When goals are poorly defined, as discussed in our last post, the result is conflicting expectations. This is a classic obstacle found in many, if not most, call centers. The scenario I most often witness is this one:
- The QA team puts together a scoring tool that holds agents accountable for providing quality service through heavily weighted soft skills.
- Call center management then places expectations for call metrics such as average handle time (AHT), average call time (ACT), hold time, number of calls answered or number of dropped calls.
Agents find themselves frequently stuck between opposing expectations, but they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. You can find balance.
If CSRs are going to serve the customer well and meet the QA criteria,
it may necessitate putting the customer on hold or taking time to work
through an issue with the customer (thus, not meeting their call
metrics on a particular call). At the same time, QA must work actively to meet and exceed customer
expectation while driving efficiency and productivity, especially among agents who are below average in their call metrics. To be successful,
call centers must understand and balance both call metrics and service