Managing hundreds or even thousands of calls a day is routine for most call centers, especially those that have found a working formula for success. Call center managers may think that they have nailed quality assurance and that things are humming along quite nicely. Their QA analysts work hard so that agents consistently provide great customer satisfaction. But no matter how well things are going, there are always new methods and practices to try to take QA results to another level.
That’s why it’s so important to strategize and create a QA plan that’s workable and defines the team’s roles and responsibilities. We’ve identified a few ways to enhance your Call Center QA team for better overall results.
Because so many call center QA team members are former call center agents, they have a distinct advantage in understanding what it takes to integrate and manage quality in the center. Given this unique perspective, the team can create evaluation programs and methodologies better than those who have limited or no experience in the area. When it comes to analyzing performance and behaviors, an experienced QA team has the savvy to develop effective programs.
In addition to the deep knowledge of QA team members, it’s critical to be aware of the relevance and importance of metrics for your particular organization. Inbound call centers will certainly be focused on agent problem resolution skills and product knowledge while an outbound center will need to evaluate agent behavior and persuasion capabilities. Overall, the goal is to measure and capture analytics for what is most appropriate and makes the most impact on your call center effectiveness and performance.
Drilling down from that objective, it’s important for the QA team to create evaluation programs that will improve the call center’s output, such as getting clarity on root causes of problems encountered in the call center, and finding solutions and actionable insights. The evaluation plan and process can then be developed in conjunction with operations managers for sharing with the agents.
Too often, training and coaching can take on a punitive tone. While it may be good-intentioned, it will probably result in aggrieved agent behavior. Agents will engage and view training in a more positive light if they are included in the overall quality assurance initiatives for the center.
To further positive relationships, a member from the QA team should be included in agent coaching sessions in order to provide actionable evaluations. This should take the form of both quantitative—evaluation form scores—and qualitative—customer feedback, call recordings, etc. Sharing examples of exceptional call recordings will allow agents to understand the QA measures for the center and then emulate these positive behaviors
Monitoring calls is important for many reasons, not the least of which is gleaning actionable insight to assist agents in their ongoing call performance. Call center QA team members should engage in defining the elements of a successful call as well as participate in call monitoring activities. Monitoring—whether silent, in vivo observation or recorded—should be utilized on all types of calls from routine to high value in order to ensure that quality is maintained throughout.
QA team members should be invited to participate in reviews of call evaluation forms so that they can make suggestions based on call center initiatives as well as the goals for individual agents. Gathering and incorporating customer feedback will also add substance to agent performance reviews and work as substantive benchmarks for quality.
It’s also a good idea to make monitoring a standard procedure in the call center. When agents think that they’re not being monitored all the time, there is a greater chance of lapses in standards and quality can plummet as a result.
The call center QA team needs to not only review internal operations but also take an outward view of what’s going on in the call center industry. As can be the case, tactics and behaviors within the call center can become stale with performance and quality levels remaining steady or even dropping. In order to boost agent performance and quality, QA team members need to stay current and fresh on new techniques for monitoring and evaluating performance. Sometimes a small change can make a big difference and alter the performance of the whole center.
Establishing a QA team is a great step toward long-term quality assurance in your call center. When you engage call center teams in the areas of evaluations, training, monitoring, and trends, you’ll go a long way toward infusing your center with enthused, highly-performing agents and have an opportunity to achieve optimal customer satisfaction.