Thursday, July 26, 2018

Quality Assurance Is Your Friend, Not Your Foe

By Katie Westphal

Customer's experience and expectations are constantly evolving. Quality is an amazing way to keep up with the times, and understanding your demographics.  The only consistency in call centers is that things always change.  Quality has an innate reputation for being “those people” that dig for your bad interactions and “ding” you.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  Providing top-notch customer service, regardless of the industry, is the key to any successful business.

Have you looked at Social Media lately?  You do NOT want to be the company that is known for having rude, or unhelpful support staff.  There is no way to keep people from complaining about your company entirely, however you can mitigate the populous.

Analyzing customer satisfaction data, reviewing comments, and incorporating trends into your evaluation forms, can help your evaluations be a predictor of your customer satisfaction.  Customers rarely contact a company to tell them how wonderful they feel about a product, website or experience.  Reviewing customer feedback and sharing at all levels may sting, but the amount of insight that can be gained is invaluable.  

To get the most out of quality, there must be relevant and robust data points provided to the business, to catalyze stakeholders’ decision-making, as well as determine what self-imposed internal processes are hindering agents.

I believe in a two-pronged approach to evaluating:
  1. Agent level evaluating- Are the agents remaining in line with laws and regulators?  Are the agents treating your customers properly?  Are the agents following policies required by the business to drive revenue, and drive your company’s reputation?
  2. Business level evaluating- Is the scripting turning the customer away?  What is the customer sentiment?  Is this a repeat call due to lack of resolution? Are the systems challenging for the customers or agents?  Are there additional steps or processes driving handle time and/or additional cost to the company?
The dual processes allow for operations to have information on agents, teams, sites, and business opportunities outside the control of the agents.  Over-reliance on the “score” will hinder a program.  Weird concept, I know, but hear me out.  People will always focus on the score, and not the real and valuable data points being presented to them.  It is human nature to want a high score. We are brought up from an early age to want to see the gold star or A+.  

For a quality program to be successful, you have to see the forest for the trees.  The immense amount of data a quality team can provide, measures improvement and equip a company with the knowledge needed to ensure customer journey standards are met, and ultimately exceeded. 

“Contact Centers are the careers you never expected”, an amazing boss that told me.  At 23, I relocated after changing my life goals of a career in law enforcement. I found a job as call a center agent, and thought I would ride it out until I found something better.  I transitioned to various roles, and ultimately found my home within QA. Today, I am the manager of Quality Assurance.

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