September 2, 2021

18 Top Points for Top Call Quality Monitoring

If you are looking to improve your contact center call quality monitoring, there are so many things that you can try. Whether it is for more first contact resolutions or because of previous external benchmarking, this article will go through 18 points that you can use to improve your call quality monitoring.

18 Tips For Effective Call Quality Monitoring

Contact Centers are extremely difficult to manage. There are often very complex issues that you need to contend with – let alone the customer issues and agent problems that you often have to deal with. The more of these points you can use, and the quicker you put them into practice, the better your results.

1. Decide What You Need From Your Team

One of the worst things you can do as a call center quality manager is to be unsure of the quality standards you are looking for. When creating the plans, you should look at more than just agent monitoring and calls per agent. Your key business objectives should align with your contact center KPIs, customer experience, and agent productivity.

While planning your contact center monitoring, remember to provide feedback to your agents on your progress and ideas. You can let them know the business goals and any agent goals you want, such as average handling time and any other action items you require.

No matter what you decide, you need to ensure that you have a clear, concise set of goals that are easy to find and follow for everyone, from new starters to managers.

2. Let The Team Know You Are Not Trying to Catch Them Out

As soon as you start to implement something new into your customer service team, you will likely find your agent morale down. Unfortunately, that is an inevitable issue that you will have to deal with. However, if you deal with it well and include the entire call center in your discussions, you can stop agent mistrust and problems before they get out of hand.

The biggest problem is that news among contact center agents gets around fast. Furthermore, it can become gossip with diminishing facts that leads to teams feeling like you are trying to catch them out by implementing something new.

Reassure your team that you are looking to improve service quality and provide exceptional customer experience through customer service metrics, not that you are watching their every move.

3. Use Personality Tests for Agent Placement

This point is tricky and can look like you are probing if you do not do it right. Therefore, create a strategy before starting to use personality tests. There are some things that you can try to make this a positive experience, such as:

  • Make the tests a game
  • Let them know you are trying to find better jobs to match their personality
  • Ask the agents to get into groups they think they will match up to
  • And so on.

While this may seem like a negative experience at first, there are certainly ways that you can turn it around into a positive one. Furthermore, don’t force people into taking the test; there will be people who want to do it, and others will follow.

After you have the results, you can match agent behaviors and employee attitudes to roles that suit. Furthermore, the soft skills you learn will be easier to nurture, providing better agent flexibility through different teams and roles.

4. Involve Top Agents in Creating Scorecards

Some businesses do not see that scorecards play a vital role in better agent performance. However, the fact is, you need scorecards to see what is good and bad with your current calls. However, one of the best things you can do is give your top-performing agents an active role in creating the scorecards.

Employee engagement and agent feedback provide valuable resources for creating the optimal scorecards for your business. Furthermore, doing so will let your agents feel less like they are being watched for only what you want.

5. Create Responsive Scorecards

One of the most challenging things in any call center is the quality assurance scorecard. It is very rare to have many calls that are the same, especially true for inbound centers. A standard, universal quality form is going to be one of two things:

  • Too short. – If you do not cover all aspects of every call, you will miss points out.
  • Too long. – If you try to cover all of your quality metrics on one scorecard. You might make them too difficult.

Responsive call center quality monitoring scorecards are more difficult to set up and get right. However, if you get it right, you will see that the quality of your calls can increase exponentially.

Customized scorecards report out key indicators based on specific criteria. A customized scorecard provides detailed insights into each interaction between a client and a representative.

For instance, you can set up a scorecard that shows the number of times an agent resolved a particular issue within 24 hours versus those that were escalated to the supervisor level. Or, you can compare the average length of conversations across different departments.

If you want to see how Call Criteria can help create custom responsive scorecards, don’t hesitate to contact us.

6. Plan The Scripts

Effective call quality monitoring starts with using the right script if you use one. Some of the things that you can plan with scripts are:

  • First contact resolution. – Ensuring that you have dynamic scripts for frequent issues can help you overcome the requirement for diverting calls to supervisors and other team members.
  • Effective questioning. – Not all agents will think of the right question at the right time, every time. Scripting can help your agents to visualize where a conversation may go before it gets there. Therefore, they can plan questions that might appear.
  • Regulation compliance. – Scripts can help more than providing excellent services and improving the customer’s day. They are visual examples of behaviors that will help everyone comply with legal regulations that could, if missed, get people or businesses into trouble. For example, a simple standard recorded line statement or any other regulatory statement.

There are many other sections of a call that you can include in a script. However, it would be best always to allow your agents some room to change what they say. If you do not, they can cause bigger problems. Take this next scenario as an example:

A customer calls to end their contract as they have had issues with the company.

The agent ends the call with: “Thank you for being such a valued customer, goodbye.”

The caller is no longer a customer and may also feel offended enough to write a bad review!

7. Weekly Reviews in Extra “Down Time”

Reviewing calls and looking through customer feedback may not be on the top of everyone’s agenda. However, when done correctly, these activities can save money and improve service levels. In fact, we recommend reviewing calls weekly because it gives you extra time to look over the data and find trends. That way, you can spot patterns early on and take action sooner rather than later.

When you ask your agents about their experience working for you, you will learn a great deal about your organization. You will know whether your policies and procedures are clear, effective, and easy to follow. Your agents will tell you which parts of your processes need improvement.

You will gain insight into areas that require attention from both management and frontline teams. This information helps you make decisions regarding staffing needs, training requirements, compensation plans, and so much more. It’s important to understand why your agents give positive and negative feedback. By understanding the reasons behind employee comments, you can address them effectively.

One of the best ways to get these quality recommendations, even though it is something that many people do not want to do, is using a dedicated weekly downtime. For example, every Friday morning, you could introduce an extra break (maybe even supply snacks), giving your staff a benefit.

Happy employees mean happy customers. When your staff feels appreciated, motivated, and engaged, then they will work harder and better. And, happier workers means fewer sick days, higher productivity, lower turnover rates, and improved morale.

8. Look at the Best and Worst Performers

Far too many businesses focus on the worst performers in their team. While that is understandable, everyone wants to increase the performance, checking the top performing agents within the quality monitoring process can have significant impacts.

Highest performing agents can give you some extremely valuable insights into their personal methods of doing things. You may even want to think about teaming up your lowest-performing agents with a top-performing one to show them an alternative method.

Doing that can increase your overall average score, thus drive more sales or better responses throughout the company.

9. Focus on Weekly or Monthly Points

Put yourself in the shoes of a new agent for a moment. You have so many things to think about, so many points to remember, and your scores depend on them. Instead of pushing individual agents into an uncomfortable position of trying to increase everything simultaneously, try to give the whole team one point to focus on over a week or a month.

That could be the average handle time, a single new point on a scorecard, or the overall tone of voice. If you plan it correctly, you may even see increases in your agent’s habits within that one point. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the other points that agents need to focus on; introduce one thing for the whole team.

10. Ask Agents to Score Their Own Calls

If you’re looking to build better relationships with your agents, you should ask them to score their own calls. If they’re rating themselves on how well they’re doing on the phone, they’re more likely to put in the effort to improve their skills.

Ask them to count how many times they asked for the sale, how many times they asked for an appointment or anything else you would like to improve.

We recommend asking your representatives to score their calls on a scale of 1-5. Have them give their own score, then ask them why they gave that score. It’s a great way to see where they think they can improve, and it’s a great way for you to get their feedback on how to improve the business. It’s important to spend time looking at different solutions and technologies and understand how they work and what they do differently.

If there were any problems during the conversation, such as missed cues, this manual process could provide valuable insight into your quality monitoring practices for both your company and the agents, thus allowing for easier increases in great service to customers.

11. Allow Agents to Dispute Scores

In the same way as asking agents to score their own calls, you should also allow them to dispute scores within the call center quality monitoring process. Allow them time to review their calls by giving them access to dashboards and talking to contact center managers or quality assurance, teams.

That can have multiple benefits:

  • The agent feels valued and heard. – That can have a huge impact on morale.
  • They can explain why they did a certain thing.
  • The process can change to adapt to actual requirements.

Agents should be able to request a re-evaluation of their calls by a different QA agent. That will help them take ownership of their actions and see where they are right and wrong.

12. Call Quality Monitoring Between Teams

One of the best ways to get feedback on how you’re doing is to ask your clients to score your calls. After every call, ask your clients to give you a score out of 10 on how well you did. The scoring system should be standardized so that everyone is judging you against the same criteria.

However, random phone calls between customers and representatives can be notoriously difficult to have scored by the customer. Yes, some calls ask you to stay on the line after to score the call, but more often than not, you will find people are only willing to stay and score the call if they want to mark it as a poor interaction. That does not provide a good representative sample of interactions.

Therefore, one of the best ways to create equality is through asking agents to score other teams’ calls. That can provide great insight into how other teams work while letting agents see and determine for themselves what is good and what is bad.

13. Save the Best Calls

If you use call recording software such as speech analytics, you should always try to save the best-performing calls for future reference. There is no requirement to save every call where the agent scores 100%. However, if you can save different types of calls (inbound, outbound, sales, referrals, booking, etc.), you can create a library of them to show agents what sort of challenges the agent faced, how they dealt with them, and what things they can do to improve.

One of the primary issues with this method is that you need call center software to score and record the calls.

14. Build Habits – Not Challenges

Long-term improvements are always one of the top priorities for contact center managers. One of the best methods is to build habits instead of always pushing challenges on the agents. Call quality monitoring is not a one-time thing, and you must see it as a long-term improvement method. Some of the things that you can do are send your employees on courses for things like active listening skills, empathy, and other soft skills.

15. Training and Coaching

Call Center Agents are sometimes put in the difficult position of trying to please everyone. But it’s difficult for them to know if they’re doing everything they need to do. Some Agents might find it challenging to know which skills they excel at and which skills they might need to work on.

When you coach your customer service agents and give them constructive feedback, you improve their skills, and they will be more likely to provide good customer service. That will increase their knowledge of their job and the ability to complete it with maximum results.

There are a lot of different methods for agent coaching and training. However, they all have two primary training purposes – increase your agent’s skills to increase revenue for the business and ensure compliance.

Here are some of the ways that you can increase your agent effectiveness through training:

  • Online webinars
  • Publications of relevant content
  • One to one training sessions
  • Agent learning centers

Not all of them are going to work well for every company. Many businesses do not have the extra staffing required to allow agents to go on courses or sit through webinars during work time. However, here at Call Criteria, we use a coaching session dashboard that is more on-the-job training, looking at agent activity and agent behavior during calls and explaining where they missed points and could improve.

These visual representations can dramatically improve agent effectiveness in short times, as the points are very clear and direct.

16. Reward Top Agents

Rewarding agents for providing a great customer experience or constant quality standards is an extremely effective way of encouraging high-quality scores and an urge for improvement. However, you do have to consider the agent experience as only experienced people will ever get rewarded.

17. Create Quality Management Teams

Outsourcing your call quality management is the best option many companies have; there is still a place for giving your staff key roles in quality monitoring. That can be anything that will produce some ownership for the quality of service that the employees provide.

Whether you use team managers or people in different admin roles, you could consider providing additional training and creating an advanced quality monitoring program for which your agents are directly responsible.

That will help in different ways. First of all, you will find that people will take ownership of quality. Secondly, you can gain some valuable feedback from the team members about things that may need changing within processes – they may even be able to give you some insight as to why you have the employee turnover rate you do, as the new quality management teams already know the people and understand the processes.

18. Outsource Your Call Quality Monitoring

Customer service Speech analytics software has become increasingly popular among companies who want to automate repetitive tasks and streamline operations. These programs provide real-time speech analytics, track performance metrics, and generate additional insight to create a better action plan.

The most important thing for outsourcing your call center quality assurance is finding a business with the right skill set. If you choose to outsource, you’ll also need to decide whether you’d like to pay per hour or on a project basis. Either way, you’ll need to look for a provider who offers real-time speech analytics solutions.

Outsourcing your call center quality assurance can seem daunting. However, you have fewer issues with your contact center software when you use a dedicated company. There are many reasons for that, but here are 7 benefits to outsourcing that you should consider.

Conclusion

Call quality monitoring can make it easier to answer customer issues and create outstanding performance throughout your company. However, the first thing that you need to do is create a basic quality monitoring program set around predefined standards and then use regular coaching and checks through a quality monitoring team to ensure constant improvement of quality and procedures.

There are so many steps that you can take to ensure effective quality monitoring that it is a daunting thought. However, the best way to start is to start now.

If you want more information about how Call Criteria can help you with your quality assurance, please contact us.

Photo by Charanjeet Dhiman on Unsplash