When it comes to call centers and Quality Assurance (QA) Connie Smith over at the Envision blog is a steady stream of great questions, answers and encouragement. Perhaps it’s the new year and all the initiatives that come with it, but it seems many companies are revisiting their quality and coaching forms. I’ve been getting calls and e-mails with questions and it sounds like Connie is, as well.
So, here are a couple of common points I’ve been covering with clients and readers:
- Less is not always better. You may think that it would be incredibly efficient to have a quality form with only three things on it, but you’ll end up with an inadequate picture of quality. You’ll also create all sorts of internal conflicts as people struggle to fit fifty core behaviors into three definitions and then CSRs try to decipher what it all means. Several well-defined behaviors are easier and quicker to score than a handful of vague references. One client I spoke with has a nice, short one-page form, but they have a 300 page definition document (I’m not kidding) that call scorers must pour over like QA attorneys trying to interpret it.
- Behaviors aren’t equally important to the customer. Many forms I’ve seen are set up to equally weight each behavior. So, if the CSR doesn’t say "How may I help you?" in the Greeting, the consequence is the same as if he "Criticized or Denigrated the Customer". I think that we’d all agree that the latter would have a greater negative effect on Customer Satisfaction as the former. Make sure you weight your form so that the behaviors which have a great impact on Customer Satisfaction (do you know what your customers expect when they call?) have a greater weight in the calculation of Overall Service.
- Not Applicable is Applicable. It’s another common mistake to give CSRs credit for behavioral elements that were not applicable to the phone call. What if your high school Geometry teacher gave you a 100 point test with 25 Geometry questions and 75 Calculus questions then told you to skip the Calculus questions because the didn’t pertain to you. You missed 12 of the Geometry questions, but because the teacher gave you credit for all the Calculus questions you end up with an 88! That might be great for your grade, but it certainly doesn’t accurately reflect your performance. Giving credit for non-applicable elements similarly inflates QA scores, adds "noise" to the data, distorts your outcomes and undermines the objectivity of your entire quality program.