Why Call Center Quality Assurance is Important

Call centers handle thousands of interactions with their customers.  For call center personnel, that call is their product.  As with any product on the market, consistency is one of the keys to product longevity.  Take fast food for example.  When you order a hamburger from McDonald’s, it is the same whether you purchase it in Chicago or Los Angeles; it will be a .10 lb. hamburger patty, cooked on a grill with a bun, ketchup, mustard, two pickles and rehydrated onions.  McDonald’s brand depends on consistency through quality.

Call centers should be no different in creating top quality interactions with customers through meeting their customers’ needs.  Quality service is synonymous with customer satisfaction.

Here are some tips for maintaining quality assurance in call centers:

  • Hire a quality assurance specialist to design and build a comprehensive QA process.  The QA department should be managed separately from the call center. When quality is managed by the call center, it can lead to subjectivity in the evaluation. A QA specialist will independently measure agent quality against an agreed upon standard to provide the call center manager with data to develop the appropriate corrective action plans.
  • Grade calls using a call scoring legend and evaluation form.  A call scoring legend should consist of all critical points to be checked on a call and tie to the evaluation form fields and weighting. Both the scoring legend and evaluation form should be reviewed and agreed upon by the key company decision makers.  All call center personnel should be trained on the call scoring legend and evaluation form so that all involved understand expectations of call handling.  Regularly scheduled collaborative calibration sessions are important to maintaining a consistent quality standard within a call center.
  • The sample size is important. When managing call center agents, performance data is necessary when developing agent action plans. If you are only evaluating an agent a one or two times per month, it could take three or four months before being able to discover trends.  Target six or more evaluations per month to give managers the necessary data to identify performance trends to correct or provide praise for.
  • Monitoring quality remotely provides a more accurate picture of what is going on.  Some call centers monitor quality via side-by-sides. This is a great way to provide feedback as the call is fresh on everyone’s mind. However, agents tend to be on their best behavior if they know they are being evaluated. Remote monitoring or monitoring recorded calls are more effective because call center management receives insight on agent performance based on QA evaluations that were scored without the agent’s knowledge.

Quality is key to the success of the organization, the agent’s success, and the customer’s satisfaction.