2nd September 2021
Quality is the 2nd most popular metric in the contact centre outside of the customer satisfaction. But getting the traction behind the quality programme can be challenging.
In this blog we will discuss 12 ways that will help you build a robust quality monitoring that can make a real difference with minimal investment.
1. Build scorecards that work for your business
Building a relevant customised scorecard that fits the nature of your business is one of the most essential elements of the Quality Monitoring process. The trick here is getting the right balance between the three key aspects to measure:
• Process Adherence
• Customer Experience
It is important to note that all types of customer interactions – calls, emails, webchat, social media and back-office transactions should be monitored, and you have a customised scorecard for each type of interaction. The key to success is achieving the maximum amount of alignment across different areas and channels as this improves the consistency of customer experience, makes it easier for agents to handle contacts and simpler for the QA team to check the quality of them.
FACT – 83% of UK businesses reported the customised scorecards as extremely helpful in their business planning and goal setting
2. Don’t be afraid to get rid of old measures that aren’t important any more
Quite surprisingly, we see all too often irrelevant, obsolete or outdated measures within a QA scorecard that adds very little value to the agent performance tracking. If you have these components in your QA scorecard, simply remove them! We advocate a review of QA scorecards every 6-months to ensure they are relevant and incorporate any new processes or regulation changes to ensure they stay current. Not only will this improve the employee experience but will reduce costs of checking non-value-added activity.
FACT – 93% of the world’s leading businesses who have failed to adapt and introduce new business measures have had to face some kind of financial struggles
3. Ensure consistency across areas
One common issue that we see in client QA processes is that different departments or teams have different processes in place to deal with the same issue. A great example of this is identity checks – one of our recent clients identified 12 different processes that agents had to follow in order to establish caller identity, depending on the team they called and if they were a personal customer, business customer, reseller or supplier. This fragmented approach meant that customers would get an inconsistent experience and that call durations were extended as they never got to know the process to expect or the information that they would need.
It was also a problem for the QA team, who had to learn all the different processes, as well as the agents who found it tricky to transition between call types. The QA team are uniquely placed to highlight and help fix this error – make sure that the QA assessment framework does not introduce different expectations for the same issue.
FACT – 8 out of 10 companies struggle to monitor their irregular and inconsistent business processes, which hinders their business development and growth
4. Make sure your scorecard reflects what is important to your customers
The customer view of an interaction and that of the business can be very different, particularly if you are telling them something that they don’t want to hear. Getting this wrong can be very costly to your business.
However, broadly speaking, your quality scores (particularly in the customer experience domain) and other metrics (most notably any VoC or NPS data) should correlate. If one changes and the other doesn’t, then something is not being measured correctly and it’s important to understand where that gap is.
We would always check the VoC and NPS questions, however, we find that the disconnect is in the QA scorecard. Either the scorecard is only looking at the process adherence elements, or there is an issue with the content or weighting of the customer experience elements. Either way, it’s important to make sure that your customer experience measures assess what’s important to your customer!
FACT – 63% of consumers expect businesses to know their unique needs and expectations, while 76% of B2B buyers expect the same thing
5. Make sure what’s being scored is in line with the regulators most recent recommendations/policies
Keep your scorecard up to date and ensure this is in-step with the latest regulation changes or new focus areas of the regulators. Look to see which organisations are being fined for regulation breaches and ensure you are mitigating against these risks by measuring your compliance in these areas. Given that in 2020, the average FCA fine was £17.5m, the return on investment could be huge, not to mention the reputational damage.
If you are identifying areas where others have been found out to be non-compliant, you can understand your level of compliance and address any concerns before a problem presents itself – prevention rather than cure!
FACT – Almost two-thirds of organisation world-wide (63%) believe that their policy management program helps reduce the legal cost and resolution time of regulatory issues and fines
6. Ensure you have a statistically valid sample to measure individual agent performance
Or better still, assess 100% of contacts (using interaction analytics) to measure quality and compliance on all your interactions. If you want to get a deep understanding of individual agent performance, you need to assess every contact. This insight will tell you how an agent performs on different types of contact, give you trends over time, themes for improvement and areas of strong performance.
When measuring compliance, assessing every call will give you a call-level assessment and identify any risks that need mitigating or passed-on for further manual assessment or escalation. Using analytics tools also enables you to deal with changing rises and falls in activity and significantly reduces costs. From our experience, it typically gives you a return on investment within 3 months and cost savings are into the millions!
FACT – 61% of consumers world-wide say that they have stopped transacting with a business after a poor service experience
7. Move to a risk-based model of Quality Assurance
It is rarely possible to complete every required compliance check on every call with an analytics platform – there are always some items that need to be cross checked with external data sources. However, Interaction Analytics can help you target that effort more efficiently by locating specific conversation points in a call and guiding the QA team accordingly.
High-level analysis can identify agents who are outliers and seem to mention a specific topic more, or less frequently than peers. Use this as a basis for some targeted manual reviews. Analytics platforms may not be able to give you the whole answer, but when correctly deployed, they can tell you who to look at and where in the call to look, greatly reducing your risk exposure as well as your manual QA effort.
FACT – By 2022, 90% of corporate strategies will explicitly mention information as a critical enterprise asset and analytics as an essential competency
8. Use technology to move to a more efficient, item-led approach
In a manual QA approach, calls are generally scored from end-to-end, with an assessor reviewing each part of that call. What many people don’t realise is that this approach is driven largely by the technology that is available – call recording platforms can return a call from an agent and a date, but often tell you little more than that until the call is manually reviewed.
Technology, however, has advanced.
Using a speech analytics platform to assist QA teams in assessing calls can increase the coverage and reduce the time and cost by letting the system score significant parts of the call, with the manual QA team covering the rest. To achieve this, QA teams need to pivot their approach. Instead of assessing one call from end-to-end, teams can now focus on one behaviour and look at it across a large sample of calls. Eventually and with support from a speech analytics system, teams can move away from agents asking, “how did I score on my call?” and move towards “how do I score for call close on all of my calls?”. This allows both efficiency savings on the QA side and a much more focussed conversation with agents on the coaching side.
FACT – 87% of CIOs believe digitally empowering their employees can drive at least 5% additional revenue growth over three years
9. Ensure you coach to what is being measured!
It is vital to provide feedback from the quality assessments to ensure an agent understands their level of performance and areas where they excel and where they need to focus improvement. The key to this is being able to illustrate specific issues with agents and this can be made easier in several ways.
Firstly, being able to provide feedback on a large sample of interactions gives the agent the actionable insight they need to make improvements and track performance change over a relatively short period of time.
Secondly, moving to an item-led approach can help to focus in on the specific elements of a call that an agent is struggling with, and moves away from dissecting a single call to covering the overall theme in more detail.
Finally, having very clear, consistent expectations on what agents should do means that they are able to be clear on what they are expected to do. Combining these together makes the coaching conversation easier and if your scoring framework is aligned to the outcomes that matter, then it becomes easier to drive service improvements.
FACT – 60% of survey respondents reported that they would like feedback on a daily or weekly basis – a number that increased to 72% for employees under age 30
10. Let agents see their individual performance and empower them to make their own improvements
A step on from simple provision of detailed feedback is to use an online portal for Quality Management reporting, giving agents access to their individual performance scorecards to enable self-improvement, corrective behaviour and tracking of performance changes over time. If an agent can see how their performance is changing over a relatively short period of time, it helps embed new behaviours.
This approach also allows for fail fast, so if an agent tries something new today, they can likely see how this impacts the customer experience tomorrow (if using interaction analytics), so the agent is able to tweak and change their approach to assess what works best. The agent starts to become their own QA and coach and driven agents will use this to quickly improve on their weakest areas.
FACT – 96% of employees believe showing empathy and being empowered are most important ways to advance employee retention
11. Hold calibration sessions to ensure agents are aligned on expectations
Calibration sessions are a necessity if you are using manual QA scoring to ensure that all assessors are being fair and consistent in their approach, but there is a role for calibration in an automated QA deployment using speech analytics. These calibration sessions are not to ensure consistency of scoring – the analytics takes care of that component – but a check on how Team Leaders, Supervisors and Coaches are interpreting the data to identify the corrective actions needed to drive improvement.
In the calibration session, everyone has an opportunity to identify the action needed to deliver a performance improvement looking at compliance and procedural issues as well as soft skills, such as empathy, politeness and helpfulness. This should feed back to the framework design & review workstreams and will make sure that agents get consistent advice in addition to the consistent results.
FACT – 89% of HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are key for successful outcomes
12. Use the wealth of data and insight to perform root cause analysis to drive continuous improvement
When measuring quality, you will get insights from every part of the customer contact. Aggregating these quality metrics will help inform key points of failure across the operation and help prioritise fixes to address the biggest points of failure – these could be processes, systems or people issues.
Using interaction analytics, you can uncover previously unknown issues with the help of key word, phrase or topic mentions and how these mentions have changed over time. This analysis helps inform you of new emerging problems giving you the opportunity to nip these in the bud before they become full-scale problems for you to address.
With the near-real-time reporting of QA using interaction analytics, you can track how corrective actions are helping performance improvement over time.
If you employ the above 12 steps, you can expect to save a significant amount and also improve the customer and employee experience as you enhance your brand.
FACT – 90% of businesses world-wide say that data and analytics are central to their transformation plans while 90% of Fortune 500 companies will have at least one data-related plan implemented within the year
Get in Touch
Our interaction analytics has helped numerous organisations transform their ability to monitor quality and regulatory compliance in their contact centres.
We can provide you with detailed evidence to demonstrate compliance – plus the ability to flag potential breaches promptly and take action.
To find out more about how you can stay on top of your contact centre quality and compliance as you improve your business performance and the customer experience with analytics-led insights, please download our Insight & Analytics brochure, or book a FREE Consultation with one of our experts.
Director of Insight and Analytics
T: 07985 555125
Our Property MD Mark Grocott talk to Post Magazine about innovation…
Lesley Johnson talks to Post Magazine about attracting diversity to the…
Yesterday our Training Manager Kaylee and one of our Graduates Chris…
Davies Group has announced that US private equity firm HGGC has…