Who Should Do QA?

Who should do QA in your call center?

Many companies utilize supervisors to do the call analysis and coaching. This seems like a natural because the supervisor has direct managerial responsibility and works most closely with the CSR. This close relationship, however, can create bias and these supervisors are often subsequently given incentive pay based, at least in part, on the team’s quality scores [scratching head]. Beyond that, I’ve observed that the front-line supervisor is one of the most demanding jobs you’ll ever find. Doing call analysis and call coaching easily gets pushed to the back burner when competing demands take precedent.

Other call centers obviously employ a team of QA coaches. This is generally a great solution. The QA analyst isn’t usually incented on the score and they tend not to be biased by other CSR performance issues. Having a QA analyst can create other issues. A natural conflict arises between QA analysts and supervisors (supervisors may find it easier to argue the QA score with the QA analyst than coaching/motivating their CSRs to improve). Having a dedicated QA analyst or team can be expensive for smaller companies or centers.

I’ve seen some call centers employ a hybrid approach that uses both supervisors and QA to analyze calls. That can work, but certainly increases the complexity of the process and raises other obstacles.

There is no "one size fits all" solution to this question. There are significant variables that change the equation from one call center to the next. Has your company found a solution that works for you? Are you struggling to find the right formula? Please comment, join the conversation and share your experience so we can learn from each other!

Related Posts:
Pros and Cons of 3rd Party QA
How Many Agents Does it Take to Make a Call Center?
You Know What They Say About Assumptions

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  4 comments for “Who Should Do QA?

  1. RS
    July 19, 2006 at 10:07 am

    QA and its role and incentives have been issues in both of the contact centers I’ve worked in. Both centers ended up with a combination approach. Audits are completed by QA coaches, supervisors and team leads. Their combined scores qualify for the rep’s performance. In both centers, calibrations become another issue. There are way too many people involved in the calibrations and the power struggles usually escalate. What I’ve found is that the problem usually lies in the call METRICS, not necessarily the people doing the audits.

  2. July 19, 2006 at 9:31 pm

    Tom…The best formula is constant moderation and checks / balances through all available mediums. QA coaches work best when combined with supervisors and team leaders. The relationships of each truly seem to intensify with operated together as opposed to separate.

  3. July 20, 2006 at 8:02 am

    Thanks for the great comments. I think that there’s a general concensus brewing that a mixture is a great way to go. I’m with you AS, that there should be checks & balances.
    Raquel, I also agree with you that too many people in calibration is a recipe for conflict and discouragement. When metrics aren’t well defined, it can cause all sorts of heated debates. Thanks for commenting!

  4. July 22, 2006 at 8:49 pm

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