In the first post of our series we explored the pros and cons of having front line supervisors be the Quality Assessment (QA) analyst and call coaches. Rather than burdening an already loaded supervisory staff with the taks of QA, some companies choose to utilize a dedicated QA individual or team. As with the supervisors, there are pros and cons to this choice.
Having a dedicated QA analyst or team had advantages.
- A dedicated QA function generally ensures that the call analysis will receive greater time and attention. A good QA analyst will not only listen for the quality of the CSR's performance but also mine the calls for more information and detail. That detail can sometimes surface policy or procedural issues which can increase productivity and reduce costs.
- As a result of the increased focus, the resulting data will tend to be more reliable. For companies who utilize QA data for performance management, this reliability can be crucial in ensuring that your process will meet necessary HR standards.
- Because QA analysts do not have direct supervisory role with the CSR, the possibility of bias due to personality issues or performance issues outside of the call is greatly diminished.
Having a dedicated QA analyst role is not always a slam-dunk, either.
- Because the QA analyst or team is typically not on the phones, they are less knowledgable of the day-to-day issues facing CSRs on the call floor. While this lends itself to objectivity, it may be more difficult in call coaching situations when the CSR questions the QA coach's knowledge or experience.
- A QA analyst can easily create contention in the call center. Supervisors and QA analysts find themselves at odds as the supervisor feels the need to "defend" their CSRs and raise their team's quality scores. Rather than working with the QA team to improve CSR performance, supervisors regularly see the QA team as overly critical grinches who are making them (and their team) look bad.
- For call centers strapped to stay adequately staffed, there simply not be resources available for a dedicated QA function.
Is there a compromise? Some companies opt for a hybrid approach and others choose to hire a 3rd party. We explore both options in the continuation of this series.