Getting Started with QA – Allaying Fears

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: if your company has even one person who spends a lot of time on the phone with customers (internal or external), you should monitor those calls and coach that person on his/her service delivery. Every one of those contacts is a "moment of truth" for your business. Each call effects the customers perception of and satisfaction with your company. Making sure that those conversations are a postive reflection your company is an important ingredient to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

But won’t monitoring calls make the person feel like they aren’t trusted? I’m afraid of the reaction I’ll get if I tell my people their calls will be monitored.

This is an excellent question and, I believe, one of the main reasons smaller businesses don’t enter into a QA program. How your people respond to a new QA initiative depends greatly on how you structure it, how you introduce it and how you follow through with the feedback.

  • Get your ducks in a row and spend time structuring the entire process. Why are you doing it? What are you hoping to accomplish? How are you going to capture calls? How many calls are you going to capture and analyze? Who will listen to them? I would be afraid, too – if someone just said, "By the way, we’re going to start monitoring your calls tomorrow." People are used to call monitoring in the marketplace. If you can clearly articulate the reasons, the goals and the process – you will go a long way to allaying potential fears.
  • Anticipate CSR questions. Will my personal calls be monitored? Are you going to humiliate me by playing my call for everyone to hear? How will you report the results? Are we talking about inbound and outbound calls? What criteria are you going to use to judge the call?
  • Don’t hide anything. Conspiracy theories thrive on what we don’t know. If the entire process is transparent to the front line, then you’ll quickly smother any smoldering doubts.
  • Give positive feedback. A QA process shouldn’t be a club for beating people into submission. QA should be a way of catching people doing the right things and rewarding them. It should be a process of positively driving and reinforcing great service. Once CSRs understand that great service is rewarded, the process can become a motivator.
  • Use negative results wisely. If your QA process does bring abhorrent service to light, use the information judiciously. Document well and provide objective feedback to the person involved along with clearly articulated expectations for improvement. It’s amazing how often other members of the team know when a poor CSR is giving their service a bad name. There are times when the QA process "separates the chaff from the wheat" and others on the team are grateful.

The best Quality Assurance programs are well structured, well communicated and well executed. If you do it right, any business can do it. Don’t let your fears keep you from starting.

If you need help, let me know. It’s what we do.

Related Posts:
Your Calls Can Be Monitored to Ensure Quality Service
Pros and Cons of 3rd Party QA
The Reward of Listening
Call Monitoring for Any Business – Low Tech Solutions

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  2 comments for “Getting Started with QA – Allaying Fears

  1. July 25, 2006 at 6:52 pm

    Tom,
    I like this piece of advice: “Give positive feedback.” Too often, managers start off with “That was great, but….” and then go onto pointing out all the negative. Positive feedback should come first.

  2. August 2, 2006 at 8:57 pm

    Thanks for stopping by, Maria. I agree with you. I’m always surprised how quickly people in training focus on the negative, critical aspects of a call. It’s like pulling teeth to get people to mention positives. I guess that’s part of human nature, but I’m glad there are optimists like you who are looking for the “positives”!

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