The businesses that invest in call centers expect them to be performing effectively. Key Performance Indicators (KPI) metrics measure and monitor employee performance. These results include call resolution, hold times, agent courtesy etc. This monitoring is essential for any call center as it provides valuable information on performance, consumer experience and gives agents something to strive for. However, monitoring in itself, can be a conflictive process. What should an assurance program include to work its wonders?
Especially when monitoring is done by an internal group, people may worry that scoring will be based on favoritism. Use anonymous outsiders so there’s no possible bias and listening to calls stays objective. Outside sources can give some great perspective to any issues that an internal team might not be able to spot.
Especially when monitoring is first introduced, many may find it to be too critical. Ensure it’s not used as a top-down type of system. Instead, regard it as an integral system program designed to benefit everyone. Keep in mind that monitoring shouldn’t be the job of the supervisor, instead, dedicate the right person/firm to do the monitoring. Give this person the resources, training and skills to handle the job.
Stay objective by comparing your performance with others. Calibrate your measurements and include everyone responsible for monitoring with regular meetings. Choose a call and play it for them. Then, have them each score the call. If there’s a huge difference in scores, discuss and resolve the differences. This process builds general agreement and maintains a more consistent evaluation of agents.
Come up with a great program
Coming up with and using quality scorecards are one of the most important tools of a quality assurance program. Make sure you are asking the right questions, getting the results you are looking for and using those results correctly. The scorecards should evaluate the many aspects of a call. These include agent introduction to the customer, their presentation, composure and their closing. Stay consistent by evaluating scores weekly and monthly. If a score falls below a certain level, coaching or other action will take place. Don’t forget about your customer satisfaction, make sure you have a survey process installed.
This should be spread regularly through one-on-one and group sessions to encourage suggestions and comments. Give your agents the chance to discuss their evaluations if they’re not happy. This empowers them to have more control over their scores. When in a session, make it more than just sharing the score with with the agent. Try using the ”sandwich” approach by giving positive feedback, an area of improvement, followed by another positive note. Be sensitive to their reaction. For those with high marks, consistently recognize your agents that have the highest quality with small rewards and recognition for everyone to see.
Invest in training and coaching
Building agent skills are huge to create call center success. Use those great calls as a training aid. Support your staff with refresher training and plans to improve performance. Develop sessions where agents, supervisors, trainers etc. listen to calls and discuss different techniques. Every little bit helps to reinforce with experience and practice.
Your Quality management team and training team should be always communicating. Monitoring should be a collaborative effort where the entire call center is involved in defining and designing the process. All should know what should be expected and what the goals are, especially when it comes to identifying what is ‘good’ or not in a call.
You don’t have to have high-tech equipment, but even some monitoring is better than none. Start simple and slowly work your way up to more technical monitoring.
The Quality assurance process is crucial to operating a call center. You will reap the rewards if you invest the time and effort into the process. What has worked best for your call center?