(S=OH-C2) Relativity in QA

I’ve noticed a pattern while sitting in on calibration sessions with various clients. It’s my theory of relativity in QA. Scores (S) are the result (=) of avoiding two potential conflicts (-C2).

The two critical factors in the equation are:

  • Outcome (O) – You make a decision on a behavioral element based on the resulting outcome. For example, you’re scoring a call and the CSR’s voice tone was really flat and robotic. You’re considering "dinging" them on this behavioral element, but you then check to find that marking them down will result in the Overall Service Score being 89.9. If that happens, the CSR won’t make their incentive. If they don’t make their incentive they will be upset and argue the point. You don’t want to deal with the conflict so you figure you’ll "just give it to them".
  • History (H) – Let’s say that you’re analyzing a call and the CSR was impatient and interruptive with the customer. You should really "ding" them for this, but once again you know that it will probably result in a confrontation with the CSR. Then you remember that, in the past, the CSR was much worse. So, since their behavior is a relative improvement over past behavior – you "just give it to them".

The problem with both of these scenarios is that you destroy the objectivity of the process and the credibility of your program. The decision of whether to give credit or mark down on a particular behavioral element should be a simple consideration of the standards or the behaviors you’re attempting to drive with the QA scale for that particular element. Factoring in the resulting scores or the CSR’s past behavior turns an objective decision into a relative decision based on criteria outside the scope of the QA scale.

  2 comments for “(S=OH-C2) Relativity in QA

  1. December 5, 2006 at 11:36 am

    Calibration credibility and objectivity are crucial to the overall success of your quality program. Here are two things you can do to ensure the integrity of calibration.
    1.Have clear definitions of what it takes to accomplish each skill. This is especially important when dealing with soft skills. With “empathy” for example, your definition might read something like “Convey understanding, helpfulness and concern when customer is inconvenienced or shares an empathetic experience by acknowledging the callers emotion by expressing empathy through words or through acknowledging statements.” When evaluating based on this definition, the evaluator will be looking specifically for acknowledging statements such as “I’m so sorry that happened to you.”
    2.Score subjective skills such as empathy on a 3 tier basis. Did not demonstrate the skill = zero points, Developing the skill = partial points and Mastered the skill = maximum points. This type of scoring along with a good definition takes some of the subjectivity out of the equation and back to the task at hand. Did the agent, on this call, this time, accomplish this skill?

  2. February 23, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    Outcome & History in Calibration

    This week, Tom Vander Well wrote a great blog entry about the role of history and outcomes in

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