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The CEO Interview: Derek Corcoran at Scorebuddy

Derek Corcoran, the CEO of Scorebuddy, discusses the company’s rapid growth, while focusing on the importance of contact centre quality.

Tell Us About Your History With Scorebuddy

Sentient, Scorebuddy’s parent company, was founded in 2011 and Scorebuddy was launched as a product in 2013 and has grown and grown ever since.

“We originally set up Sentient as a SaaS platform provider for IVR services. Scorebuddy arose as a customer business requirement so we migrated across into the quality space delivering it as a SaaS model.”

“We had this contract with an outsourcer in Ireland, where they were looking to collect quality data and export it into a business intelligence environment marrying it up with other KPIs in a way that could not be done with spreadsheets.”

“The outsourcer (BPO), came to us looking for a solution and, having the right skill set, we were able to develop a precursor of the Scorebuddy quality solution, which has continued to develop ever since.”

How Has Scorebuddy Grown Since 2013?

“It’s grown substantially. We are now at over 160 customers globally. 60% of those are companies based in the US, 35% in the UK, and our remaining customers are spread across 18 countries.”

“Much of this growth has occurred over the past three years and we are now at a stage where, across the world, there are 40,000 call centre agents being scored on the platform and our largest client has deployed Scorebuddy globally for 6,500 agents.”

What Do You Attribute Scorebuddy’s Success To?

“I believe our success is down to a combination of two factors. Firstly, a need to replace quality tools that were not fit for purpose, and secondly, the increasing focus within the industry on the customer experience.”

I believe our success is down to a combination of two factors. Firstly, a need to replace quality tools that were not fit for purpose, and secondly, the increasing focus within the industry on the customer experience.

“Still to this day, the majority of solutions that we replace are either in-house solutions or more typically spreadsheets.”

“Contact centre managers are increasingly saying: ‘how do we effectively measure the customer experience? how do we change it and how do we manage it?’. These key trends have really supported our growth.”

“It surprised us that companies of this scale were still using spreadsheets for quality purposes, right up to very large organisations with thousands of agents, even though they are essentially not designed for the purpose.”

What Do Contact Centres Often Tell You Are Their Greatest Challenges?

“Flexibility, in combination with transparency, are the two greatest challenges that I’m seeing across our client base right now.”

“If you consider the purpose of quality assessment in contact centres as purely managing agent performance, that’s a very narrow view and it’s one that is absolutely changing.”

“There are regulatory and back-office scenarios that quality assessment is now being tasked with managing, and there is also root-cause analysis, product knowledge gaps and so forth. So, I think that the QA environment is changing and the word that keeps coming back to us is flexibility.”

“The other word that customers would use with us is transparency. The harder it is to gather the data, collaborate and share, the lower level of trust there is in the QA process.”

“Contact centre managers are realising information goes stale very quickly if you’re only reviewing monthly or quarterly.”

What Do You Predict Will Be the Biggest Change Within the Industry in the Next Five Years?

Continued integration is going to be the biggest change within the industry over the next five years.

“Continued integration is going to be the biggest change within the industry over the next five years.”

“There’s traditional integrations between call recording platforms and ACD systems or there’s integration between CRM and customer surveys. But I think it’s all going to coalesce and you’re going to be looking at big platforms or ecosystems where this integration is going to become a lot easier.”

“While these ecosystems won’t quite be plug-and-play, it’s going in that direction. I’m already seeing that it’s becoming a lot less expensive to integrate my CRM with my customer surveys, quality assessments and even my ACD system.”

What Product Developments Will Scorebuddy Be Making Over the Next Five Years?

“We’re looking at where the quality assessment framework logically interacts or integrates with the other processes, behaviours and supporting technologies within the environment.”

“An obvious direction is combining customer sentiment and QA scores in a single environment, which we already do in Scorebuddy. But equally, we see that integration with the CRM at the desktop is increasingly in demand.”

“It’s really up at the CRM level where we’re focusing our integration activities. We’ve already introduced a native Salesforce deployment as well as a Zendesk with the latest release, and we are going to expand that list of integrations in the coming months to a point where it’s pretty much off the shelf.”

What Is the Most Gratifying Part of Your Job?

“The fun and the excitement is listening to customers and hearing what they would like their quality solutions to do.”

Trying to roadmap that and then designing and creating a plan for deploying and delivering platform improvements is where the fun is.

“Trying to roadmap that and then designing and creating a plan for deploying and delivering platform improvements is where the fun is.”

“Getting feedback from customers saying: ‘that’s exactly what I needed, well done’ – is so gratifying. I also get a buzz from imagining what the Scorebuddy platform could do based on what we already know about what it takes to deliver that ideal customer experience.”

What Is One of the Best Contact Centres that You Recently Visited?

“In terms of innovation and progressiveness, a company called Voxpro – who work closely with Airbnb, Google and others, as an outsourced partner – have some really interesting approaches to quality frameworks.”

“One of the many things that they introduced recently was some experimental work around agent self-scoring. The objective was to move the needle on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) for the team, so they were measuring NPS at a team level and at an agent level.”

“Initially, Voxpro were struggling to align their quality scores internally with the NPS score being recorded from customers in post-transaction surveys. But allowing agents to self-score really made each agent very self-aware, conscious and cognisant of what constitutes a good call, and they actually managed to improve the NPS score for the team by four or five points.”

“The key word was self-awareness, making the agent aware of what’s required by the business, but, on the other hand, also thinking about what the customer is expecting and really joining those two things up.”

For more on Voxpro’s quality programme, take a look at the video below.

If There Was One Piece of Advice That You Could Give to Our Readers, What Would It Be?

“I think the advice would be to really try and understand the connection between your people and customer sentiment. In other words, recognise that the quality of every interaction fundamentally affects how that customer feels about your brand.”

“If you truly understand the nature of each transaction and interaction and what constitutes a quality interaction regardless of channel, from a customer’s perspective, then you will move your customer sentiment needle.”

“Try to design your quality framework around customer expectations, continually assessing customer sentiment to improve your QA framework and ultimately the level of customer service that you offer. You will see NPS, Customer Effort and CSat (Customer Satisfaction) scores all moving in the right direction, if you get that touchpoint right.”

Thanks to Derek Corcoran for sharing these insights!

To find out more about the solutions that Scorebuddy offer, visit:

Published On: 5th Mar 2018 - Last modified: 17th Sep 2019
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