Don’t Lower the Bar – Raise the Standard!

Some [QA] elements are required. Some [QA] elements are above and beyond. I’ve got CSRs who will never go above and beyond.”

This was the sentiment of a call center manager who is working on retooling the company QA scale. The team of people who were revising the scorecard were considering making a scale that had “required” elements (you have to do it) and “fluff” elements (it’d be nice if you did it, but it’s not required). The problem, as I saw it, was that they had CSRs who aren’t performing. Rather than go through the uncomfortable process of holding agents accountable, the strategy was to dumb down the scale. I shared with my client that I thought this short-term fix was only going to ensure long-term failure.

  • If an element is worth doing, then do it. If your customers’ satisfaction is driven by courtesy and friendliness, then elements like using the customer’s name and using “please” when asking for an account number aren’t fluff. They are critical to keeping your customers satisfied and loyal.
  • Set the QA standard to meet and exceed your customer’s expectations and then coach to that standard. Don’t water down the scale to inflate your QA scores and falsely boost CSR esteem.
  • If you say to yourself, “this CSR will never perform well” then why is he on your call floor? It’s a lose-lose-lose. The customer loses because they’re getting poor service. The CSR loses because he is in a job that doesn’t fit his abilities (and he’s probably frustrated), and management is losing because they have dissatisfied customers and unhappy employees.

For QA to be effective you have the responsibility to clearly communicate the standard and then equip and build-up your agents to meet that standard.

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