People forget that spreadsheets were developed as computerized replacements of paper accounting worksheets, useful for "what-if" analysis since many financial cases can be rapidly investigated without manual recalculation.
Spreadsheets have become ubiquitous in organizations but they are simply not suited to every task. Call center quality scorecard templates can be found in almost every contact center. Nearly 48% of quality managers use spreadsheets whether Excel or Google Docs to measure customer service quality and 18.5% use paper, according to Dartmouth Tuck!
“Spreadsheets are a simple way to record raw data and convert it into useful information for the quality assurance (QA) process. Better yet, since there are so many excel templates available, almost any business can find something that’s easy-to-use while serving all their needs at almost zero cost.”
While spreadsheets can record static data and apply complex formulas—they’re not well-suited for most other applications. In particular, these templates fail when it comes to contact center QA.
If you are using Spreadsheets, you already know that they are not the tried-and-true method that some call center managers think. You could actually be losing efficiency, productivity, quality, and revenues in the long run due to inaccuracies and limitations in forecasting, monitoring, and data integrity.
Spreadsheets may work for small teams but very quickly they become cumbersome and overly simplistic, slowing down internal operations and creating a multitude of challenges when it comes to employee training, retention, and engagement.
And that’s just on the surface.
When you truly break down the cost benefit of using spreadsheets as call center quality scorecards, you’ll discover they are far more costly and more of a headache than they’re worth.
QA reports take a long time to pull together. Most supervisors spend 30-45 minutes preparing for an agent meeting, and that’s a significant drain on your resources. The problem is that spreadsheets require preparation to extrapolate insight.
Spreadsheets when used to gather and record agent QA scores limit the information you need to categorize and report on the results. There is no single source of information so very quickly you end up with hundreds of disconnected data points with limited categorization. Even organizing and storing the scored spreadsheets is hard. The outcome is large amounts of basic data in individual sheets that are hard to share and difficult to analyze.
Without a pre-designed, well thought out dashboard or a piece of software that outlines trends and pinpoints performance issues (both good and bad), disparate systems and programs are disconnected and don’t accurately represent an overall view of call center quality and operations. This means that your managers will have a difficult time making important decisions, and review meetings can end up meandering and unhelpful.
The problem is, with manual entry, the data is old as soon as it’s created. And since reviews are typically held bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly, agent performance is almost always out of date and unproductive.
Have you ever tried to forecast trends in your contact center with a spreadsheet? It’s almost impossible. There’s too much data in too many places to accurately forecast trends.
Some teams will try to run the results through pivot tables to get some indication of combined outcomes and trends. This introduces new problems. If the business needs a new QA goal to be scored, all the underlying data is now invalid and the pivot tables and reports have to be redesigned. This makes the whole edifice fragile and dependent on the office Spreadsheet Guru.
Even if you can accurately forecast using spreadsheets you won’t be able to keep up with demand. Since Excel requires manual manipulation to make real-time adjustments to staff the right people with the right skills at the right time of day, you can miss out on critical insights, which could potentially mean an increase in customer complaints and a reduction in CSAT.
Spreadsheets are inflexible when it comes to how they can be used.
Since you cannot share data in real-time for easy access to information, it makes it difficult to engage employees and make improvements. And it’s almost impossible to react tactically during unforeseen events.
If data is not available in real-time or near real time, it’s just not valuable. Static information might be helpful for a quick look at employees, but it cannot provide the versatility needed for any in-depth review.
For example, while you might be able to use a spreadsheet to take a snapshot of a moment in time, can you look at that data versus next month without having to perform a ton of manual manipulation?
What about trying to review the performance of your contact center or a particular agent over the last year—can you do that without significant effort?
Call center quality assurance spreadsheet-based templates use the same format that’s been used by accounting departments for years. They rely on built-in calculators to alter content with little to no flexibility. Their rigid layout means that you cannot course-correct or improve proactively.
And forget about the ability to ask dynamic questions—such as agent progress—because every adjustment requires you to move spreadsheet cells around. This is inefficient and limiting. For data to make positive impact it needs to be relevant, organized and timely.
Your business constantly changes as your customer, business and process demands evolve. That means you’ll need to manage multiple versions of your call center quality assurance form template to keep up. That can be very difficult if you are using spreadsheets that require constant manual input and reporting.
For example, let’s say you decide to suddenly incorporate Did the agent identify an up-sell opportunity? into your QA template. You’ll have to do so manually, which introduces more potential mistakes and thus inaccurate projections. It also means you’re opening yourself up to the potential to break your other processes or scorecards until they are also updated.
By the time you fix that issue, you’ll most likely need to implement another change and repeat the entire process again. A new version of the spreadsheet typically renders the previous data gathered invalid for trend analysis.
A call center Excel template is not suited to monitoring employees. It’s difficult to set it up in such a way that you can quickly and easily identify employee skillsets, which means your contact center could end up with an imbalance in skill requirements.
And when it comes to tracking employees, call center quality scorecard spreadsheet-based templates are limited to spot-checking because they don’t have the dynamic nature necessary to ask the right questions and make adjustments properly.
It’s just not efficient to monitor your staff via spreadsheet because they need to be continuously updated and collated to offer insight. Yes, you could do it, but it would mean going through pages and pages of data to note everything manually.
Worse yet, pulling all your spreadsheet data together opens you up to errors. Spreadsheets don’t enforce accuracy, which means you could end up drawing false conclusions based on erroneous data, which can easily set up a chain of negative events.
Spreadsheets also run the risk of getting lost over time, which can make legacy reporting a serious challenge. Not only are spreadsheets inconvenient when trying to recall data, but it’s also not effective when trying to compare information. There’s too much potential for lost, corrupted, or incomplete data and reporting.
This fundamental lack of trust in the data has a very damaging effect on your agent’s engagement and trust in the QA process making it less effective as a management tool.
The very nature of a call center quality assurance spreadsheet-based template means that your QA process is limited by what the spreadsheet can do. Sharing and collaborating is especially difficult and time consuming because data is not centrally stored for easy access.
Lack of central storage also means that access to the spreadsheet cannot be easily controlled. Employees who need the insight most, may not be able to view or manipulate the spreadsheet depending on permissions. And at the same time, employees who should not have access to QA process data are difficult to keep out unless spreadsheet security is turned on and monitored closely.
The management team who are totally invested in customer satisfaction have very limited visibility of the Customer Service teams performance and ability to support customers as the data is locked away in spreadsheets!
Replace Your Call Center Quality Scorecard Templates with Powerful Technology
Investing in new technology to take over your QA process not only improves your results—providing you with a more holistic view of your business—it’s great for your bottom line.
By moving away from inaccurate and inefficient spreadsheets, you can increase worker productivity. Digital scorecards are about streamlining your QA process to reveal new opportunities for improvement. They help you collect, analyze, report, and then make decisions on your data, quickly and accurately, which is essential to call center management.
Automated QA scorecards also open up the potential to review many more call center processes, including:
Contact center managers need to know the numbers, immediately. They are intimately involved in day-to-day operations and need to know what’s going on in order to appropriately identify trends, and thus areas for improvement. It is particularly important to track key performance indicators (KPIs) over time if you want to improve the quality of the customer experience.
With a proper automated QA system, such as Scorebuddy, managers and supervisors can easily track essential data and measurements, generating reports that indicate necessary improvements in processes and performance. By collecting and collating data in real-time, agents and managers are able to use it to their advantage. And because it’s digital, the data can be easily manipulated, sliced, and diced as needed—no complex excel formulas required.
No more waiting days for a spreadsheet to be updated. An online dashboard is updated automatically and access can be granted to anyone who needs to review it. This way the data can be exported, shared, and used in the way most efficient for your contact center.
Real-time digital scorecards dramatically improve the accuracy of your call center information. There’s a significantly lower margin for error thanks to automated saving as well as removing the need for manual spreadsheet inputs. This means that you can more properly measure your call center performance based on accurate data, which means you can drive better business decisions.
Digitally stored data also means that you can be better prepared to make quick and informed decisions. Whether you’re interested in year-over-year trends, quarterly insights, or monthly reporting, an online database with secure, time-series data enables you to create a range of reports. Meeting with senior management? A QA system like Scorebuddy helps you prep with the click of a button instead of spending days prepping your data for review.
Automated QA technology also streamlines the employee review process. By eliminating guesswork about data and offering the ability to automatically generate reports, both agents and managers can be better informed about contact center performance. In just a few clicks, you can see if your customer experience is trending positively or negatively as well identifying where there is room for growth.
For agents, immediate access to their performance reviews is incredibly helpful for identifying strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately this means that management can more easily provide accolades and suggestions for improvement. And since agents will also have access to their online dashboard, they can become more engaged in the QA process and thus take better ownership of their performance.
The contact center quality assurance process is vital and rigorous. It’s constantly changing to better engage agents and benefits customers. By using unsuited methodologies and generic tools your ability to plan, record, recall, and project are severely limited.
Spreadsheets are a generic tool that that are not designed for high volume data gathering and categorization, which are essential to your QA success. And familiarity does not equate to value.
To serve your customers and employees better, it’s time to give spreadsheets a break and take a look at powerful QA technology that does more. Tools designed by experts that streamline your QA process, make it easier to share information, and add rich data content, can drastically improve your QA process and bring your customer service into this decade, where it belongs.
Learn how Scorebuddy can take your call center QA analytics to the next level. After all, your customers and your employees deserve better.