Call Center Quality Assurance Just Got Easier

This Quality Assurance whitepaper for call centers provides seven simple best practices and tips. Applying a strategic approach to quality management is crucial for contact centers struggling with rising costs, low service levels, and low customer satisfaction.

Seven Strategies for Effective Quality Assurance in Your Call Center

Every call center, regardless of size or type, shares similar performance goals: Increasing productivity, improving customer satisfaction, motivating employees to outstanding job performance, and compliance with all industry laws and regulations.

At a call center, proactive and continuous Quality Assurance sometimes gets lost in the everyday responsibilities of keeping up with call volume. However, the effort invested in quality management and assurance is crucial to current and future performance and productivity.

Quality Assurance, or QA, is the common thread that runs through each of these objectives. The Quality Assurance effort put forth by a call center has a direct impact on agent performance evaluation (through real-­‐time monitoring and call scoring), increasing staff productivity (through improved training and coaching), and establishing QA guidelines and goals designed to bolster customer satisfaction by providing consistent, reliable service.

What is Quality Assurance?

Quality Assurance refers to a proven process of establishing quality goals and verifying and checking the quality of a service, as well as the activities implemented so that quality requirements will be fulfilled.

The Challenges of QA

In a call center, there are specific challenges to the Quality Assurance process. The lack of common metrics and objectives can make the practice more complicated, and not all call centers have their systems connected and unified. There are potential barriers not only from the center's technology, but also from call center teams not being on the same page with determining quality standards and the optimal methods to achieve them.

Finally, many call centers lack a reliable means to measure and track quality, either via management action or software that provides automated data on policies and systemic activities implemented within a quality system.

Is There a Better Way?

The following seven strategies can assist a call center with defining its Quality Assurance process.

1. Define Your Quality Goals and Objectives

What constitutes a quality customer engagement? What are the short-term and long-term goals for your call center? What elements are necessary in a successful call? Quality assurance can only be attained if 'quality' is specifically defined, and that standard is effectively communicated to agents and management. Start by establishing thresholds, such as:

  • the number of calls per agent
  • time allotted for each call
  • how long a customer should be on hold and wait before somebody answers
  • first-call resolution

Then perhaps, look at agent standards, like:

  • how agents should greet callers and close each customer engagement
  • how closely agents stick to the script provided
  • level of agent's courtesy in handling orders, questions and complaints

Determine the call center's current status in these and other areas, and document all goals and objectives.

2. Open Communication and Feedback

Call centers are communication centers, but communication should not be limited to agents and customers. Open communication between agents and managers and agents and coaching/training personnel expedites the Quality Assurance process. This is an exercise that needs to be conducted from the top down. Involve agents early in the quality process, not just by providing feedback on their performance, and reviews of 'good' and 'bad' calls, but also by soliciting their ideas and input. Also, carefully select and train those given the responsibility of quality monitoring, as they are the ones on the front lines of the Quality Assurance endeavor.

3. Automate QA Processes

Once clear quality goals have been established (#1), and the lines of communication have been opened (#2), it is not only possible but preferable to turn over many of the QA processes to the tools, templates, triggers and programs available for that function. This will help to make QA guidelines and goals visible to all personnel, and make it easier for managers to review status based on the reports and alerts generated through the system. An automated solution is not only more efficient, and more precise in the data created, it also frees up personnel to spend more time on coaching, training and implementing changes deemed necessary to achieve QA objectives.

4. QA Unification and Integration

Call center goals should be consistent, with personnel and technology working together to arrive at the desired place. Make sure that all teams are putting the QA into action based on the same goals and measure progress based on the same reports. This is easier when call center tools are integrated - managers can score recorded calls from the recording solution, and identify the causes of lower quality scores by analyzing the forecasts vs. actual call volume or call times. Find out what happened, then find out why it happened using the same software solution. The ability to 'connect the dots' across functions and organizations is key to improving quality over time.

5. Real-­‐Time Quality Monitoring

Quality assurance is impossible without reliable, real-­‐time Quality Monitoring that incorporates alerts, dashboards and key performance indicators (KPI). Setting up a Quality Monitoring program requires a clear identification of the most significant performance standards to monitor optimize as average call handle abandoned calls and first-­‐call resolution) and the selection of quantifiable elements related to standards. All call personnel should be made aware of the program the standards set. Through Monitoring, problems can be discovered – often in real time before they can become an issue, assisting call centers in delivering level of service customers expect.

6. Evaluate and Rank Agents Through Call Scoring

The objectives of Quality Assurance are to create and implement the best possible service processes, and to employ a team of agents that learn and utilize these processes. One way to track progress on the latter objective is by scoring calls. Call Scoring requires a cooperative effort among managers, agents and even customers (through feedback and survey results) to determine what elements are important in each customer engagement, and how each effort should be scored. Scoring should be performed against a pre-determined list of criteria that will generate objective and detailed data. Once these criteria have been established, a supervisor can listen to and review recorded calls, assigning scores based on such call elements as the greeting, the close, overall courtesy and conflict resolution. Scoring can also be invaluable in ranking agents for training purposes, as well as for assigning schedules and creating rosters based on skill levels.

7. Establish a Long-­‐Term Quality Mindset

While QA helps to fix short-term issues, should also be established utilized to and on trends improvement. This is process should at hiring by the employees likely to to quality mindset the center. Once mindset is established, should be through employee performance automated processes training/coaching a workforce solution play key in establishing supporting quality to and a performance organization.

The Monet Difference

Quality assurance works best when all the tools for achievement are both automated and integrated, including:

  • How agents should greet callers and closeeach customer engagement
  • Call recording, assessment and playback
  • Audiio and video screen capturing
  • Live monitoring
  • Call scoring
  • Evaluation questionaires
  • Detailed filter and drill-down reports
  • Quality management
  • Customizable questionnaires and scorecards
  • Multi-site report
  • Audit trail

Call center Quality Monitoring software the data and evaluation responsibilities inherent Quality Assurance, making it easier for management personnel to review employee performance, adherence to corporate procedures and set call evaluation Monet workforce management designed to achieve these objectives and expedite Quality Assurance by delivering a solution that includes management, call recording, quality management and performance management.

Whether QA issues are traceable to the job performance of specific agents or an established corporate policy, call center software helps to identify these issues and correct them. Since Quality Assurance is a measure of both short-­‐term long-­‐ performance, quality management software provides both a snapshot into current call center status, and a means to measure QA results over time, for one agent or one hundred, in one center or in locations around the world.

Conclusion

In this economy every organization is looking for low cost and lowrisk ways to streamline processes and spend less, yet still perform at the highest levels for their customers. Quality is one means to build the most efficient and cost-effective performance standards into day-to-day operations. In addition, since customer expectations are growing by the day and 'customer experience' is the new focus, delivering high quality services is not only a must have, but also a great way to get a competitive advantage for your company. Call a WFO incorporates Quality Assurance is a sure-fire way increase customer boost productivity, and reduce costs.

About Monet WFO Live and Monet Quality

Monet Quality provides an easy and affordable cloud-based solution to record, archive, and retrieve customer interactions as part of Monet's Workforce Optimization Monet WFO Live. Monet's WFO platform efficiently and securely delivers web-based applications at the lowest possible cost. It focuses on fast set up, low operating costs, highest security for web-based deployment, and high performance and scalability. With Monet Quality customers get all the benefits of Monet's WFO platform:

  • Affordable: Low monthly fee, minimal capital investment, no hidden costs
  • Fast set-up: Get started within 30 days, easy to learn and use
  • Complete functionality: Call recording, live monitoring, call scoring, tagging, easy retrieve/play, PCI compliance and audit trail
  • IT friendly: Secure and cloud-based, minimal IT management
  • Proven results: Improved service levels, increased productivity and compliance

Monet Software will get you up and running fast, at a low monthly subscription and without the costly upfront investment and time consuming implementation of traditional call center software. For more information please call 1‐310‐207‐6800 or email us at info@monetsoftware.com.

Corporate website: www.monetsoftware.com

Workforce management blog: http://blog.monetsoftware.com

Call recording and monitoring blog: http://call-recording-blog.monetsoftware.com/

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