I read a post a week or two ago that stuck with me because I found it so off-target. The author, consultant and lecturer argued against any kind of QA process as if it was akin to the inquisition (granted, I’ve met some QA coaches who would make great Inquisitors). In this person’s prescription for success, Businesses should forget accountability and do away with expectations. To paraphrase, their creed is "give your front-line employees the empowerment to ‘delight’ the customer and unleash them to do so". In their happy little world the front line will immediately smile and do all the right things to delight the customer.
I wonder if this person is an academic. They certainly have never managed a call center.
Yesterday I had a wonderful lunch with a veteran call center manager. She told me about a team she led that seemed never to do what was expected, until the company provided a financial incentive. Her story reminded me of a grumpy, negative, angry-at-life CSR whom I once coached. This person was belligerent and combative with both me and the customers. Then one month I began analyzing this persons calls and it was like they had changed over night. They were doing everything I had been pleading with them for years to do. I anxiously approached the next coaching session, curious about what had prompted the sudden change. The company had attached a sizable monetary bonus to the CSR’s annual quality scores. "I want the money" they said with a scowl.
While both of these stories appall me as a person, they illustrate why Quality Assessment is, indeed, necessary. Call Centers aren’t located in Nirvana, and most human beings aren’t naturally motivated or equipped to "delight" customers just because they are given the empowerment to do so.