Quality Management, (QM) or formally known as Quality Assurance, has been around for decades. The art and science of determining just how good an organization and its front line agents are performing is a process that continues to evolve. Today, many organizations have adapted QM programs for all customer interaction channels. There are many valuable practices that ensure success with establishing a QM program. The following four best practices are based on results from QATC studies, various research and overall best practices identified by various contact center industry experts and analysts such as DMG Consulting, Frost & Sullivan, and ICMI.
Decide on what percentage of calls should be recorded and evaluated
Most contact centers capture 100% of all voice interactions which allows for more options when identifying and analyzing true trends. These recordings can be used with a Speech Analytics solution to help identify calls that need evaluation. This is a hybrid approach using automation and personnel to complete the evaluation process. A growing number of companies are using the “analytic driven quality” at 100% recording to assist with a needs based QM program. However, most organizations evaluate less than 1% of an agent’s total monthly calls for quality. That sample size is too small to provide an accurate reflection of how that agent is performing or how your organization is doing.
Create a Quality Standards Definition Document (QSDD) and align it with enterprise goals and customer impacting analysis
A QSDD is a document that outlines and details the necessary information that should be evaluated and focused on when performing an evaluation. It also should contain the overall guidelines and procedures of the Quality Management program including examples of the positive and negative behaviors to observe during the call monitoring process.
Agents and supervisors alike should all have a part in managing and updating the document as business needs change by participation in calibrations, focus groups and trend analysis discussions based of off phone interactions. Continuous and consistent review of the QSDD is important so that employees understand how their performance will be measured as well as favorable vs. unfavorable behavior. Incorporating enterprise or corporate goals to the behaviors will show how it is relevant to the business and to gain agent buy-in.
Create an evaluation form based on your QSDD
Your quality monitoring forms should be in line with the criteria established in the QSDD. Many contact centers have various monitoring forms based off of different lines of business, different customer interaction channels and different objectives such as customer experience, compliance or improving/maintaining efficiency.
The ideal focus of a monitoring form; specifically when aligned to the QSDD, is to ensure all corporate objectives are being met on customer interaction. Some of the common sections that make up a call evaluation form are:
- Opening – greeting, verification, offer of assistance, etc.
- Gather/Discovery – clarify reason for the call, open ended questions, restate, etc.
- Resolution – provides best options for resolution, upsell, down sell, credit, etc.
- Closing – summary of call and actions taken, thanks for business, etc.
Establish an effective calibration process
One of the key components of a quality management program is to consistently hold calibrations. Call calibration consist of evaluators wanting to standardize the scoring and monitoring process. The goal is to have everyone arrive at or close to the same score when evaluating the same call. Call calibrations should include all operation stakeholders – including agents.
Benefits for agent are:
- Scoring consistency despite who is monitoring them
- Shifts focus away from fairness towards specific behaviors and achievements
Benefits for supervisor or QM analyst are:
- Clearly defines call criteria and add clarity to the process
- Increased knowledge base and awareness through sharing of others observations
Management benefits are:
- Support and achievement of corporate goals
- Increased integrity in the QM program resulting in less agent disputes
- Allows for an overall better customer experience
These basic standards for QM can provide great value to your organization and customers if practiced and executed consistently. Other valuable attributes to implement with your QM program include integrated coaching and training, performance reviews, scorecards, and incenting. Adding these processes to your call center toolbox will ensure better customer experiences, internal integrity and increased accuracy/efficiency with meeting corporate goals.