Back to the Basics: Quality Monitoring Essentials

Back to the Basics: Quality Monitoring Essentials

“This call may be monitored and recorded for quality assurance.” No matter how many times you may have heard this opening script, it never ceases to amaze how often it’s improperly stated, incomplete or missing altogether. However, this hints toward a much larger elephant in the room. Let’s begin by asking the following three questions;

“This call may be monitored and recorded for quality assurance.”

No matter how many times you may have heard this opening script, it never ceases to amaze how often it’s improperly stated, incomplete or missing altogether.

However, this hints toward a much larger elephant in the room.

Let’s begin by asking the following three questions;

  • What do you do to follow through on the ‘assuring quality’ element?
  • Are you actually making changes to improve agent performance heard on calls?
  • Do you strive to improve customer experience based on data collected by your QA program?

The sad truth to these questions can be summarized into the following:

Most companies do nothing to assure quality, attempt to improve upon existing agent performance, or even have the slightest idea how a customer’s “experience” is ultimately affecting the company’s bottom line.

Smart companies, however, analyze and put those call recordings to work.

They use agent-to-customer interactions to make improvements that benefit both the company and its customers.

These improvements typically include increasing customer satisfaction, streamlining customer experience, enhancing agent and overall contact center performance, delivering a ‘first-contact’ solution, and boosting the bottom line.

More importantly, smart companies have a tendency to follow a multitude of best practices.

Below are some of the best practices used to efficiently and effectively implement a quality monitoring program, either yourself or by way of an experienced 3rd party QA provider like Call Criteria.

1. Set Clear Goals

Why implement a quality assurance program?

What operational changes are you looking to achieve?

Most importantly, what results do you expect?

Smart contact centers view quality programs as more than just completing standard evaluation forms and call recording; they see it as a series of interlocking objectives specific to their company’s goals.

Factors you should consider when setting your quality monitoring goals include;

  • Who’s performing the monitoring?
  • How will you utilize the data gathered?
  • What does your scorecard include?
  • How will you implement changes and best practice standards?
  • What KPI’s will you measure?
  • How many calls per agent, for what time period, will be analyzed?

2. Focus on Agent coaching

Your call center agents are the front line of the company and have the greatest potential to affect the success of your quality monitoring program.

However, agents can be wary of quality control mainly because it often seems that the monitoring and analysis may ultimately threaten their very existence.

To avoid the ‘Us vs. Them’ mentality, consider making your monitoring program a collaborative process with agent involvement.

At the end of the day, your representatives are more likely to participate in coaching and training when it’s clear the quality monitoring and analysis is meant to aid in their improvement and growth and not designed as a form of punishment and babysitting.

3. In addition to a random sampling, target high-value calls for evaluation

This may seem counter-intuitive, but just think about it for a second.

Most companies sample random calls, and although it keeps things ‘even’ it only provides part of the picture.

To get the full scope of how your agents are performing when assisting valuable customers, you need to dive deeper.

Avoid missing out on the main elements that can help you improve by paying close attention to high-value calls; for example, those with high dollar values, interactions with VIPs or calls where a customer is following up on an unresolved issue.

4. Calibrate often

Calibration ensures that feedback is reliable, consistent and impartial.

Regular calibration is crucial to ensuring your quality monitoring program, QA analysts and scorecards are compatible.

Whether by way of independent calibration reviews or full participatory sessions between agents and supervisors, calibration not only adds additional layers to your QA program, it also offers the opportunity for everyone involved to develop comprehensive improvement strategies and address reoccurring obstacles and poor performance trends.