The Heart of a True QA Pro

Call_centerI was touched by Ann Onimous’ open letter to her call center. I’ve communicated with Ann on multiple occasions and I’ve come to appreciate her as a consumate QA professional. More importantly, I’ve come to know the heart with which she approaches her life, as well as her call analysis.

Her words could have come from the heart and lips of many true QA professionals I’m privileged to know:

A (somewhat) open letter to my call center
It’s somewhat open because no one in my call center knows this blog exists, but I have a few things I’d like to get off my chest.

It’s a smaller call center, so I know almost every one of you.  I know how hard it is to do the job that you do, day in, day out.  I respect each and every one of you for the job that you do.  As a QA rep, you make my job quite easy: well, most of the time, anyway.

Despite rumors to the contrary, I am not out to get anyone.  I am not constantly on the prowl, waiting for you to slip up.  On a perfect day, we’d have a 100% QA average.  But, in my years of QA, that hasn’t happened.  I doubt it will happen.  We’re all human.  I hear mistakes every single day, and my job is to send them up the ladder.  It hurts when I have to do that.  I hate to see any one of you do badly on anything.

I have to answer to our customers, just like you do.  I have to make sure that they are taken care of.  If on the rare occasion that you mess up, it’s my job to help pick up the pieces.  I take customer service personally.  I have to.  The customer pays our bills.  Without them, none of us would have a job.  I get upset when a customer is treated badly.  I can’t ask why, though.  The customer doesn’t care.  They have a problem, and expect it to be solved. 

I have to answer to management.  When the collective QA scores go up or down, I have to be able to explain why.  Our weekly calibration sessions ensure that my scores are accurate.  Management does not want to, and should not have to, pay out bonuses to people who are not doing their job correctly.

Most importantly, I have to answer to you.  You are my customers as well.  I have to be fair to you.  I have to be able to admit when I have made a mistake, and be willing to fix it.  And, believe me, I make a lot of mistakes.  I am so proud when I see that a customer has given you a glowing compliment. 

I hear lots of crazy, personal things too.  Believe me, I don’t want to hear them.  Some things I just don’t want to know about.  But that ends with me.  I forget about it and move on. 

You guys are on the front line, and the voices of our company.  I have to make sure that voice is strong, confident, and willing to help.  Thank you for sharing your strengths with us each and every day.  It takes all of us together to make it happen.  Keep learning, keep growing and keep sharing.

Thanks so much – for everything.

No, thank you Ann – for articulating what many of us could never put into words this well.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and citizenerased

  1 comment for “The Heart of a True QA Pro

  1. August 7, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks, Tom: for everything. You don’t know what a godsend you’ve been and continue to be. 🙂

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