36 Ways to Improve Call Quality Monitoring


Our readers share their top tips for improving call quality monitoring in the contact centre.

Training and Induction

1. Ask agents to listen to calls during the induction phase

In our induction training, we get new advisors to listen to calls and use our quality monitoring form to mark them – like a ‘mini calibration’.

This way, the advisors understand how we measure call quality as a management team and know what is expected of them.

With thanks to Denise

2. Get your Quality Team involved in the recruitment process

Our Quality Team are included in our new hire induction training.

They help to ensure that the people we take on board understand and are capable of meeting our standards.

With thanks to Christina

3. Introduce the QA team during your new agents’ induction

We introduce the QA team during the agents’ training and induction. We go through our system and explain what we are looking for with regard to quality.

Agents then come to the floor to start taking basic calls and are assessed on these calls. They have a target score they need to achieve in order to be signed off.

The calls assessed include inbound, outbound and new calls – which identifies any needs in the 3 core calls.

With thanks to Jennifer

4. Have a training curriculum in plac

We have a training curriculum in place to help everyone keep up to date with what is expected of them.

With thanks to Beth

5. Bite-sized quality training sessions


We offer a bite-sized understanding quality training session in our centre to iron out any misconceptions and to explain our role and how we support.

We also then calibrate a call with the agents in the session so they get an understanding of what is good, average and needs improvement.

With thanks to Emma

6. Regular tests to maintain high standards

We regularly have grammar and process knowledge tests to make sure our agents understand what top quality is.

With thanks to Rupali

Coaching Techniques

7. Match the learning style to the advisor

Where possible, always try to match the learning style to the advisor.

With thanks to Lisa

8. Try role play to develop core call quality skills

We do role play with all new agents to prepare them for the call.

We test the agents on their ability to handle difficult irate customers.

With thanks to Amo

9. Show your agents what is expected of them

If an agent doesn’t know what is expected of them – and aren’t shown how they are scored – they can’t really get a good feel of what the scoring system involves.

With thanks to Stephanie

10. Ask your agents to bring their poor calls in for assessment

We run “Bring out the dead” sessions where we ask our agents to bring forward their poorest calls.

We then sit and listen to them together to help them improve.

With thanks to Neil

11. Buddy up your agents so they can help each other


We buddy up our agents to do “buddy checking” on each other’s calls.

This is then vetted by senior management.

With thanks to John

12. Work closely with your team to develop supporting documentation

Work closely with the experts in the area to develop supporting documentation.

We find monthly calibrations with team and section leaders most useful.

With thanks to Zoe

13. Refreshers on skills such as active listening

We run refreshers in the field of active listening.

With thanks to Pavle

14. Coach agents on how they express themselves too

It isn’t just about what is said, how you say it counts too.

We coach our agents not with just on the responses provided, but how the agent expressed themselves.

With thanks to Holly

15. Let your agents mark their own calls in a joint session

Try having a joint listening session with an agent, where they score their own call.

This will help them identify their own strengths and weaknesses.

With thanks to Sweta

Change and Improvement Strategy

16. Fix the problem not the individual

Liberate big data.

Aggregate your call monitoring results to understand, as a business, what you should be focusing on. Fix the problem – not the individual.

With thanks to Michael

17. Nominate quality champions to help spread best practice

Get staff to become champions and help spread and train best practices.

With thanks to Deon

18. Align your call monitoring with your customer value statement

We’ve aligned our call monitoring form with our customer value statement.

With thanks to Shama

19. Tie in with NPS

We’ve tied our quality scoring in with the NetPromoter Score.

With thanks to Amanda

20. Change theme every month

Every month, I set my team a different quality theme to focus on.

With thanks to Jessica

21. Make extra effort with outliers


We focus on managing our outliers – the agents with consistently lower scores than everyone else.

With thanks to Sweta

22. Create Quality Advocates to help everyone communicate better

We have a group of agents who are quality advocates. They act as “middle men” between our quality team and agents.

They can provide feedback both ways. They also help suggest improvements and get the whole contact centre involved.

With thanks to Neil

23. Listening to calls alongside agents can skew the results

We always listen to calls first before going into a one-to-one meeting with an agent, so we are able to measure the actual scoring of the QA.

This is because playing calls in the session generally skews the result and is difficult in multi-site environments.

With thanks to Kev

24. Allocate your QA team time slots rather than agents

Our call centre QA team work on time slots, rather than being allocated set agents.

We find this more valuable, as they do not become fixed on an agent’s attitude and behaviour – and are more relaxed with their scoring.

With thanks to Jodie

25. Mystery callers once a year help to improve overall quality

Once a year, we ask a mystery caller company to call us for one month and give us feedback.

It is a really great way to improve the quality of the calls.

With thanks to Eileen

Scoring Techniques

26. Focus on strengths and opportunities rather than scores

We have removed scores entirely. Instead, our evaluation form is divided into two main sections – Customer Experience and Business Solutions.

Under each of those categories we list Strengths and Opportunities.
There is also a WOW section for associates who go over the top in educating the customer.

With thanks to Dianne

27. Score sheets should be hidden during joint listening sessions


When giving feedback while doing joint listening with calls, the QA should hide their score for the agent so they are not swayed on the scoring.

With thanks to Clare

28. Try guidelines and free-form text rather than a checklist

There is a listing of guidelines that we score by, but we have removed the checklist from the form and just have free-form text.

With thanks to Dianne

29. Focus on behaviours rather than numbers

Focus your call monitoring on behaviours rather than numbers.

Telling an advisor what they can do better is better than telling them a number.

With thanks to Michael

30. Use the same score sheet for all departments

We use the same score sheet for all departments, including the contact centre.

With thanks to Andrene

31. Scorecards should also take attendance into account

QM results need to be part of a balanced scorecard.

Monitoring performance, behaviours, attendance and lateness provides a holistic view of the advisor.

The quality of their calls may be brilliant, but if they are regularly late or absent they are not making a full contribution to the contact centre.

With thanks to Jean

32. Stop, start, continue helps agents accept responsibility

Stop, start, continue is a much better way of getting advisors to accept responsibility for their own performance.

For example, STOP letting the customer take control of the conversation, START introducing some guided questions, CONTINUE being upbeat.

[Editor’s note – For more information on a similar technique, see Nick Drake-Knight’s YouTube video Continue & Begin Fast Coaching: Call Centre Employee Development]

With thanks to Jean


33. Spot Awards provide instant recognition for good work

We have “Spot Awards” for when the QA Team or Supervisors observe a particularly good customer contact during our routine evaluation of calls and email.

Agents also have an opportunity to submit calls or emails where they feel they turned a call around from a negative into a positive.

With thanks to Dianne

34. A daily prize for the best call

We give out a daily prize for the best call.

With thanks to Rob

35. Cash incentives help put a focus on quality


We offer our agents cash incentives for 100% quality and moments of WOW.

With thanks to Mark

36. Reward both individual and team behaviour

We have individual bonus targets – but if the team does not meet a team average, then they lose out on the second level of their bonus.

With thanks to Jessica

For more on creating a great quality and performance management programme, read our articles:

Author: Megan Jones

Published On: 20th May 2015 - Last modified: 27th Oct 2020
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