The Common Gap in Call Center Quality Assurance Programs
With the deployment of both technical and non-technical solutions to support call center quality assurance processes, we have identified a common gap. This gap is not providing feedback and coaching, an integral part of the call quality assurance process. To provide some context, feedback and coaching is just one step in a multi-step continuous process of quality assurance. However, it is often the weakest point. Regardless of the technology involved, a solid call center quality assurance process will have the following key elements:
1. A clear quality assurance strategy.
2. Clearly defined quality criteria.
3. Consistent evaluation and monitoring.
4. Trend identification and analysis.
5. Direct Feedback & Coaching.
6. Continuous improvement and/or maintaining quality of service.
The above covers the most common critical elements of a call center quality program. The intent is a continuous process that includes all elements in sequence. The step in the process where we most commonly see inconsistencies in is “Direct feedback and coaching”. This creates a gap in the process leading to missed opportunities for improvement both on an individual agent and contact center wide level.
Closing the Gap in Call Center Quality Assurance
The number one issue we see facing call center supervisors and managers is the lack of time. They need time to discuss feedback and provide coaching to their call center agents. For the agent, filling the gap between the quality assurance achievement (scores) and the underlying basis and behavioral aspects of those scores, is their road map to quality improvement. Human interaction is complex and takes practice, input and feedback from others to sufficiently address an increasingly wide range of customer requests. So how do we do that in a time constrained environment?
- Direct Agent Feedback: We have found allowing direct access to their own evaluations and providing feedback and coaching within the evaluations is the number one efficiency gain.
- Allow Agents Time to Review: Allowing a dedicated time for agents to review their quality evaluations, coaching and feedback significantly supports interaction quality.
- Review & Summarize: First, by following the first two steps, you should gain some significant efficiencies in information transfer (Agent Feedback and Coaching). Second, when you do meet with your agents, both the agent and supervisor should both be aware of the positive achievements and areas for improvement across all interactions evaluated. This way you can focus on specific changes that will bring about the biggest return in quality improvement for the individual, or group.
Measured Improvements in Call Quality
We have conducted numerous studies and data analysis around dissemination of feedback from quality evaluations. Each of the above steps adds measurable value and corresponding improvements in service quality. In call center agent groups where we added direct access to feedback, there was a large upswing in achievement (quality scores). Following through and allowing time for review and directly talking with agents to review feedback and providing coaching, helps improve and most importantly sustain consistent service quality.