Your Calls Can Be Monitored to Ensure Service Quality

I would hate for any business owner or manager to assume that call monitoring and Quality Assurance (QA) are just for “call centers”. In an earlier post, I made the point that any business that has a person whose primary job is on the phone with customers is a call center.

Even if you have a single person, or a small team of people who spend much of their time on the phone with customers you can and should start a QA process. Each of those calls could be a make it or break it experience for your customers. The data from a quality assessment can give be beneficial to both you and your front-line agents. Let me give you a few examples from some of our Service Quality Assessment (SQA)projects:

  • Four Inside Sales representatives take orders in a business-to-business application and provide after-order support. With regular feedback and coaching, the team now has the highest monthly SQA averages we’ve recorded from any client in twelve years. The company has carved a strong position in their market as the go-to company for quality, personal service.
  • Three agents operate a parts order desk for a regional parts and service provider. Our SQA pilot established that they were doing a decent job yet identified key opportunities to leverage the strong relationships they had with customers into add-on sales. The company was able to make tactical decisions about the structure of the inside sales function and set new business goals based on the data from the assessment.
  • A single receptionist and one back-up take between 100-200 phone calls a day. Often, they must determine which department the caller needs. Misdirected calls are costly in time, customer satisfaction and internal frustration. An SQA project was undertaken to measure the level of service being delivered at this initial point of contact and to determine if calls were being correctly routed. Results revealed situations where calls were easily misrouted. Efforts were then taken to train receptionists to identify these situations and ask the appropriate questions.
  • A sales team of four are tasked with spending 30 percent of their time making outbound calls to customers and leads. An SQA pilot project revealed that the team was spending far less time on sales calls, but because overall sales were good it was assumed they were working the phones. The sales team was content picking the “low hanging fruit” that was dropping their way. While the company was doing well, there was a lot of business being left on the table.

A successful QA process is about getting objective data regarding the quality of service and sales your team is providing. This data is invaluable for making tactical business decisions as well as determining specific training and coaching needs for your people.

Are you listening or are you assuming?

  5 comments for “Your Calls Can Be Monitored to Ensure Service Quality

  1. May 30, 2006 at 5:08 pm

    Your Calls Can Be Monitored to Ensure Service Quality

    [Source: QAQNA Call Center QA Questions & Answers] quoted: Our SQA pilot established that they were doing a decent job yet identified key opportunities to leverage the strong relationships they had with customers into add-on sales. The company was able…

  2. Steve Colwell
    January 11, 2007 at 8:51 am

    Tom,
    Regarding your last example, the company that was successful but “leaving business on the table,” what prompted them to perform an SQA evaluation? I would guess that this was a difficult project to sell, since the company had no obvious sales problems to solve.
    –Steve

  3. January 11, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Great question. In this case, Steve, the sales manager became interested based on an SQA we performed for their customer service team.
    The epilogue to that project is interesting. In this case, the sales manager was afraid that he would get in trouble for the results if his superiors found out and to question our findings rather than believe them. He buried the report and refused to act on the data. A few years later the company contacted us asking to do a customer satisfaction survey because the company’s sales were down and they had lost market share. Hmmmm.

  4. May 31, 2009 at 8:58 am

    As far as i know, call center companies in the Philippines are using this method. It is indeed essential to keep track of the calls and make room for improvements if needed.

  5. April 27, 2010 at 5:30 am

    “As far as i know, call center companies in the Philippines are using this method. It is indeed essential to keep track of the calls and make room for improvements if needed.” – Really? So that’s how they can track calls from their client. Thanks for this blog and for the information. Nice info.

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