Quality In: 7 Tactics for Optimizing Your Quality Program
by Greg Levin
Like it or not, quality monitoring is an absolute necessity in contact centers—and when carried out well, a truly valuable one at that. Trouble is, many contact centers struggle to get the most out of their quality monitoring efforts, or worse, don’t bother to formally monitor at all.

If you are struggling with agent acceptance of quality monitoring or aren’t getting solid results from your monitoring efforts, here are seven tactics and strategies shared by leading contact centers across the globe.

1. Gain agent understanding of and buy-in to monitoring from the get-go.
In top centers, managers introduce the concept of monitoring during the “job preview” phase of the hiring process. Candidates learn of the reasons behind and value of monitoring, as well as how much monitoring will occur should they be offered and accept a job in the center.

2. Use a dedicated quality monitoring team/specialist.
In many contact centers, quality monitoring is carried out by busy frontline managers and supervisors. In the best contact centers, the process is carried out by quality assurance folks. With a dedicated quality monitoring team or specialist, there is time to carefully evaluate eight to 10 customer contacts for each agent, and to provide prompt and comprehensive feedback to those agents following the evaluation. In addition, the frontline managers and supervisors are freed up to focus more on other key tasks.

3. Carefully develop a comprehensive and fair monitoring form.
A good quality monitoring form contains not only all of the criteria that drives the customer experience, but also all the company- and industry-based compliance items.

4. Invest in an automated quality monitoring system.
If your center is staffed with more than 10 agents, there is simply no better and faster way to capture customer data, evaluate performance, and spot key trends in caller behavior and agent incompetence.

5. Incorporate customer satisfaction ratings and feedback into monitoring scores.
Quality is no longer viewed as a purely internal measure. Leading contact centers have come to realize what should have been evident all along—that the customer must have a say in whether or not they have received quality service.

6. Provide positive coaching soon after the evaluated call in question.
Even if you incorporate all of the above tactics into your monitoring program, it will have little impact on overall quality, agent performance and the customer experience if agents don’t receive timely and positive coaching on what they did well and where they need to improve.

7. Reward and recognize agents who consistently deliver high quality service.
Top contact centers realize they must reward quality to receive quality, thus most have some form of rewards and recognition tied directly to their quality monitoring program. Agents in these centers can earn extra cash, gift certificates, preferred shifts and/or a trophy or plaque for achieving high ratings on all their monitored calls during a set month or quarter.

Inside View — Hunter Douglas Fabrication
by Susan Hash
Customer satisfaction is a key focus at Hunter Douglas Fabrication. First-call resolution is emphasized and tracked down to the team level. Although contact center management also monitors traditional productivity metrics—such as average speed of answer, service level and average handle time—those are primarily tracked to ensure appropriate staffing levels and to monitor system performance, and are not pushed out to the CSRs. Supporting the center’s emphasis on FCR is its escalation process, which consists of multiple levels. The front line has a strong support team—team leads, supervisors, group managers and trainers—which is always available to answer questions. In addition, the company’s culture continually promotes frontline empowerment. In fact, a primary goal of Hunter Douglas’ escalation process is to educate and reinforce effective practices with its frontline staff.
Read the full story here. (PDF)


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