Although call centers are largely misunderstood and underappreciated, they are at the heart of a company's organization. A call center is a company's first point of contact with customers.
The way they interact can essentially make or break relationships with customers and/or potential prospects.
Therefore, ensuring a quality process is put in place throughout call center operations is vital for a company's reputation. Yes, although quality assessment is often overlooked due to limited resources, having a quality call control assessment within a call center should be a top priority. By failing to do so, a call center takes the risk of jeopardizing the quality of its service and losing customers.
Knowing the weight it carries, putting in place quality monitoring and assurance processes should be a no-brainer. It's almost a direct return on investment as the more time and effort spent monitoring and coaching invested, the better the service and the bigger the sales.
However, a dark shadow is often cast on a quality management.
Monitoring can often be seen as an invasive top-down process put in place by management to micromanage agents. When instead, it should be viewed as an integral part of a contact center to increase customer retention levels and quality service.
It's about time we push quality monitoring out of its shadow and give it the importance it really deserves.
Top 6 Call Center Quality Assurance Best Practices
1. Turn raw data into measurable results
Thanks to call quality monitoring we are able to gain invaluable insight into what makes a remarkable consumer experience.
Many call centers most valuable results often come from quality monitoring data. This is because the tangible metrics analyzed are easy to measure and can be immediately improved.
Not only that but they can also serve as the foundation to set evaluation standards for scorecards, coaching for team leaders and agents, as well as providing insights for management to improve call center processes to ensure continuous quality customer service.
In short, quality management not only serves to improve customer service, but can help to improve processes across the business.
2. Make ongoing feedback a habit
Regular monitoring is only half the work to ensure quality standards within your call center.
With regular quality assurance, ongoing feedback support and coaching is made easier through the support of data. By using real scenarios and well-defined metrics, quality assurance provides agents and team leaders with concrete examples to build upon or improve in order to avoid picking up bad habits along the way.
Remember, feedback should also be structured through metrics and not handed out objectively in order to stay to the point and productive.
By being consistent and regular with employee feedback you can set milestones with your staff in order for them to progressively grow and improve without feeling controlled or attacked.
3. Use data results to coach
Take quality monitoring data a step further. Invest time in agent and team leader coaching sessions. Although coaching would seem like the logical next step to improving business processes, many call centers fail to do so.
Organize one-on-one coaching sessions or hold group sessions to coach the necessary skills needed for your operation. Doing so not only serves to teach new skills but works to reinforce quality standards. You can also consider organizing frequent refreshers and general group training sessions to encourage staff to participate and discuss ideas and best practices with one another. Not only would these peer-to-peer coaching sessions improve overall quality scores, but it would give employees a voice and make them onboard to improve quality.
4. Practice bottom-up and outside-in management
The easiest way to move call center quality assessment away from the limelight is to get everyone in involved. If all call center staff, from management to the agents, contribute to the cause, then the process will no longer be seen as a top-down management invention.
Letting agents and team leaders in on the action to help define quality metrics, give feedback to their colleagues and collaborate and give their input through group sessions are a few example of steps that can be put in place to ensure that everyone is on board.
But don't just open the process to staff. With a service that is so customer-centric, customers should also play a role in quality management. Customers are a wealth of information and have the power to inspire and help develop the business if only you’d take some time to listen and ask the right questions.
5. Defining the right metrics
When quality insurance listens to a call what exactly are they listening for? Are your scorecard metrics meant to evaluate a satisfactory call or can they determine an outstanding call from an average one?
Think about measurable criteria that can make a call or point of contact great. You can even involve agents and team leaders to help define the criteria and partake in the quality assessment process, further integrating them in the journey. Create a scorecard that distinguishes the good from the great with measurable skills which can be built upon.
6. Copy, paste, repeat.
The process is really quite simple. The more time and effort you invest in tracking , providing quality feedback and coaching, the better prepared your agents will be. This in turn leads to bigger sales and customer retention levels.
And which call center wouldn't want that?