Dick Bourke of Scorebuddy talks through why agents should self-score, and the benefits of this.
Most call centres have the capability to allow agents to score themselves, but most managers don’t take advantage of it. Perhaps they think that they alone have the training to score agent activity effectively. Or maybe they don’t want agents to spend time off the phones any more than is necessary. Or perhaps they think that agents wouldn’t be objective if given the chance to self-score.
Kieran McCarthy, Head of Quality at Voxpro, explains how they utilise agent self-scoring to provide them with insights into agent self-awareness and focus training to improve the customer experience.
There’s probably a kernel of truth in each of the thoughts related to agent self-scoring, and managers just want to keep things working as they are to avoid disruption to their centres.
Is it totally crazy, though, to let agents get involved in self-scoring or are there some real benefits to agent involvement?
Self-scoring creates a non-judgemental QA process for the entire team
Too many times, call centre agent scoring – as part of the centre’s QA initiative – can be perceived as negative and judgemental and can cause the team’s morale to deteriorate. If agents are given the opportunity to self-score, it will open up a world of proactive behaviour that will have positive ripple effects for the entire call centre.
Often times the best way to improve performance is to judge yourself. This is true in agent self-scoring situations as well. Agents should be given the opportunity to scrutinise recordings of their calls and identify areas of improvement based on what they hear. When allowed to call out their own shortcomings, agents will not feel like they are being threatened or trying to work in a judgemental environment.
Managers will also find that call centre agent scoring will improve the efficiency and content of any coaching sessions and that motivation will improve along with expedited learning processes. Any action plans that come from agent self-assessments are likely to have more positive and long-lasting benefits. Agents will have a vested interest in their improvement and will remain faithful to improvement opportunities.
Self-scoring encourages cross-functional feedback
It’s no secret that call centre agents can burn out quickly if there’s no nurturing environment in which they can thrive and grow, which can lead to agent churn.
And, really, all it takes is making them feel valuable and validated, especially in cross-functional systems in which they have a voice.
Kieran goes on to talk about how agent self-scoring actually encourages agents to improve and how agent scores become better aligned with CSAT and NPS over time.
Giving them a forum to provide feedback empowers them and that has far-reaching benefits for the agents and the company. Empowering agents to share what they know is a huge plus for creating positive call centre morale and employee engagement.
When agents are allowed to be part of the solution and are validated for their work and decisions – when they have a sense of ownership – they are almost always better engaged.
Agents involved in the QA framework develop a vested interest in the company’s success
Agent self-scoring, as part of the QA framework, is critical to keep agents engaged and interested in overall business success. Highly engaged employees are 480% more committed to helping their company succeed. Companies with high levels of employee engagement improved 19.2% in operating income while companies with low levels of employee engagement declined 32.7%.
The entire QA process – including agent self-scoring – helps agents understand their contributions and role in the overall success of the business. When they understand assessment and quality scores, they will strive to improve their current situation as part of the bigger picture of quality and revenue.
Savvy call centre managers will work diligently to improve agent self-scoring due to the impact it has on the objectives for business growth.
When given the opportunity to self-score, agents will want to take more control of their careers too, because they can envision themselves growing with a thriving business. The guidelines for agent self-scoring are simple but the rewards can be big for the agents as well as the business.
Agent engagement as a retention strategy
Industry experts have stated for years that engaged employees are more apt to want to improve their job and work conditions and less likely to create negative on-the-job situations or leave their jobs as soon as those who are not engaged. This is especially important for call centres, where employee turnover can reach high levels when agents don’t feel validated or aren’t allowed to contribute to work processes and strategies.
Engaged and satisfied call-centre employees are:
- 5x more likely to stay than leave within a year
- 4x more likely to stay than dissatisfied colleagues
- 16x more likely to refer friends to their company
- 3x more likely to feel extremely empowered to resolve customer issues
Savvy call centre managers will tap into the wealth of experience, skills and knowledge that lie in their agents. When empowered and allowed to contribute – especially on non-phone related tasks – agents can show positive behaviour, pursue engagement and facilitate positive employee morale.
Providing an environment conducive to call centre agent scoring in which agents are allowed to contribute ideas and strategies helps make agents feel valued and they return the favour by creating great customer experiences as well as staying with the brand longer than they might if conditions were less positive for them.
This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Scorebuddy – View the original post
To find out more about Scorebuddy, visit their website.
Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.