Customers expect superior customer service with each contact. As a company, you cannot offer quality customer service without a plan to measure and monitor the interactions between your agents and customers. It takes vast resources to set up a contact center, whether in-house or outsourced, and you need capitalize on these investments by keeping customers happy.
An effective quality monitoring program will help you deliver better sales results, improve the customer experience, and ensure you meet all regulatory and compliance requirements.
How do you set up an effective quality monitoring program?
Build your foundation in the right way. A strong foundation will give you the results you need while a weak plan will lead you down a disappointing path.
Start with the end in mind. What do you want to achieve at the end of the day? What do you define as a quality customer interaction? Why and how will you measure that customer interaction? These are your quality monitoring program objectives.
When using quality monitoring for inbound calls, you need to set KPI’s to help the team provide insight into your priorities. For example, what is your first contact resolution goal? How can your QM team help you identify obstacles to achieving this goal? What is your average handle time and how can the QM team identify the outliers to achieving this objective?
When setting objectives for an outbound sales program your objective is most likely conversion rate and/or sales per hour. How do you plan to use your QM team to identify the opportunities, provide the recommendations, and track the results to achieving these sales goals? What type of closed loop coaching program can you put in place to ensure agent behavior changes to improve sales?
Setting these objectives will facilitate the quality call monitoring. When agents do not reach the pre-set standards, you can use the QM team to find out the root cause and make recommendations as to how to remedy it.
Set Quality Standards
Once objectives are in place, set metrics to measure agent performance. Define clearly what is a great customer interaction, what is an acceptable one, what is a coaching opportunity, and what is an alert. This guidance will ensure the QM team is calibrated to your scoring.
As you define these metrics, involve your agents in the process. They should understand why this third party monitoring is important. When they are part of the defining process, they will own it and even champion it to others.
Balance Operational Needs and Quality Needs
In line with the above point, it is important to balance operational needs with quality measures. Do not overwhelm your agents with stiff metrics that are hard to reach. You need to put into account the company operational capacity and customer quality needs.
For example, if you set the scoring metrics too high agents may prioritize scripting over resolving customer problems. This will cause your customers to become angry and most likely search for another brand with better customer service. Your agents may have met the quality objective, but you will be losing customers along the way.
Your quality assurance program should balance these two key needs.
Publish Set Policies and Train the Agents
Now you need to make public the metrics you will use to measure quality services. Your agents need to understand what quality service is and what it is not. Once posted, train your agents. You do not want a scenario where they have read the quality policies but do not know how to implement.
For existing staff, you can provide a refresher course focusing on what you are measuring and monitoring. Using the evaluation form, have the group score recorded calls. Your QM team can then conduct a session with the training department, team leaders, and the agents to ensure that the scoring is calibrated across the teams. For the new recruits, training should go deeper so the agents fully understand how to meet the objectives. Always have a coach on hand to provide assistance to those who are having difficulty catching on.
The aim is to have everyone on the same page and thus have a collaborative implementation. The supervisors and quality monitoring team can then concentrate on measuring results.
Monitor and Review Performance
Finally, you can begin quality monitoring. Using the QM platform, you can capture the data you need for effective monitoring.
Calibration sessions are necessary to ensure that the QM team is scoring accurately and the Operations team is aligned. Use the data collected to coach the areas that do not meet quality standards. If your agents need more training, coordination with the training team is imperative.
Quality assurance programs are essential for your contact center to understand where your agents need improvement. If your company has an in-house quality monitoring department, you can use the above guidelines to set up an effective program. If you outsource these services to a credible quality monitoring company, ensure that you understand how to use their processes to drive the quality scores and see improvements in customer satisfaction scores and sales conversions.
There is a direct connection between superior customer service and the frequency and accuracy of the monitoring and coaching process.
This blog is first published on LinkedIn