15 Tips to Improve Quality Monitoring


Looking to improve your quality monitoring as well as other forms of interactions, like email, web chat and social media?

Our panel of experts share their top tips.

1. Abandon the 1-2% random selection process

David Evans

David Evans

With traditional quality monitoring,  time is wasted listening to calls which are ultimately average, making decisions on statistically insignificant data.

The real value comes from the really good and really bad customer calls, allowing us to get to the root cause of good and bad customer service, the real purpose of quality monitoring. Technology has caught up and now we can analyse 100% of all calls using speech analytics, identifying good and bad calls, which does 3 things:

  1. Removes the statistical bias of very small sample sets
  2. Allows you to focus your quality teams on the value-add calls not the average ones
  3. Targets your coaching and training on the agents who need most support and will drive the biggest change

David Evans is a Consultant – Workforce Optimisation at Business Systems (www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk)

2. Get your contact centre involved in defining the criteria

Section the call into a number of points where you can create criteria which would satisfy the majority of customers. It could be something very tangible such as offering your name to the caller, or something more intangible or subjective, such as showing empathy on the call. People tend to have shied away from those criteria, but, I can assure you, they are measurable, and there are methods and tools to coach in those sort of skills.

Make sure you get your contact centre involved in defining the criteria. The last thing they need is another rule or policy that has been imposed on them. Having a team of people design the call quality procedure makes them advocates and champions to the cause.

3. Put the time into training and coaching

In my experience, the biggest issue where these quality monitoring processes fall down is a lack of thought put to training and coaching the skills the agents are going to need in order to succeed. Be sure you have spent some time with some experts who can show you how to coach these skills effectively into your operation when required.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of an application to assist your agents and your team leaders through the procedures. Introducing a call quality process will also introduce another load of work on your team leaders and agents. Be sure to look for applications which will mitigate this. In some cases, the technology pays for itself in the form of reclaimed time.

Gene Reynolds,  Director at Blackchair

4.  Don’t confuse compliance with quality

Ensure every element of the scoring card is aimed at improving customer satisfaction. Don’t measure compliance within quality.

The future is having a score from customers rather than traditional monitoring. Sheeraz Singh

Intentionally, we choose ten recordings; 5 are good, the rest are ‘non-conforming’ conversations. The 10 recordings are taken from the five agents’/ participants’ conversations.

In order to make sure that the programme is not like a ‘judgement session’, we build a fresh and fun environment as well – like telling some jokes and sharing some prank calls from customers. Feri Susanto

5. Monitor across multiple channels

Craig Pumfrey

Craig Pumfrey

If you want to improve your quality monitoring you need to take a more holistic approach. Rather than looking at the quality of telephone calls, email, live chat sessions, etc. in isolation, you need to listen to them in the round to really hear the true ‘voice of the customer’.

Today, a customer interaction will typically traverse two or more communication channels before it is completed, so if you want to understand the quality of the customer entire experience you need monitor them in this way.

6.  Augment quality monitoring with automated surveys

In addition, using automated surveys at the point of the customer experience is a great way to improve multi-channel quality monitoring, by courting, capturing, interpreting and acting upon feedback in real time.

The impact of such an approach has been proven to increase satisfaction scores by an average of 27%. This level of customer engagement moves the concept of post-call IVR to the next generation, by inviting customers to provide comment (whether structured or unstructured) regarding their service experience, via their preferred channel.

Craig Pumfrey is the Director of Marketing & Communications at NICE Systems EMEA (www.nice.com)

7. Involve agents in the auditing process

Let agents listen to their own calls and other calls too.  Help them create their own judgement.  Teaching them to fish is better than fishing and giving them on a platter. Coaching feedback also works wonders.

Dr. Nahela Bernal

8. Be objective

First, objectivity! An objective set of quality standards that can be applied to all call types; one that is both flexible to customer needs but also objective so assessor bias doesn’t affect the outcome. Many organisations have standards but don’t know how to create flexible, objective ones! (It’s almost a contradiction in terms, unless you know how.)

Everyone involved in the production of quality has to understand intimately (through training) how to apply the objective standards. An overview isn’t good enough.

9.  Ensure that coaching is the outcome of assessing

Ensure that coaching is the actualised outcome of assessing. Too many organisations put so much effort into assessing (e.g. building an unwieldy structure) they take away the time to coach. Without coaching, assessment is a waste of time and the system serves to disengage people.

Glenn Bracey

10. Use quality monitoring in other departments

Brent Bischoff

Brent Bischoff

Quality monitoring statistics can be used for many other purposes and by many departments.

  • The Training Department can use quality reports to determine the success of induction training and review ongoing training development needs
  • Human Resources can review quality reports of new agents to determine the success of their recruitment process, ensure they are employing the right people for job and evaluating an agent’s suitability once the probation period comes to an end
  • Marketing and Sales can utilise customer feedback providing valuable customer opinions and thoughts.

Brent Bischoff is a Solutions Consultant at Business Systems (www.businesssystemsuk.co.uk)

11. Cross-site calibration

Having cross-site calibration of calls is one of the most effective ways to monitor call quality. This type of interaction increases the engagement of your sites and also lets you understand people’s views and understandings of what good sounds like (and bad for that matter).

It is also a great way of agreeing consistency to ensure that everyone is one the same page!

Kevin Dornan

12. Automate your QA systems

Bernie Kane

Bernie Kane

The days of collating quality data by hand are far from over. Infinity estimates that around two-thirds of contact centres prepare agent scorecards on spreadsheets – while a significant percentage still use paper-based systems. These can be wasteful practices not only in terms of time but also cost.

By switching from a paper to an automated Quality Assurance system, one of our clients cut the time taken to score a call from an average of 36 minutes to just 18 minutes.

Bernie Kane is a Director at Infinity CCS (www.infinityccs.com)

13. Improve calibrations

Get advisors, team managers and operations managers to take part in calibrations to hear the good, bad and ugly. Sometimes we can become detached from the calls and the customers. Nicola Hamilton

14. Consider on-call monitoring

I would suggest that the two key attributes of any call/contact centre agent is a) knowing what to say and, even more importantly, b) knowing how to say it in order to instantaneously win the confidence and respect of the person calling or being called.

Monitoring every agent all of the time, on a one-to-one basis, by a real person, is simply out of the question. But technology now exists that can effectively do this, in an extremely cost-effective way.

The adoption of live, on-the-call, monitoring via specific phrase recognition and stress analysis – advising agents, during the actual call that they are speaking too loudly or too softly, too fast or too slow, to stop interrupting the caller, or reminding them to let the customer speak and, most importantly, detecting when either the customer/caller or the agent is becoming stressed, are all key attributes in achieving these two key deliverables.

Graham Chick is Chief Executive of GemaTech UK Ltd

15. Make good use of the information you gather

James Le Roth

James Le Roth

Call quality monitoring is essential for any contact centre, providing invaluable insight into how you are performing and what consumers are really experiencing.

The most useful results often stem from measuring and improvement processes that go beyond monitoring sample calls, impinging on wider areas of the business, from the setting and evaluating of standards, to advisor coaching, through to the training and development of staff.

James Le Roth

Click here for our 30 Tips to Improve your Call Quality Monitoring

Published On: 22nd Aug 2012 - Last modified: 6th Jul 2017
Read more about - Customer Service Strategy,Hints and Tips , , , , , , ,


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