie back into your organization's stated goals and highlight the core values.
- Consolidate and make things consistent. If there are many support managers within your organization, agree on the set of criteria together before defining them within SupportLogic.
- Establish a baseline for criteria. Again, if there are many support managers, this will require a conversation so that you have a common understanding of what a good response is versus a poor response given several different scenarios. Keep in mind the rating scale available within SupportLogic when doing so.
- Have clear examples. Either by creatively coming up with some fictitious scenarios or leveraging historical cases, make sure that you provide examples prior to evaluation.
Evaluations as an Ongoing Process
Leverage industry best practices, tips and tricks in SupportLogic to identify good case examples for review, validate your evaluation criteria and gain guidance on handling difficult employee conversations. We recommend upon roll-out of ACE that you accompany the roll-out with resources for your managers using the system. Some general areas of guidance you might consider:
|Mark cases to review anywhere within SupportLogic|
Key case qualities to look for that make them good candidates for feedback
Guidance for managers on feedback, cadence, tips & tricks, etc.
Peer to peer sessions on evaluation discussions, question banks, help on providing difficult feedback
Provide Real-Time Coaching
With the implementation of ACE, you can provide coaching directly on cases that agents are working on in real-time. Simply highlight relevant text within the case history and select Coach.
Exporting an Evaluation Report
You can create a quick summary report of the evaluations you have completed as a manager in the Evaluations page Recently Reviewed column.
The exported file includes the ratings provided, date of the review, case number, agent, rating categories and raw data values for each category on the rating you provided.
Reviewing Completed Evaluations
SupportLogic also provides a quick historical log of the cases you have completed reviews for, cases that have been recommended for review and cases that are partially reviewed. You can access the lists of cases using the Completed evaluations tab in the Evaluations page of SupportLogic.
Industry Resources and Best Practices
We have collected some articles and links to organizations that model best-in-class performance assessment criteria and some that can provide services to help you in establishing your own:
Ideas on best in-class behaviors
- Keep your Customer Interactions Best in Class - covers both tools and best practices for improving support interactions
- Improving the Support Experience with Intelligent Swarming
- TSIA State of Support Services 2022 - critical capabilities that support services organizations must acquire to ensure success
- Coaching vs managing: 5 key tactics for managers - provides some tactical guidance on the difference between formal reviews versus coaching
As a general rule of thumb you can provide focused, adaptive guidance when coaching an employee. Often times pointing out better ways of wording feedback, pointing out a missed step, and direct them to view good examples either through micro-learning. Whereas behavioral changes (impacting many aspects of the employee's work) may require a more formal review process. A review should take in coaching feedback as data points that roll up into an establish review category within your review form.
Ideas on what to evaluate:
- Top Behavioral Skills That Employers Seek for Support Engineers - provides a quick summary of soft-skills you may want to consider
- 12 Qualities of Success Support Technicians - highlights some behavioral traits to look and provides a model from
Ideas on how to evaluate:
- 450+ Handy Performance Review Questions - a fairly comprehensive set of questions to measure traits as well as actions
- Josh Bersin Blog - now part of Deloitte, Josh Bersin has been a leader in the human resources and talent management for years
ACE Workflow for Support Managers
Review the SupportLogic Customer Education Video Channel to review a short tutorial on how ACE works from a Support Manager point of view.
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