Call Quality Monitoring Form: 5 New Fresh Ideas
Contact center quality forms are changed for a variety of reasons. Have any of these events prompted a change in your organization?
- Customer satisfaction or Net Promoter Score is low and agents need to focus on behaviors that lead to more successful customer interactions.
- New regulatory or security requirements have been put in place and you need to ensure agents are compliant.
- You have identified new upselling, cross-selling, or customer save strategies and want to make sure agents consistently follow them.
- Additional customer service channels are being offered with unique sets of criteria.
Regardless of the driver, overall quality scores often dip for a time as agents adapt to new evaluation criteria.
This dip in performance can be unsettling for the various groups involved in your quality management process.
- Agents - The way their performance is evaluated has changed and this could negatively impact their review.
- Executives - They want to know why the quality of customer service has dipped so suddenly and fear a negative impact on customers.
- You - After significant hard work and deliberation, you want to make sure this form drives the right agent behaviors to move the needle on other key business outcomes like customer satisfaction, customer churn, and more.
This sounds like a perfect job for change management, which is the art of successfully navigating the team and the organization through a change. In this article, I will share a handful of ideas to help best manage the change of a quality form in the contact center.
1. Involve agents in creating the new form
If your method of changing the quality form is like that of Moses coming down from the mountain holding the ten commandments, you might want to alter your process a bit. While there may always be an element of leadership setting the bar, a great way to get buy-in from agents is to involve them in the creation of the form.
One way to do this is to engage them in discussion during a team meeting. Ask agents to list the behaviors that lead to successful customer interactions. They may also give feedback on behaviors that are unnecessary or ineffective. For example, your contact center may require agents to end calls a certain way, but you find out that, while it’s intended to be friendly, customers find it annoying.
2. Align quality criteria with other key metrics
Some time ago I did an interesting study where I compared quality scores with customer satisfaction ratings across several different customer service teams. The cases that were particularly interesting were those with incredibly high-quality scores (we think our quality is great) but low customer satisfaction (customers don’t agree). And therein were some clues that we needed to align our quality criteria with behaviors that drive better results. In managing this change, it helps when you can show agents and executives that by adhering to the quality criteria, we all succeed.
3. Evaluate interactions with your agents
Before releasing the new quality form into prime time, evaluate the new criteria ahead of time with your agents. Select a handful of interactions and review them together, either individually, or in a team meeting. Much of quality assurance is about setting expectations, and once agents know what’s expected of them, they will do their best to meet or exceed these expectations. The vast majority of contact center agents care about doing good work and will do so when given a fair shot.
4. Increase the frequency of quality calibration
Quality calibration is the process where contact center leaders evaluate customer interactions together to ensure that they are aligned. By doing so, agents receive consistent feedback and coaching regardless of who’s evaluating them. A new quality form requires an adjustment for evaluators as well, so it’s a good idea to increase the frequency of calibration sessions to weekly until the team is closely aligned.
During these sessions, be sure to pay attention to the following:
- What behaviors are we having the most difficulty calibrating? You have a question on your quality form about giving customers a friendly greeting and another about making a connection with the customer and find that some supervisors mark one and some mark the other for the same behavior.
- Are there any behaviors where we are inclined to “double ding” agents in multiple categories? Similar to the first question but instead of marking one or the other, some supervisors are marking both questions for the same behavior.
- Are there any expectations that are unreasonable? Agents are required to wow customers on every interaction but wow might be overkill when the customer just needs help recovering their password.
- What kind of feedback are supervisors getting from agents during coaching sessions? Agents might be required to ask, “Is there anything else I can help you with?” at the end of a call and complain that many customers are upset when they are asked that question.
- Are there any unintended consequences as a result of some of these behaviors? Going back to the previous question, you find that agents are consistently asking the question at the end of calls, but they are asking it in such a way that it’s abruptly pushing the customer off the phone.
These questions will help you better determine if the new form is working or not and what should be updated.
5. Introduce during new hire training
Whether you’ve changed your quality form or not, the best time to communicate expectations to agents is when they are brand new. Build your quality process into new hire training. 8x8 Quality Management allows you to highlight, save, and share exemplary customer interactions. Review these examples with your new hires so they can hear, see, and better understand those behaviors that lead to success. This helps new agents form good habits at the outset of their new job.
Returning to the Moses analogy from earlier, remember that your quality form is not etched in stone. It’s a means of driving successful customer interactions in your contact center, and if that isn’t happening, it may be time to update the form.
Finally, if your quality management tool, or lack thereof, requires you to etch your quality form in stone, preventing your contact center from being nimble enough to make changes and updates, it doesn’t have to be that way. A robust quality management tool makes the process of updating your quality form and sharing it with your team so much easier.
If this interests you, take a moment to read more about how quality management can transform your customer experience.