Call centre quality is an issue on everyone’s lips. The problem is that most ACD systems produce reams and reams of statistics. To really improve your call centre quality you need to move to quality and not quantity.
1. Measure the right things.
Call centre telephone systems (ACDs) have the capability to produce lots of management information. The issue is though very accurate, they concentrate on quantity and not quality. Even those that seem to be based on quality can often be used badly.
A good example of this is the Average Speed Of Answer. This is generally a good quality indicator. The difficulty is that used in isolation it can destroy quality.
Here is an example of one call centre that was under pressure and somewhat under staffed. They used Average Speed of Answer as their only quality measurement. They then viewed that the best way to bring improve the Average Speed of Answer and to improve customer service was to answer more calls. They brought in an award for the agent who answered the most calls.
John answered most calls and won the call centre of the month award.
The difficulty is that the no one was doing call monitoring during this period. When you listen to the calls you find that John was a poor call handler and seldom solved the customer’s problem. He transferred many of the calls.
On the other hand Mary was the real star of the centre. She resolved most calls first time, was friendly and left most of the callers with a very positive attitude towards the organization. She was the agent who should have won the agent of the month award.
2. Listen to the caller experience
There is no substitute for call quality than to listen to the caller experience. This could be simply listening to selected calls using the “Supervisor” or “Service Observe” function on the supervisor telephone set or could be achieved by using specialist call recording such as that supplied by Verint.
If you can, it is best to listen to the entire customer experience from the moment that they enter the call centre. This can typically be achieved by listening to the incoming lines or if you have Lucent/Avaya call centre by listening to the incoming vector. This will tell you if you have a problem with your incoming menu system.
3. Develop a quality scoring matrix.
Since quality is made up of a number of factors, you will need to develop a quality scoring matrix for your call centre or for your team. You could used the balanced scorecard approach or you could develop a quality scoring matrix. You can make it as simple or as complex as you like, but we find that it is best to keep it to around 5 – 10 items. You can brainstorm with your team which measurements are the most important.
Here are some of the examples that you may wish to include on your scoring matrix.
- Number of calls
- Average speed of answer
- Service level (% of calls answered within 20 seconds)
- Transferred calls (% of calls transferred or put on hold)
Call monitoring statistics
- First Call resolution
- Listened well to the customer’s problem
- How the customer left the call
- Speed in satisfying the customer’s problem
You can then assign a different score to each criteria (e.g. for Average speed of answer less than 5 seconds= 12 points, 5 to 20 seconds= 7 points, 20 seconds to 30 seconds = 2 points, 30 seconds or longer = 0 points)
You can then assign different weightings to the different scores and build up an overall quality scoring. It is usually best to make this out of 100 points so that it is easy to understand.