Quality management systems have evolved over the years resulting in huge increases in the efficiency and effectiveness of monitoring and managing agent performance. That’s where the evolution seems to have stalled, with today’s quality management systems focusing more on individual agent performance than on overall business performance. A new concept of quality management is emerging. One that embeds the time-tested principles of the performance improvement process, and layers on top innovative analytics capabilities. This new approach aligns the efforts of the contact center with the strategic objectives of the business. As such, it presents an opportunity to transform quality management into a powerful business optimization solution.
Quality management first appeared about 200 years ago during the industrial revolution when a supervisor inspected the work of a laborer and decided to accept or reject their effort. In the 1960s the Japanese manufacturing sector refined the concept with the help of early quality pioneers such as Juran and Deming. A key notion they introduced was the quality process, a methodology that is really pretty intuitive, but very powerful when applied correctly—monitor performance, identify gaps, undertake corrective action and repeat. That process is still the underlying basis of today’s quality management efforts in the contact center. The enabling technology has changed substantially though, from the early days of side-by-side monitoring and paper evaluation forms. Tape recorders eventually replaced live monitoring, and spreadsheets were used to enter scores and produce reports. These first steps at automation made the quality management process more efficient and more useful to the business.
In the 1990s, automated quality management systems were introduced into the contact center market, significantly boosting evaluator productivity and focusing on the importance of individual agent performance. Since that time, there have been technical improvements in these systems—digital recording, online evaluation forms, Web-based access—but nothing really changed in how the quality process was targeted.
NICE IEX WFM Integrated
NICE IEX WFM Integrated is a proven, industry-leading enterprise grade solution to tackle your most challenging and complex contact center staffing and employee engagement challenges. Artificial intelligence (AI) powers the industry’s most accurate omnichannel forecasting engine, and machine learning simulation modeling ensures a smarter, more precise schedule every time...
NICE Quality Management Cloud Integrated with CXone (PDF)
In today’s challenging business environment, contact centers must continuously demonstrate how they are contributing to business results. To achieve these goals they need to improve operational efficiency, respond quickly to customer issues, and maintain a highly trained and professional staff. Central to all these issues is agent performance. Contact centers worldwide implement quality programs seeking to inspire their agents to peak performance. This goal is very difficult to achieve through traditional, random quality management. With Supervisors and QM teams sampling random agent interactions, business insights and performance gains are accomplished by pure chance.
Contact Center Workforce Management: Engage Employees (PDF)
In Gallup’s 2012 Employee Engagement Index, they found that every category of worker was more engaged than in 2009 except one: Service Workers. 50% of Service Workers are not engaged, and an additional 22% are actively disengaged. “When engagement starts to decline, companies become vulnerable not only to a measurable drop in productivity, but also to poorer customer service and greater rates of absenteeism and turnover.” ~ Towers Watson Disengaged workers levy huge costs on a contact center. Replacing one worker equates to 16% of a contact center agent’s gross annual pay. The impact of turnover and lost productivity can cost the average 1,000 agent contact center more than two million dollars every year. In Gartner’s CFO Advisory, the firm called on business leaders to make employee engagement a company priority. Highly engaged organizations experience: 37% Lower Absenteeism 25% Lower Turnover 28% Less Shrinkage 41% Fewer Quality Incidents 10% Higher Customer Metrics 21% Higher Productivity 22% Higher Profitability Contact center leaders who want to correct low levels employee engagement can look to the very tool they use to drive operations efficiency: Workforce Management. Although primarily associated with enabling contact center management to do more with less, Workforce Management can empower agents to have more input and influence over their work environment and performance. Following are three ways contact center managers can use various features of their Workforce Management solution to engage their employees in ways that meet service goals, improve performance and deliver better customer service.