36 Tips for Improving Performance and Quality


Our readers share their best practice advice for improving performance management and quality in the contact centre.

1. Create instant ‘shout outs’ based on great customer feedback

We recognise great customer support in a very public way.

When our customers email us about a great experience, we announce it to the group, post it on an overhead call board monitor, and put it on the ‘shout out’ bulletin board in our lunch room.

With thanks to Lisa

2. Give out spot prizes to celebrate moments of excellence

We give out spot prizes to celebrate moments of excellence, including ‘WOW’ awards, certificates, lapel pins and lunch vouchers.

With thanks to Mike

3. Consistency is key

Make sure all supervisors and members of the quality monitoring team are ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’.

Contradictory messages will confuse agents and hinder real progress.

With thanks to Suart

4. Make sure all feedback is clear and actionable

It is really important that you deliver feedback that agents can respond to.

Make sure all feedback you give is clear and actionable.

With thanks to Rachelle

5. Quality Monitoring should be used to encourage agents not punish them

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Everyone needs to work together to ensure that Quality Monitoring is viewed as a positive tool.

It should be used to encourage agents and improve overall performance – and not abused as a means to regularly ‘beat agents round the head’.

With thanks to Suart

Click here for our 59 Call Centre Quality Assurance Tips

6. Training should be varied and engaging

Try and move away from monotonous training.

If your agents aren’t engaged, they won’t learn… And your customers won’t benefit!

With thanks to Raphael

7. Host monthly meetings with department representatives

We schedule monthly calibrations with representatives from all of our different departments to review calls.

With thanks to Mike

8. Introduce Quality Monitoring during the induction period

Our QA department does a complete overview, including going over the Quality Criteria and calibrating a call, while agents are still in their induction.

With thanks to Mike

9. Keep a careful eye on your Quality Monitoring coaches

Make sure your coaches know what they are doing and manage them more carefully.

After all, they are the people that drive the performance of the rest of your staff!

With thanks to Emma

10. Create opportunities for agents to discuss quality with their peers

It is important to create opportunities for agents to discuss quality with their peers.

Quality and best practice in the contact centre should not be driven solely by manager-to-agent conversations.

With thanks to Anna

11. Review calls as a group

We complete calibration as part of our regular weekly team leader meetings.

We select random calls and review them as a group.

With thanks to Lesley

12. Coaching should take place on the floor

Coaches should discuss feedback with agents in a visible area where most employees can see and hear them.

This will help your agents to learn indirectly from each other’s mistakes.

Of course, if there are more serious concerns, these should be handled in private.

With thanks to Jackie

13. Keep things positive

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Keep coaching positive and focus on what the agent has done well.

You can then ask their opinion of what could be improved on and work together to find a way they can do this.

With thanks to Jennifer

14. Manage behaviour and performance will look after itself

Manage general agent behaviour and performance will look after itself.

With thanks to Lesley

15. Align Performance Management with your wider strategy

Make sure your whole approach to Performance Management is aligned to a wider customer experience strategy and employee engagement programme.

Employees can then see the bigger picture and are more likely to buy in.

With thanks to Suart

16. Ask your agents and customers for input

I create performance management programmes with input from both customers and agents.

This is a collaborative approach that everyone is part of – not something enforced upon people.

With thanks to Suart

17. Supervisors and the QA department need to present a united front

Build a relationship between your supervisors and your Quality Department.

This helps avoid appeals and presents a united front to the agents.

With thanks to Mike

18. Get your QA team involved in recruitment

Involve your QA Department in the recruitment process.

This will help to ensure you have a good starting slate.

With thanks to Mike

19. Targets should change as agents gain more experience

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Keep things interesting by changing your targets and key focuses for your agents that have been in the role for longer.

With thanks to Kate

20. Create an agent workgroup to establish the best KPIs

Create an agent workgroup to set targets and KPIs.

This will help you set realistic and achievable targets that staff will buy into, as well as help change the perception of your senior management team as to the definition of high performers.

With thanks to Lesley

21. Regular positive feedback goes a long way in driving good behaviour

Sit with your team as much as possible and give them regular positive feedback to reinforce the great things they do.

It is priceless!

With thanks to Caroline

22. Remind your agents of the improvements they’ve already made

Our coaching sessions focus on reminding agents how they’ve grown since the last session, and how they’re now ready to improve even more.

It turns a ‘negative’ meeting into a positive session.

With thanks to Lisa

23. Evaluate your managers’ performance as well

Hold supervisors and managers accountable and evaluate THEM on the performance levels they have completed.

With thanks to Michael

24. Your QA team should be ‘coaching focused’ not ‘process focused’

You must hire a QA team that is made up of coaches – and not processors – to ensure success.

With thanks to Jackie

25. Ask your agents to put forward calls they want help with

We ask our agents to put forward the calls they want help with.

They also gain input from their team mates.

With thanks to Kate

26. Ask your agents for feedback on their coaching session

We provide our agents with feedback forms at the end of each feedback session to gain a wider understanding of how they feel the coaching session went – and also to see if we as a department can improve.

We ask the agents questions such as:

  • Was the assessment explained clearly and the reasons for the markdowns understood?
  • Did the performance coach listen well and take my opinion into consideration?
  • Has what you have learnt in your feedback session added value to your work?
  • What would you like to include in your next coaching session?

With thanks to Laura

27. Individually rate each section of your agents’ calls

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We rate each section of our agents’ calls separately.

The 3 main sections are – opening/closing, communication and technical skills/compliance.

There is no overall score for the entire call, so one failed section does not destroy the entire score.

With thanks to Mike

28. Share great calls with the whole contact centre

We share great calls with the whole contact centre to celebrate success, as well as share best practice.

With thanks to Kate

29. Encourage upper management to listen to calls and praise agents

Our upper management team take time out each week to listen to calls with the QA Manager and Operations Manager.

The Vice President will then send out ‘shout out’ emails to the agents. The whole leadership team also presents a certificate and gift card to the recognised agents.

With thanks to Melinda

30. Remove KPIs and encourage agents to take ownership

My front-line advisors don’t have any KPIs.

They are encouraged to focus on the customer – and own and resolve the issues they are presented with.

With thanks to Lesley

31. Build an open and transparent company culture

Being open and transparent with your agents over time will build a culture where feedback and coaching is the norm – and fear will subside.

With thanks to Suart

32. Stop using negative words such as ‘marked down’

Eliminate negative words such as ‘marked down’.

Instead use more positive words such as ‘coach’.

With thanks to Mike

33. Separate call accuracy from customer service

Break your quality measures down to address specific focus areas for agents. For example, split call accuracy from customer service, as someone could be great at one but awful at the other.

This will give you a greater ability to give agents praise where it is due, but also address any areas in need of development.

With thanks to Suart

34. Remove KPIs which contradict each other

Review your KPIs and remove those that contradict each other or drive negative behaviours in your agents or a negative customer experience.

With thanks to Lesley

35. Listen to long calls as well as short calls

Make sure your Quality Team are listening to all calls – long or short.

We frequently get involved in calibration sessions where the shorter calls are chosen over the longer calls. This allows more calls to be heard but does not get more eyes and ears on those long calls where problems can be identified.

With thanks to Mike

36. Don’t ignore longer calls in your QA process

We began listening to longer calls from our consult support team, and found several issues we never knew existed.

With thanks to Mike

What have you done to improve performance and quality in the contact centre?

Published On: 9th Sep 2015 - Last modified: 6th Jun 2017
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3 Comments
  1. Make sure all your supervisors and managers are also making calls. Only allow feedback to be given by those who have done or are actually doing the job successfully. The rest is open to rampant abuse of power.

    Simon kenna 10 Sep at 1:06 am
  2. You nailed it with number three. Consistency is key. Slow and steady wins the race, and consistency is by far the most important aspect to achieving success.

    Jeanne Landau 21 Oct at 6:21 pm
  3. Useful tips, and point 5 has been my guiding principle. Always let service reps/advisors appreciate the fact that you are all in it together and their output is a reflection of your input. Overall performance whether good or bad is everyone’s responsibility.

    Kwame Amoah 19 Jan at 11:57 am
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