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This is blog #3 in our Contact Center Quality Assurance Framework Series. You can blog #1 and blog #2 here.

Tactical planning and agendas are something we hear a lot about in the field of call center quality assurance. Managers talk about improving client retention, identifying the root causes of poor customer service, and fixing broken processes and workflows—all tactical goals and actions. It’s about focusing on the growth and scalability of your call center.

Where an operational call center QA framework is concerned with short-term process and workflow decision-making, a tactical QA frameworks address medium-term goals, especially as they pertain to channel, business, customer, and back-office work. But a tactical framework is not as drastically pivot-oriented as an overarching strategic framework. Instead, it’s about learning how to deliver a better quality of service—month after month and year after year—by analyzing data in real-time.

But how exactly does a tactical quality assurance (QA) framework differ and complement operational and strategic frameworks within the contact center?

What it Means to Have a Tactical QA Framework Approach

We think of call centers as evolving from operational to tactical to strategic frameworks. That means, at one time or another, every call center will align (at least some aspects of their business) with a tactical QA framework approach.

A contact center taking a tactical QA framework approach is typically focused on the more changeable aspects of measuring call center success. It’s about decreasing your weaknesses and enhancing your strengths. In action, this means:

  • Tactical QA goals reflect medium-term business goals.
  • Tactical QA identifies process improvements, which are then adopted and implemented.
  • Tactical QA processes, workflows, and wins are used to sell new business.
  • Tactical QA evaluations are pushed to agents in real-time.

To move from an operational to a tactical QA framework, your internal conversation within the contact center has to change. After asking, “What is important to the customer and what is important to the business?” you must come up with tactical goals and actions that identify and fix broken processes.

For example, if you decide that improving NPS by three points and increasing employee engagement by 5% are what’s important to your customers and your business, a tactical QA framework would create a list of steps to take for process improvement. Such as:

  1. Update self-scorecard criteria to reflect new goals
  2. Revise weightings and metrics
  3. Share outcomes and results with agents
  4. Collaborate on solutions based on data

Download your complete guide to Understanding Call Center Quality Assurance  Frameworks.

Understanding Call Center QA Tactical Goals

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the typical tactical goals for call center QA and how they focus on growth and scalability.

1.) Improve Client Retention

It costs 7x more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain a current customer. The good news is that a tactical framework demands consistent service delivery as well as a level of quality service that results in higher client retention. It does this by focusing on improved contact center efficiency.

Operational efficiency tactics may include:

  • Streamlining customer call center traffic by appropriate routing,
  • Optimizing agent teams for the best productivity,
  • Training agents, so they can better meet customer demands quickly and easily,
  • Creating a versatile call center script for handling customers,
  • Reducing average handle time to get to more customers more quickly.

2.) Reduce Staff Churn

Reducing staff churn saves on invested time and dollars, and ultimately, it assists in maintaining a healthy client retention rate. A tactical QA method uses tools such as text analytics and agent self-scoring as methods of getting to the root cause of an issue (see #4) while also empowering employees with self-awareness and a weighted say in why and how a call succeeds or fails. And empowered employees are associated with stronger job performance and job satisfaction.

Call center agents are more motivated to succeed when QA data measures success against specific KPIs. A tactical QA framework helps by implementing a call center quality feedback loop. The key is QA reporting that includes:

  • An easy-to-access dashboard,
  • Customizable data points and time frames,
  • And real-time analysis.

3.) Identify Knowledge Gaps

With an ability to look and see beyond day-to-day processes, a tactical framework lens enables QA leaders to use metrics to pinpoint specific knowledge gaps. These gaps may be found in the call center employee knowledge base or as enterprise-wide product and service issues. Tactical frameworks begin identifying knowledge gaps and raising trending call concerns through the ranks so that call centers can function as a more holistic part of the business.

With a tactical QA framework, you would then implement a call center learning management system (LMS) to help train and educate your agents based on identified knowledge gaps. This helps you create specific objectives and outcomes for each training session based on clear and measurable performance insight.

4.) Look for the Root Causes of Poor Service

Rather than merely identifying poor performers based on subjective data points, a tactical call center QA approach digs deeper into identifying and understanding the true root cause of poor service. With a focus on the quality of the service rather than on the individual performer, the idea of tactical QA is to strengthen and empower employees through coaching and progress.

There are many tactical KPIs available when it comes to everything from productivity to sales, customer satisfaction, and quality. To get started, break it down:

  • Business Critical Metrics: take a documented approach to QA and the customer experience, ensuring higher performance and continuous improvement.
  • Customer Critical Metrics: focus on the customer experience and how well the agent handled the problem and provided a solution.
  • Process Critical Metrics: review what happened after every customer interaction and offer detailed notes in the CRM.

5.) Report on Trends

With a focus on month-over-month or year-over-year data, tactical QA can and should help your contact center make pivots for continued growth and opportunities. By collating trending data—as opposed to one-off or subjective data points —quality assurance managers can make more intelligently informed decisions under the tactical QA approach.

With a tactical QA framework, you can track insight and trends such as time spent, customer satisfaction, timeliness of service, interaction quality, and service cost. From there, you can align your customers’ needs and wants with your experience. You’ll also gain a better understanding of how well your agents are serving your customers when it comes to everything from sales to productivity, empathy, problem-solving, and more.

Next Steps: From Tactical to Strategic QA Framework

The flexible, medium-term business goals of a tactical framework lead to greater client retention and higher CSAT scores while improving employee turnover. Pockets of value are uncovered by identifying knowledge gaps and taking action to improve communications. And QA processes begin to be less cumbersome as metrics shift to a call center agent self-scoring process.

Evolving from a catch-as-catch-can approach within the operational framework to a more tactically influenced mindset opens significant prospects for continued growth. It is invaluable for overcoming challenges; however, there are still some missed opportunities when it comes to the long-term impact of QA that can only be achieved through the strategic framework.

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Tags: Quality Assurance Best Practices, Call Center Quality Assurance