Commong QA Pitfalls: Conflicting Expectations

Conflict
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
quality.

Related Posts:
QA Pitfalls: Poorly Defined Goals
Call Length Does Not = Call Quality

Flickr photo courtesy of Simon Zirkunow

  3 comments for “Commong QA Pitfalls: Conflicting Expectations

  1. September 15, 2006 at 7:50 am

    It’s no fun when I as a customer wait on the other end of the line for service or if after waiting I’ve reached someone in another country whose English language skills are almost incomprehensible. Ellen Weber had it right in her blog, “Every Phone Service Needs a Pizza Man on the Other End! I’m glad that professionals like you are trying to turn this around.

  2. September 15, 2006 at 8:54 am

    Thanks, Robyn. The reality is that outsourcing is here to stay. Why? There will always be businesses who put the bottom line ahead of customer satisfaction, there are legitimate situations in which outsourcing works and does not significantly impact customer satisfaction. There are quite a few businesses, however, who have started “Backshoring” because of the outcry of their customers!
    Thanks for posting!

  3. September 17, 2006 at 5:07 am

    Tom, thanks for sharing about new backshoring trend. At least some companies do have customer satisfaction in mind. I decided not not buy some brands because of poor service on the phone.

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