All of you must have called customer service contact center for some or the other reason. Whenever you call you must have noticed that almost all customer service contact centers have the same message for its callers: “This call may be recorded or monitored for quality and training purposes.” Today, let’s get a few insights on what the term “quality” means for a contact center, and how contact centers use it to provide the best possible service to its customers and use it for training it’s agents?
In very simple words, a process which helps an organisation ensure that the level of customer service and satisfaction provided to its customers matches their desired business goals. In order to ensure a positive experience for every caller, contact centers must evaluate and analyse all call coming in. The attention to details will help the center meet its goals and can also ensure that the call center remains efficient in order to keep the overall costs low.
The CRM / software system placed in a contact center can only collect data that can include call volume, average call handling time and average hold times etc. However, only an expert professional can listen to the conversation to analyse if the call center executive was able to effectively build rapport with the customer. Setting right expectation with respect to quality standards with all agents and then monitoring calls to ensure those standards are met is the most important aspect in giving customers a wonderful experience.
Most of the contact centers usually have internal departments to monitor the quality of calls and to check if agents are adhering to the standards and applicable policies and procedures. However, partnering with a 3rd party can significantly change the consistency of your results. A very simple reason for this is that third-party quality assurance specialist doesn’t interact with team members and thus do not have any inherent bias that usually comes with an in-house team. A third-party quality assurance team with its unique skill set gives you a different prospective of how you look at your data which cannot be attained within the call center itself.
Unlike popular believes, listening to calls whole day and point out problems is not what Quality assurance does. It is just one piece of the QA puzzle. They constantly analyse customer interactions with employees and try to bring out best practices from the ones who are good at their jobs in order to create training strategies for entire staff. A third-party quality team can help internal QA’s in designing and implementing training / coaching sessions and guiding the agents to meet customer and company needs.
One of the best ways any organisation can learn what their customers need from them is through their conversation and experience with a call center. Some call centers require their agents to use scripts or specific phrases and greetings to build rapport and empathize with customers and give them accurate information. The Quality Assurance team will audit (listen to) calls and review other communication channels like email and chat to analyse and make sure every agent is adhering to the standards and company guidelines.
A call quality scorecard is a list of mandatory requirements and pre-set standards for every call the agents handle. Ideally, call center managers and Quality Assurance specialists review calls handled by agents to create quality benchmarks based on customer feedback and then create the scorecards for evaluating the calls. Customer needs as well as call center goals continue to change over a period based on product updates, hence the scorecard must also continue to evolve to ensure the best possible service and help is provided to customers thereby ensuring that the call center meets its goals and objectives consistently.
Quality departments not only help call centers create effective and measurable scorecards, they also help ensure all employees adhere to the set guidelines in place by auditing calls and providing necessary feedback. Auditing enough calls along with other communication channels as per the scorecard created is paramount to determining if the agents can meet the quality standards set in place. The quality department is not just an all-knowing overseer of agents, QA also work with the agents to provide necessary feedback and develop plans of action to improve if they fall short in any key areas.
The quality assurance team analyses the data it collects from the key performance indicators as well as the scorecards created over a period. This data is useful for managers and their employees in order to make the right decisions and set right practices across all team members. Only if the quality department gathers data accurately, it can effectively use that information as a catalyst for making important and lasting change.
Call centers are required to and must protect consumers by following certain rules. For example, financial institutions must maintain certain security standards both physical and technical to protect consumer data. Also, in certain jurisdictions, Call center must inform the customers that their call may be monitored or recorded. Maintaining compliance standards at all times is difficult because call centers have a universal global presence. However, compliance and other guidelines are mandatory to be followed to the letter for the contact center to legally remain operational. Quality in a call center is one of the only departments who can build the right practices to ensure that the contact center always remains compliant with the said rules and guidelines.
It is very easy to point out issues and pretty much anyone can do that, but the QA department can go in-depth of the issues and make sense of the data collected to develop tangible strategies to educate employees and to improve customer satisfaction while keeping the call center staff and management happy.
Call centers can very easily become complacent and even end up adopting bad habits that slip under management’s radar. Investing in 3rd party quality assurance team can not only stop these problems before they hurt the call center’s bottom line, but also help ensure these problems are predicted and handled much before they happen while keeping your cost at check.
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