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Customers have so many choices and can easily switch to another company, leaving businesses and brand relationships vulnerable. And because the call center is a pivotal point of contact, the weight of customer relationships often rests on its shoulders. That’s why call center quality assurance is a must in today’s customer experience-focused culture.

Every call center interaction is critical. Agents are responsible for resolving the customers’ concerns and securing the relationship. But what happens when customer feedback isn’t as positive as it needs to be? Often it falls on agent performance.

Fortunately, there are many opportunities to implement call center quality assurance processes to improve agent performance and customer satisfaction.

Why Call Center Quality Assurance is Important to Your Bottom Line

Call center quality assurance offers an endless number of benefits. It is essential if you want your call center to reach its full potential. And it is necessary for the customer experience, which 4 out of 5 customers say is more important than your products. After all, today’s customers are sso intelligent, more skeptical, and have higher expectations than ever before.

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According to one study, when your call center agents were able to reflect on their performance through the QA process, they increased first response time by 4.4%; they reduced language complexity; they had more stable interactions, and were able to gain better control over their communication with customers. 

On top of that, call center QA is how you:

  • keep up with customer expectations
  • improve operational efficiency
  • increase employee satisfaction,
  • improve call center employee performance,
  • increase profit margins.

So, the only question is, “How do you improve call center agent performance through quality assurance?” The answer: agent scorecards.

How to Improve Call Center Agent Performance with Agent Scorecards

Tracking call center performance using agent scorecard data is the first step toward identifying and altering problematic performance. The significant part is that agent scorecard are entirely customizable to your quality assurance needs. You can track the exact channels, best practices, compliance requirements, and outcomes that matter most to your call center.

The key is to build your call center quality assurance process and agent scorecards around your business priorities and what constitutes a good customer experience. Four essential areas must be included in your call center QA and on your agent scorecards:

  • Soft Skills: The critical skills that your agents need to be successful include communication, professionalism, problem-solving, gaining trust, product knowledge, and emotional intelligence.
  • Processes: What are the correct processes your agents should follow in the call center to handle customers, deal with sales, and more?
  • Compliance: How are your agents following all of your compliance procedures regarding credit card information, credit checks, handling vulnerable customers, and identification.
  • Outcomes: How well is your call center achieving its goals; remaining compliant, earning high CSAT and NPS scores, and resolving customer complaints.

The good news is that there are MANY ways to set up your agent scorecards to accomplish your call center quality assurance. You can choose the format that works best for you—traditional numeric, non-numeric, and success-based—and even change it up to evoke different reactions in your agents.

And best yet, using call center scorecards, agents can see that any reviews of their performance are fact-based from predetermined criteria. This reduces the subjectivity of any performance issues and ensures that agents don’t feel as if they’re being singled out for poor performance or are being punished for not working to capacity all the time.

10 Tips to Improve Call Center Performance with Quality Assurance and Agent Scorecards

No matter how you set up your agent scorecards to track quality assurance in the call center, it will be successful as long as it fits your needs and expectations. But if you want to make sure you get the most out of your QA process and have the best chance of improving your call center’s performance, here are ten tips to help you out.

Tip 1: Develop Clear QA Guidelines

Your call center quality assurance process should be completely customized to your company’s needs. To do this, you’ll need to develop quality guidelines and obvious and well-written questions that are extremely clear and well written. Your agents need to know precisely what is expected of them before they can self-score and take steps for improvement.

Questions that need to be answered include:

  1. Who defines quality (customers, regulators, leadership)?
  2. For which outcomes (performance, compliance, improvement, innovation)?
  3. From what inputs (surveys, evaluations, analytics, self-scoring)?
  4. What drives quality (processes, systems, needs, self-managed)?
  5. Who gets involved (leadership, QA team, analysts, agents)?
  6. Why get involved (recognition, reward, career benefits)?
  7. How is quality improved (performance management, coaching, training)?
  8. What is a success (metrics, behaviors, feedback, NPS)?

The more open and transparent you can be about how the QA process is measured, what is expected, and the consequences of good and bad results, the better. This creates an environment where agents are encouraged to follow your process and develop action plans for their improvement.

Tip 2: Create Actionable Call Center Agent Scorecards

Creating actionable scorecards will help agents and managers objectively evaluate agent performance on an ongoing basis. It’s essential to design the scorecards for relevance and then collect and analyze the data from customer interactions. Here are a few questions to help get you started creating holistic scorecards based on your agent’s needs and goals.

  • What are you trying to assess?
  • What behaviors lead to a successful call outcome?
  • Do you have specific weaknesses to highlight?
  • Are you trying to understand gaps in agent training?

Try to be as specific as possible when designing scorecards so you’ll have better data to work with.

Tip 3: Track the Right Call Center Quality Assurance Metrics

Based on your quality assurance guidelines and actionable scorecards, you’ll want to figure out the critical call center and customer experience metrics (KPIs) to track. Measuring the right call center quality assurance metrics is essential to improving employee performance.

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Ask yourself: What are the behaviors and content of a successful interaction where the customer leaves feeling satisfied? What does the business need in terms of regulatory or process adherence? What are the characteristics that reflect the brand?

Then, break down your KPIs into three sections:

  •   Business Critical Metrics deal with developing a documented approach to QA and customer experience, ensuring higher performance and continuous improvement.
  •   Critical Customer Metrics focuses on customer experience and how well the agent understood the customer’s problem and provided a solution.
  •   Process Critical Metrics review what happened after every customer interaction and offer detailed notes in the CRM.

Tip 4: Analyze Your QA Data to Identify Areas for Improvement

Based on your scorecard parameters, you should soon see actionable data to help with gap analysis and further agent training. Data will help your management team and quality assurance specialists identify agent strengths and weaknesses if appropriately collected. This information can then be shared with agents to facilitate improvements and recognize achievements.

Tip 5: Include Your Agents in the Call center Quality Assurance Process

A proven way to reduce negative attitudes towards agent scorecards and the entire QA process is to include your agents. When your call center agents have the opportunity to contribute, they are more inclined to understand and buy into your quality assurance standards, performing accordingly.

Empowered agents are also more inclined to participate in monitoring when they have had the opportunity to set the criteria to be evaluated. And by giving them the option and ability to assess their performance, they are more invested in the outcomes, which offers long-lasting benefits.

Tip 6: Get Customer Feedback, Too

You’ll also want to include customers in the call center quality assurance discussion if possible. They’ll give you feedback that provides a better view of the center’s activity. Through NPS and CSAT scores, listening to calls, and as weandomer surveys, you can gather appropriate information that could help the brand overall.

Tip 7: Train Your Agents Based on Call Center Quality Assurance Insight

If you want good outcomes from your quality assurance, the key is to create your agent training program around gaps in performance and knowledge. Using agent scorecards and call center quality assurance, you can identify strengths and weaknesses within the call center and fr individual agents. You can start training agents, develop training goals, and formulate miles for success.

Soft Skills Training for Call Center Agents

High-quality call center agent training results in:

Use your Agent Scorecard data to conduct a Gap Analysis in this eBook. Receive  your copy now.

Tip 8: Establish Rewards for High-Performing Agents

Identifying deficiencies should not be the only role of your call center quality assurance process. Your agent scorecards should also allow you to highlight and reward agents who are great at doing their jobs.

You’ll want to recognize good work both privately and publicly. The key is to ensure the feedback is always balanced between positive and negative. To do this:

  • Be specific about both their accomplishments and areas for improvement.
  • Share feedback immediately and often, so it feels authentic.
  • Don’t just recognize good work verbally; offer bonuses, gifts, and raises.
  • Find even little things to point out for a job well done.

Tip 9: Track Remote Call Center Agent Performance

In this day and age, remote call centers are common. And even if you have a central call center, there will come the point where one or more agents will work remotely. Your QA process needs to be prepared to handle a call center that resides in the cloud.

The key to improving call center agent performance in a remote situation is to have the right tools for success. You’ll want to ensure that your remote agents are set up with collaboration tools, productivity tracking, and quality assurance monitoring. Only with all of this together can you create an environment where you can fully keep track of your agents and provide interactive coaching.

Tip 10: Continually Monitor and Adjust the QA Process

A call center is a dynamic organization with many opportunities for growth and change. This makes it critical to be vigilant in monitoring your quality assurance and scorecard criteria and adjusting when appropriate. The sooner relevant revisions are made, the sooner agent behavior modifications can occur, and customer satisfaction can be cemented. Scorecard designs and weightings should be questioned and reviewed regularly.

Implement Call Center Quality Assurance That Works!

Scorebuddy is an all-in-one call center monitoring platform customizable to your business’ specific needs. You can set up agent scorecards to track processes, compliance, and how well you’re meeting desired outcomes. You can evaluate calls, review emails, monitor chat, check social media, etc. Scorebuddy can then help dig deep to identify training gaps, carry out root-cause analysis, and reveal agent successes.

And with Scorebuddy’s new LMS alongside our rich library of curated content inside the Scorebuddy Academy, call center training has never been more accessible. It is the first of its kind, fully integrated contact center quality, customer sentiment, and learning & development suite.

 

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