Call quality monitoring is the key to understanding customer experience and is also the most crucial element in identifying trends in customer expectations. While this may have always been an underlying goal of most call quality monitoring, accurately measuring customer experience has been quite challenging. If we look back to the past, we will see that the early call monitoring efforts focused on improving call quality through improved team members’ consistency and call handling. But that only helped companies develop call quality criteria which measured compliance with internal processes and policies, not necessarily translating to a better customer experience.
Now, companies aim to match internal call quality observations with customer satisfaction surveys, primarily post-call surveys. This helps them measure internal policy and procedure compliance through observation, and know-how customers will likely rate the quality (satisfaction) of their service. It has simplified and strengthened the call quality monitoring process by removing some of the subjectivity from supervisory or QA ratings, while at the same time helping people and management of the company to focus more on customer experience.
Companies need their customers to rate their satisfaction in order to take their customer experience to the next level. The problem is that many of them just do not rate a call or transaction properly, with post-call surveys often capturing extremes, making it difficult to collect an appropriate sample.
In addition, individual call handling satisfaction ratings do not portray the overall customer experience. Customer experience and satisfaction or dissatisfaction is shaped through all touchpoints the bill and bill stuffers, website interactions, in-person interactions, as well as phone and chat conversations.
The amount of Effort that Customers Make Directly Impacts Their Satisfaction – Less is More
To improve customer experience, all touchpoint experiences should be as smooth and satisfying as possible for your customers, making it an easy process for people to do business with your company. While this sounds simple, it requires a proper understanding of the steps customers must take during business transactions with your company. It is important to understand how the number of times customers must contact your company, be transferred to the right company representative, circle through your automated answering system to find the right prompt, fill out applications or forms, send in payments, visit your website to find a piece of information, or follow-up with a representative to make sure their problems were resolved will influence the experience and likelihood that customers will want to continue doing business with you. A measurement of customer effort correlates very highly with customer satisfaction.
Customer effort has always been assessed through sampling in traditional call monitoring. However, examining each call to understand a little bit more about the underlying experience can help deliver a remarkable customer experience. The key factors that influence customer effort and ultimately, the customer experience, need to be identified, scored, and tracked.
A Customer Effort Score must be calculated for each interaction—the higher the customer effort score, the lower the customer satisfaction and first call resolution. Customer Effort Scoring is an effective way to identify systematic issues and problems that may, or may not, be captured through individual call monitoring and/or one-off post-call surveys. We need to segment customer effort scoring by transaction type, providing further intelligence to diagnose process bottlenecks and constraints, handoffs, and other service failures that can ruin the customer experience.
Effective Call Quality Monitoring Helps Measure First Contact Resolution and Customer Satisfaction
Call quality is intended to measure the customer experience. You need to ensure your evaluation measures represent the expectations of your customers, and not just what you might think is crucial to your customers. Companies often make this mistake and have to finally bear with its terrible results.
So don’t just guess. Find out what your customers expect through customer research—interviews, focus groups, expectations surveys, or even calibration sessions. You need to spend enough time and money to understand how customers want to be served. Keep in mind, expectations vary from segment to segment and expectations can also change over time.
Measuring call quality through call monitoring is a labor-intensive process; it’s also high risk, in terms of human factors. Call monitoring is a key determinant of stress in contact centers—especially if it’s perceived as being inaccurate, untimely, too frequent, or too intense. In other words, if you’re not truly measuring the customers’ value then you might just be wasting your time (and money) by placing your people under undue stress.
Take this a step further to make sure your evaluation form is consistent with your routine customer satisfaction research. If possible, monitor the same calls that are surveyed by your customer satisfaction surveys. While it may be cost-prohibitive to gain enough sample points to measure up to the customer executive’s level, it’s possible to survey and monitor enough calls to measure the consistency of your center.
You need to consider tracking first call resolution through your call quality evaluations as well as your customer satisfaction surveys. First call resolution may be one of the best predictors of customer satisfaction. First call resolution is most simply what the customer wants—to have the problem or question resolved satisfactorily on the first try. Achieving high first call resolution is a wonderful scenario—customers are happier, your people are happier, and management is happier. Why? Because the number of repeat calls goes down, rework is minimized, your people are interacting with happy customers, and operating costs are lower. Find out if your customers think their issues and questions are being resolved on the first contact by asking them on your customer satisfaction surveys and at the end of your conversations.
When first call resolution is measured through customer survey and call quality forms, you can get a better understanding of your service delivery performance—from the customer’s viewpoint. It’s a way to take your call quality program to the next level!
If you consider adding Customer Effort Scoring into your quality monitoring program, it can provide valuable insight, that you might not currently be capturing through your call quality program.
In Summary, the opportunities presented through effective call monitoring make it an essential management technique for today’s contact centers. You need to make sure you are doing it right. If you don’t, the impact could be much worse than if you hadn’t attempted it in the first place.
Do you want to take your brand’s customer experience to the next level?
Contact us now to explore how our Etech Insights team and Etech’s intelligent, customizable contact center quality monitoring solution and agent performance management tool, QEValPro, can help you deliver a memorable customer experience all the time.