Implementing Call Quality Monitoring
When implementing call quality monitoring (QM) within a contact centre there is no ‘one size fits all approach’. Every Contact Centre is different with its own core values, processes, procedures, training and objectives. For quality monitoring to be successful it must be tailored to fit within all areas of the business and a generic, simplistic approach should be avoided.
Before starting the first questions that should be asked is ‘What is the Purpose of QM?’ What changes do you want to achieve and results do you want to see? Quality monitoring should be viewed as more than just a simple process of evaluating Agent’s calls using a standard monitoring form and providing feedback. The best contact centres see QM as a vision for achieving ‘Excellence’. QM processes are integrated into all areas of operations with a common goal of driving operational improvement and improving the customer experience.
The key to any successful QM always focuses on three key areas: People, Processes and Technology.
Focusing on Your People
It’s important to identify the key stakeholders, these are typically managers, team leaders and agents and within larger centres there may be a dedicated quality team. Clearly define the roles and responsibilities for each of the stakeholders. QM is a very people driven process. It requires an evaluator to subjectively analyse the customer interaction based on a required standard and then to achieve any benefits an effective agent feedback session is needed. Training on quality monitoring should be included in all Agent induction training. To really get the most out of a QM programme an organisation should provide suitable management training on the art of evaluating calls and providing effective feedback.
Call Quality Monitoring – Processes
Next a process for evaluating Agent calls needs to be agreed, whether that’s side-by-side monitoring, remote monitoring or Agent self evaluation. Define how frequently Agents should be evaluated and what type of calls should be selected. Using a mixture of different approaches is recommended as this can increase the benefits achieved. Consider the amount of time it takes to evaluate calls and how this will affect the current work load for evaluators.
When defining evaluation criteria and standards there is no one standard that will fit all contact centres. Think about what objectives the Agent should be achieving on their calls to enhance and exceed customer expectations whilst keeping in mind the company’s core values and mission statement. Set an objective scoring system that allows agents to not only achieve expectations but exceed them. Ensure there is consistency between evaluation criteria and Agent induction training.
Make sure all evaluation criteria is documented in a clear set of guidelines that define how an Agent is evaluated, what is evaluated and how an agent can exceed expectations.
Other processes that support the evaluation process should also be defined. For example, a calibration process is essential for ensuring there is consistency between evaluators. Also build in an Agent dispute process to allow agents recourse if they feel unfairly assessed.
Call Quality Monitoring – Technology
Today’s technology not only improves the efficiency of quality monitoring but can enhance the process. Call recording is common place in most contact centres today. It allows specific calls to be selected for evaluation and provides an opportunity for the agent to listen to their own calls which enhances the coaching feedback process. Adding a QM software solution to call recording will streamline the QM process and provide additional reporting capabilities. Additional technologies such as agent desktop screen recording, automated KPI tracking and speech analytics can provide a real focus and insight into improving quality.
The best contact centres know that a well defined QM programme mirrors the core values and culture of the organisation. It constantly strives to exceed customer expectations and improve loyalty. With detailed reporting data, QM can become a proactive process that drives real business improvements instead of just reacting to daily business needs. Taking the time to identify and prioritise objectives carefully up-front with the right training and integration into all areas of the contact centre will significantly increase call quality monitoring’s chance of success.