Industry Insights: 10 Characteristics of a Winning Quality Management Program

The customer experience tools we have at our disposal today are no doubt impressive. We continue to push boundaries to create advanced capabilities and work to stay on the cutting edge of the trends our customers care about. But at the end of the day, a successful contact center begins with the basics, and attention to the details around areas like quality management is essential to executing any successful campaign or running an exceptional contact center.

It’s important to get these baseline programs right, so we’ve outlined what we think are the top 10 characteristics of a successful quality management program or form. 

  1. Synergistic: Quality management begins with the culture of an organization, and stems into all areas of the program. Quality management works best when it is informed by an established message that is derived from cultural values. Avoid contradictory messaging and strive to put quality assurance, training, incentives and motivation all on the same page.

  2. Relevant: When choosing elements of a QM form, take a cue once again from your company culture and messages, and work to create a form that’s unique to your organization. Pull components from past experience, industry examples and instinct, but keep the elements relevant to the environment and manageable in terms of business capabilities. 

  3. Correlated to Goal: As with any program, keep your destination in mind and map the content back to your end goal. Know what you want to measure, and keep your eyes open for opportunities these objectives may identify: improving customer satisfaction, increasing sales, reducing agent turnover, etc. Know where you’re going, and be aware of opportunities along the way to get there.

  4. Balanced: Strike a balance between the needs of the business and the needs of the customer by aligning weights and measured behaviors appropriately to your goals. Consider what senior management would identify as priorities in interacting with our customers as well as what the correlation data identifies as important, and land on a balance of the two; just be careful not to send a mixed message!

  5. Concise: Prioritize which behaviors matter the most and need to be measured—not every behavior may be relevant. Streamline the process where possible and keep evaluations focused. Correlation to goals and ongoing measures may help prioritize and determine which behaviors on the QM form matter.

  6. Actionable: Data is only useful if we can use it to make improvements. Think ahead about the data being generated and how it may be used to create actionable results. Evaluate if the form is asking the right questions, how the responses could be leveraged, and whether there are other questions that may be helpful in that pursuit. 

  7. Defined: Empower employees to succeed by ensuring that the criteria are well defined, and a balance is met between cultural concepts and practical execution.Use gradient scoring for soft skills, limit the choices to effectively manage the responses, and define criteria ahead of time to make sure employees are given the clarity they need.

  8. Calibrated: Accurate scoring and quality data requires ongoing calibration. Outlining processes and procedures benefits the organization by allowing for the use of quality scores for employee development and incentives, informing business decisions through data-driven insights, and protecting against employee lawsuits tied to potentially unfair quality scoring. Make calibration a priority and consider it an ongoing part of the process.

  9. Measured & Evolving: Quality management does require a certain level of consistency to allow for ongoing tracking, but that doesn’t mean the program should be complacent. Measurement and evaluation may reveal areas where the QM form is not accurately reflecting opportunity for improvement or creates a divide between cultural ideals and what is actually happening. Take advantage of continuous measurement to inform how the form should evolve to improve upon the data.

  10. Celebrated: Don’t operate QM in isolation; celebrate it as an extension of the organization’s culture and promote corporate pride. Get everyone on board before rolling the program out, and celebrate it as a way to recognize key players who perpetuate the company’s values and reward based on those observations.