Consistency (n)- steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc. Uniformity among the parts of a complex thing. (dictionary.com)
It is a bitter reality in business that it only takes one negative experience to drive a customer, or many customers, away. A customer can have a plethora of positive interactions with your call center, but it only takes one negative experience to send the customer packing, and sometimes it’s an honest mistake. While it’s possible for one good experience to make a loyal customer, most often customer loyalty and retention is driven by delivering a string of consistent, positive experiences.
One of the most important goals of a successful QA program is to drive a consistent customer experience. You have a complex organization of many different individuals representing many different personality types. You have many different customers calling you each day with a wide-range of needs. How do you create consistency with your QA program? Here are a few suggestions.
- Be steadfast. It’s not uncommon to find that the QA process is placed on the shoulders of front-line supervisors who have a million other responsibilities being demanded of them from management and the front-line. When the tyranny of the urgent hits (and in a call center it hits daily) the QA function is usually the first thing that gets shoved to the back burner. You can’t drive consistency if you’re not disciplined in actually doing QA over the long-haul.
- Be consequential. Consistency comes when CSRs modify their behavior to meet or exceed the set standard. Changing behavior is a challenging task for most people. Don’t most of us prefer the path of least resistence? Typically, we need something to motivate us to change. Many QA programs fail because there is no consequence for doing well – or not doing well. If I’m a CSR and I know that there’s no real reward for delivering great service and no real penalty for doing poorly – why change?
- Be real. Use behavioral elements that are flexible, yet measurable.
Making sure you’ve answered the customer’s questions or resolved the
customer’s issue can be conversationally asked several different ways
("Anything else?", "What other questions do you have for me?", "Is that
going to do it for you today?", "What else can I do for you?", etc.).
This allows the CSR to engage the individual customer with their own
style based on the interaction, while adhering to the principle of
offering to help with other questions or needs. Making every CSR use
the same, "Is there anything else I can help you with today?"
can become a negative for the customer and the CSR. You’re driving
adherence to a principle (i.e. make sure you’ve resolved the customer’s
questions) not a script.