When choosing a technology solution and faced with many competing products it can be difficult to decipher which option is the clear front runner, especially when you are bombarded with all-singing all-dancing marketing messages. This list of key QA software features will help your call centre identify what your quality monitoring solution should focus on.
1. Multiple Dynamic QA Scorecards for your Call Centre
Any good QA tool today will allow for building multiple scorecards that are fit for purpose whether that means channel specific, type of interaction (billing query versus complaint) or client branded for outsourcers. Dynamic quality scorecards are easily adapted yet don’t break historical reporting. They are fully customizable so as the company grows their quality framework does too and when new trends emerge their quality system can change to meet new demand. For example, omni-channel experiences were not always the priority they are today, and dynamic QA scorecards can be built to score across more than one channel.
2. Agent Dashboards mean Real-time Feedback and Increased Engagement
Real-time feedback is in demand in the call centre of 2014. Giving agents instant access to their QA scores immediately allows them to adapt behaviour quicker, they don’t have to wait for their review to see scores. They can go into a review having seen their scores and with possible suggestions for improvement. Review time will be reduced and the agent has the opportunity to direct their own goal setting.
3. Transparent Contact Centre Solutions Enhance Trust
Having a QA platform that is entirely transparent enhances agents’ trust in the process, the scores and evaluators. Quality assessment tools should be accessible to all parties showing each the relevant info. This means being able to view historical scores and trends over time, underlying scorecards, customer interactions associated with each scorecard, summary comments and agreed upon actions. Different stakeholders will have different needs but their needs should be met visibly.
4. Calibration must be available in call centre QA software features
Being able to monitor a customer service interaction by more than one person and systematically comparing the results validates the QM process as there is consistent monitoring from one evaluator to the next. This is helpful for outsourcers with clients who wish to score some of the interactions.
5. Applying Weightings to Customer Service Monitoring Questions
Prioritizing the various elements of a scorecard is important to reflect the most important questions versus the nice-ifs. Each question in a scorecard should be weighted according to their ranking. Having categories of attributed scores is an easy way to do for example critical questions such as; "Did the agent confirm the agents account details?" may have a weighting of 10 whereas a low level question such as "Did the agent use the customer's name when talking to them?" may only have a weighting of 3.
6. Employee Performance Management needs Critical Failure Alerts
For a quality assurance platform to be taken seriously it needs to inform a company the moment it spots a problem. Evolved QA scoring tools have features in-built that act as red-flags when there is breech in regulation compliance or a highly prioritized section or question. The evaluation itself will highlight the “failure” but alert emails can also be set up.
7. Compliance is the New Black of Call Centre Software
With a higher demand for customer service excellence and adherence to policy directives compliance has become a regular at board meetings. Where customer service is concerned the best way to measure compliance is through quality assessment. Having a compliance section within quality scorecards is a simple way to incorporate compliance. The compliance section should have different parameters so that it is weighted higher, red flags are raised or trigger email alerts sent when they are below requirements.
8. Data needs to be understood to be of Value: Analytics hold the key
Data is worthless if it cannot be gleaned for insights. For many organisations advanced analytics is required for detailed research, right down to trends by question. Analytics in a quality monitoring allows quality analysts to dig deeper into the results and analyse that data that is being produced. Analytics enables root cause analysis, identification of trends; peak performance and common pitfalls and can provide answers to many queries quickly. Carrina Erdos of Agilisys spoke of Scorebuddy's Analytics module "It's great because if a client has a new question we can have the answer in 10 minutes. It's transparent for everyone".
9. Contact Centre Solutions need to embed Positive Recognition
Recognition of success is an important part of any work environment. As quality monitoring measures performance it can identify positive behaviours, these positive behaviours should be rewarded as a way of recognition. We recently spoke to Carolyn Blunt of Real Results who noted that one of her top tips for quality assessment is to have consequences “Celebrate successes and manage failures. If there are no consequences (positive or negative) to the QA activity it can all feel rather pointless to the agent.”
Within the Scorebuddy platform we built in a success feature whereby the evaluator can award a kudos point to an agent for their score, it acts like a virtual pat-on-the-back and shows the agent that their efforts are not going unnoticed.
10. Quality Assurance software should embed Goals
Whether its performance management, productivity or leads closed there will be goals for individuals to meet. Including goals in the quality monitoring software means that the goals can linked to day-to-day behaviour. Having individual goals, team goals and group goals are all important parts of the various hats worn by call centre agents; it allows them to realise that the work they carry out contributes to other parts of the organisation. Goals are a simple and quick way to give agents focus when undertaking tasks.
11. Get your Agents to start Self-Scoring to increase Empowerment
Self-scoring is a fantastic way to empower agents and embody a culture of self-directed learning. Self-scoring gives an agent autonomy and is symbolic of the trust superiors place in their agents’ expertise and judgement. Self-scoring is unlikely to suitable for every agent but being moved on to self-scoring will be like progression step.
Saves time for evaluators: Evaluators will have less to score, they should probably adopt the 20:80 principal where they score only 1 in every 5 scores and/or calibrate 1 of 5.
Upskilling: Agents will be better equipped to train in new employees and critically assess calls. They will be able to spot best practice and pitfalls easier.
Ownership: Agents will have increased ownership over their work as they will be ones who are accountable for carrying it out as well auditing.
Greater understanding for quality assessment and performance management.
12. Integrate the Quality Assurance System with Coaching Efforts
Quality assessment can be a great help to coaches as they can get a clear picture of what’s actually happening on customer interactions. Coaches listen to agents and often supervisors too and both perceptions of an agent’s performance can differ greatly, the actual performance might differ again. This is rational because both agent and supervisor have subjective viewpoints, a coach or quality analyst’s assessment of an interaction is likely to be more objective. A coach can bridge the gap between perception and reality to improve understanding.
Coaches can calibrate scores to see differences.
Coaches can also use quality monitoring to assess performance over time and to assess whether coaching and training achieve objectives are achieved.
Coaches can also assess whether monitoring forms are designed logically. Melissa Kovacevic gave a good example of a situation where an agent was very frustrated with their quality score due to a badly designed quality scorecard and a quality analyst was unwilling to take on board agent suggestions. In an environment like this a coach is in a position of authority to suggest for monitoring scorecard design tweaks and expect at least a conversation about it. Sometimes agents’ voices don’t get heard, if agents get berated for making suggestions they will be frustrated and won’t bother raising their hand in future, coaching is the perfect setting for airing grievances like the above.
13. We live in a Multi-channel world: Multi-channel Monitoring = Necessity
A quality monitoring solution that only works for one channel represents a big drawback. Considering the prevalence of multiple channels it’s surprising the number of quality assessment tools that haven’t adapted their approach to facilitate the multichannel contact centre. Using on system for all your channels means that you can quickly compare performance across channels, safe in the knowledge that the scoring system in consistent.
The criteria for scoring each channel should be different but the method of scoring doesn’t have to change.
14. Secure External Access Privileges for Outsourcers’ Clients
Access privileges often go unmentioned although it is a very important aspect to the day-to-day usage of a quality assessment tool. Basic tools have limited variances in access privileges and this is problematic for example; supervisors are then forced to export individual reports and feed these back one by one. It can get messy very quickly and lead to numerous admin frustrations.
15. Reporting by Event Type
A contact centre deals with thousands of varied customer interactions, each of the scored interactions should be grouped accordingly. The more categorizations used for scores the richer the reporting becomes. At a minimum scores must be classified by agent, supervisor, team and group. Using event types and sub event types can means that you can see opportunities for particular types of interactions; billing queries can be more automated, complaint handling for product line C takes much longer, etc.
Did we miss any call centre QA software features that are vital for quality monitoring solutions? Let us know on LinkedIn and we can add them here!