Every customer service contact center has the same message for callers: “For quality and training purposes, this call may be recorded or monitored.” But what does “quality” mean for a call center, and how do managers use it to provide the best possible quality service and training for call center agents?
Call Center Quality
In order to ensure a positive experience for every caller, contact center managers and call center quality assurance (QA) specialists must scrutinize the call center’s operations. That attention to detail will help the center meet its goals and can also ensure that the call center remains efficient in order to keep the overall costs low.
A Personal Touch
The call center system in place can gather a wealth of information ranging from call volume and average call time to hold times. However, only a trained, professional person can listen to the interaction to make sure the agent effectively builds rapport with the customer, remains courteous and delivers positivity during every conversation throughout his or her shift. Setting quality standards and monitoring calls to make sure those standards are met is paramount to giving customers a good experience.
Even though some companies have internal departments that consistently monitor the quality of calls and the agents’ adherence to standards and applicable laws, enlisting third-party help is key to delivering consistent results.
Third-party quality assurance specialists don’t have the inherent biases that may come with in-house teams. The outside perspective and skill set of the third party cannot be attained within the call center itself.
What Quality Assurance (QA) Departments Do
Listening to calls to point out problems is just one piece of the QA puzzle. It is about consistently gauging customer satisfaction by employees who are good at their jobs. The third party quality team can assist in implementing training, coaching and pointing agents in the right direction to meet customer and company needs.
Listen to Calls and Review Emails or Chats to enhance Customer Experience.
Companies learn what customers need from their experience with a call center. Some call centers require their agents to use scripts or specific phrases and greetings to build rapport and empathize with customers and give them accurate information. The QA team will listen in to calls, review emails, and analyze chat transcripts to make sure every agent is adhering to standards and brand guidelines.
Create QA Scorecards.
A call scorecard is a list of requirements and standards for every call. It’s kind of like a grading rubric for a college essay. Ideally, managers and QA specialists will collaborate with agents to establish benchmarks and properly create the scorecards.
Customer needs and call center goals change over time, and the scorecard must evolve to ensure the best possible service and help ensure that the call center can meet its goals and objectives. The QA department can help to supervise the scorecard development to make sure they stay in line with company priorities.
Monitor QA Scorecards and provide agent feedback.
Quality departments not only help call centers develop effective and measurable scorecards, they also help ensure employees adhere to the guidelines in place.
Listening to calls and following along with the scorecard is paramount to determining if the agents meet the quality standards set in place. However, the quality department shouldn’t just be an all-knowing overseer of agents. QA should also work with agents to develop plans of action to improve if they fall short in any key areas.
Analyze Quality Monitoring Data.
The quality department analyzes the data it collects from key performance indicators and scorecards. This is essential in order to make the information useful to managers and their employees.
If the quality department gathers and gathers data accurately, it can then effectively use that information as a catalyst for creating important and lasting change.
Provide Call Center Compliance.
Call centers must protect consumers by following certain rules. For example, financial institutions must also deliver specific information when the law requires it. Also, in some jurisdictions, every customer must be informed that his or her call may be monitored or recorded.
Maintaining compliance standards can be difficult because call centers have a ubiquitous global presence. However, compliance and other guidelines must be followed to the letter in order for the contact center to legally remain open for business.
Quality in a call center is much more than an overlord cracking a whip on the agents in a call center. Just like the agents must develop a rapport with their customers, QA departments must establish trust and cooperation with managers and agents alike.
Anyone can point out issues, but the QA department can go in-depth and make sense of the data it collects and develop tangible strategies and employee education to improve customer satisfaction and also keep the call center staff and management happy.
Call centers can easily become complacent and even adopt bad habits that slip under management’s radar. Considering an investment in quality assurance can stop these problems before they hurt the call center’s bottom line, and help make sure it thrives.