Given its pervasive use in journalism, marketing, and professional papers focusing on the call center industry, one is put under the impression that there is a clear and mutually agreed-upon definition for the term QA. However, upon scouring several websites and a few search engine inquiries, it becomes rather clear that this isn’t entirely the case. There are countless blogs and whitepapers that look into the benefits of call center quality control, but very few seem interested in defining the term before probing into it.
Call Criteria, a reputable and reliable QA company, defines quality assurance as to the grading component in quality monitoring. QA involves randomly selecting calls and measuring them against the set standard at the call center. QA measures key performance indicators such as how long it takes for a caller to reach an agent, how quickly a caller’s issue is resolved, and how long a caller is put on hold. Other quality issues include empathy with a customer who isn’t satisfied, agent courtesy, and the ability to follow procedures.
With that question out of the way, the following are tips on how to improve your call center quality and achieve the goals of your center’s QA in the most cost-effective way:
The quality evaluation is only as good as the people doing the evaluation. What’s more, your QA specialist plays quite a critical role in your company. Setting acceptable levels of quality, motivating your employees, and evaluating every individual member of your team’s performance and skills, QA professionals are quite synonymous with tightrope artists; they carry out all the mentioned tasks while balancing your business’ budget. With this in mind, you need to look for a QA company with years of experience scoring calls and enough knowledge and ingenuity to help you understand the details of their operations. Companies like Call Criteria have provided countless call centers with accurate and affordable QA programs for years.
If you really think about it, you’ll realize that how you feel is more important than how much you earn. The same applies to your employees. According to a study funded by Make Their Day on 1,200 employees from across the U.S.A, 83% of respondents said that recognition for their contribution was more fulfilling than gifts. The study also revealed that 88% of the employees found praise from their manager to be extremely motivating. (Source)
In general, the study reinforced the importance of the emotional element of an employee’s commitment to a company as opposed to the financial aspect. Accordingly, as a manager, you need to reward high-quality work through mechanisms such as creating an ‘Excellence wall,’ giving awards for ‘Advisor of the month’ and certificates for ’employee of the month.’ Despite today’s workplaces’ sophistication, it is amazing how far a simple pat on the back can go.
Besides having a training curriculum in place to help your employees keep up with what is expected of them, adequate time and thought must be put into your call center agents’ training. Listed below are some helpful tips on how to implement successful call center agent coaching:
Bad habits always start as harmless and irrelevant. However, if you don’t root them out soon enough, they may end up spreading from one agent to another, affecting your entire call center. Besides, it’s the little things that always matter. With that said, you need to target micro-behaviors that are detrimental to your business’s success and change them. How do you do this? The best way to make such changes is to collaboratively coach your agents and help them see how the change will be beneficial to them. You also need to show them how they can make the change.
Direct 6 agents per day to spare 5 minutes at most, before their shift starts, to review calls from the previous day. This keeps the feedback fresh in their mind and allows them to correct any mistakes made and improve their strengths.
You can use customer feedback to improve call center quality control through traditional methods such as tying your quality scoring with the Net Promoter score, or you could go ‘new school’ and use tactics like sharing great calls and customer props. With the latter, the agent who feels like they’ve really performed exceptionally can personally reach out to the customer and ask for their opinion on the call. The feedback is then shared with the management. You can also save such recordings to be used as an example of what to follow for other agents. On the other hand, a customer prop occurs when customers proactively reach out to management to thank an agent for exceptional performance.
There are many benefits of outsourcing your quality assurance to a QA company. Not only do you get to improve the quality of the customer experience, but you also get to save on cost. However, it is important to ensure that your employees are also on the same page. Hopefully, the above tips are comprehensive enough to help you improve your call center quality control.