BPA Featured Article

Before You Monitor for Quality, Define "Quality"

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
June 01, 2017

While the process of call monitoring in a contact center through call recording is fairly easy today with the right solution, there’s a lot more to quality monitoring than simply recording calls. Now that you’ve got them, what do you do with them? Who listens to them, and how many of them? Where do you store them? What are you actually listening for…has your organization defined what “quality” means to you?

“The aim of quality monitoring from an operational point of view is to identify the calls failing to meet predefined standards and get to the root cause of why,” wrote Craig Pumfrey for CallCentreHelper. “You can then make informed decisions to make the process better, faster and quicker.”

Your quality program, whether it’s in-house or through a third-party remote call monitoring partner, can collect the calls for you and help you organize, distribute and search for relevant calls. But before you do this, you need a solid process in place to define what constitutes a quality customer interaction and what you are measuring. If you’re focusing on keeping calls short regardless of whether the customer has been helped, for example, you’re not really focusing on quality. Prepare a template for different kinds of calls that include whether agents are mastering the greeting, the listening to the customers’ problems, the actions they take toward resolution and the follow-up results.

In addition, leaving the process to the random whims of individual managers isn’t a great idea, because your quality monitoring will have no consistency, and agents will perceive it as unfair. Regular calibration sessions that involve all managers, supervisors and quality personnel are necessary to create and preserve quality standards.

Some experts recommend that you involve teams of agents in the process of defining a quality customer interaction in order to get the “buy in” of rank and file contact center workers and help them feel empowered by the process.

“This could be particularly useful if you mutually create a checklist of things that need to be improved,” wrote Pumfrey. “Doing this will allow agents to share their ideas of what they want and feel the need to improve, so you can be mindful of those areas when you next monitor their calls.”

It also helps to emphasize that quality monitoring is not a punitive process, but rather an activity that benefits everyone in the organization. Rather than putting a strict “top down” process in place, consider creating a process that can be continually refined with agent feedback.

“Monitoring that is collaborative rather than prescriptive, inclusive rather than authoritarian, is likely to lead to more acceptance and cooperation,” wrote Pumfrey. “Most advisors find it helpful to know what the company expects of them and why their calls are important to the business and its customers.”

Seeking the assistance of a third-party remote call monitoring partner can help you define your parameters, put a strong monitoring system into place, calibrate the process, listen to the right number of calls and interpret your results properly. 

Edited by Alicia Young