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We spend a lot of our time talking to the business community about their quality management process and it turns out that nearly 48% of quality managers use spreadsheets to measure the quality of the customer service function (with 18.5% using paper!). This article looks at the issues surrounding the use of spreadsheets.


Spreadsheets are a powerful tool that many businesses rely on for both day-to-day operations and informing business critical decisions, but they have their limitations.

Do you recognise this… “#DIV/O!”?

Spreadsheets are a handy jack-of-all-trades tool, but when you have multiple sheets feeding into one another, things get messy. They become unwieldly and inflexible. Business needs change, they need to! How we speak to our customers changes, we need to. When spreadsheets change, processes or scorecards stop working, and when you have fixed that issue, guess what… another change occurs. Spreadsheets are great for measuring static data that never changes, not for the living and breathing processes within call centres.

Time spent preparing for Agent meetings

1-2-1 coaching sessions with Agents are a standard throughout the industry, be it once a week, once a month or once a year. We talk to quality managers on a daily basis and we know that the average time spent by a supervisor preparing for an agent meeting is about 30-45 minutes. This of course is a significant drain on resources, especially for those contact centres with large numbers of agents. We suggest that you take a minute to carry out a rough a calculation of the amount of time your supervisors spend on these meetings. Then bear in mind that your supervisors are paid on average 30% more than your Agents. This represents a particularly bad use of expensive resources as well as time away from servicing customers.

Time spent conducting Agent meetings.

Further to the 30-45 minute preparation time, the meeting itself can take 30 – 60 minutes and is often a meandering conversation that reviews the entire performance of the Agent. Having a piece of software that looks at trends and pinpoints performance issues (both good & bad) enables the supervisor to get straight to the point and provide coaching tips, turning long meetings into 5 minute chats, getting your Agents back to your customers a lot quicker.

Historical Data.

Your spreadsheet may be effective when looking at a snapshot of a moment in time. But what happens next month? Do you copy and paste the sheet and delete the data? Do you delete/add columns for old/new agents? Has the scorecard changed? Now what if I asked you to show me the performance of one of your agents over the last year? I’m sure most of you would be able to do that, but how long would it take you?

Our advice?

Move away from the Spreadsheet." While a fantastic tool for recording and reviewing static information, it’s reporting really struggles in the face of changing inputs. No doubt your staff assessment criteria will change over time and Scorebuddy will futureproof your quality assessment.