With Incept continuing to grow, we are finding the need to cultivate many new and promising leaders in Incept’s contact center. Meet Amber Ulrich!
I am Amber Ulrich, coach and team captain of the Blood Hound Gang.
Not too long ago, I was on the phones as a Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME), making phone calls and trying to help save lives. It is not an easy thing to do, but I personally love talking to these donors and hearing their stories. I’ve had a lot of help through coaches and supervisors to shape me into being able to handle the harder-to-get donors. Because of them, I am now in the position that I am, and I am able to do the same with my fellow CMEs. There is nothing more I love than helping and teaching. Seeing how people grow throughout just a few coaching sessions is a true blessing – knowing that I am able to help a person and our company drive better results.
When listening to a person on the phones, I try to keep a level head. I too have struggled with second attempting or staying assumptive, and I try to incorporate how I’ve changed and what has helped me to get to where I need to be in a call. I think that providing examples and empathizing with CMEs while coaching is just as important as it is when talking to a donor. No one wants to feel as if they’re stupid or that there was such a simple response. I let them know that “Hey, I’ve done that so many times!” And then I go on to give examples of how I’ve come to change those problems that I too have faced on the phones.
I especially think that this works very well with our newer CMEs. They haven’t heard all of the crazy excuses nor had every question under the sun asked of them. So I just try to make sure that newer CMEs start off the coach with any questions or statements that they would like to make first, so I can get a feel if they are having trouble with some difficult questions or need help with certain rebuttals. Oftentimes, this breaks the ice and gets them talking. Obviously, conversations drive us and connect us with people, so I think that it really important to keep that in mind when giving a coach.
Like I said before, I think that a very humble and empathetic coaching approach is ideal. I think that lets our CMEs know that mistakes are okay, and that’s what helps us to improve. We all make mistakes, and once we experience them (and have someone else be able to relate to it and give us advice or examples to really help us better understand what happened), we are prepared when that situation comes up again! I am so happy to be able to provide answers to questions for my CMEs and give them examples of things I do in my own calls or share things that I have struggled with as well.
Also, follow-up is key. It’s great to put yourself, as a coach, on a CME level, and let them know you know what they’re going through. But you also must be an enforcer. I always make sure to listen to the people who I coach either later in the night or the next day to see if they are using my rebuttals or examples/solutions that I have given them. If necessary, you may need to have a talk with a CME to reinforce what is expected of them. I always like to ask the CMEs what it is that they’re going to work on before listening to them, so that they are consciously aware of the things we went over in the coach. I really think that this not only helps them keep focus, but also feel less reprimanded.
I love teaching people new things, especially how to better their calls. Some things are simple and others take a few follow-ups, but I think my CMEs respect that I’m trying to help them improve and am always doing what is in their best interests. My team knows that I love answering questions and talking about past experiences, so I think that has helped to get my CMEs more opened up and comfortable with asking questions and doing what is expected of them after being listened to.