The Do’s and the Don’ts of Contact Centre Quality Monitoring
Author: Simon Black | Date: 06/02/2023
94% of consumers claim that a positive customer service experience would make them more likely to purchase from a company again.1 Customer service has the power to make or break a business, so it’s important to ensure all quality monitoring policies, performance management strategies, and analysis tools are up to scratch.
Contact centre quality monitoring typically involves tracking and evaluating customer service performance and customer satisfaction, with the aim of improving them and ensuring contact centre QA (quality assurance).
Quality monitoring has the potential to transform processes across your organisation, especially when supported by the right software. Effective quality monitoring can lead to:
- Improved first-time resolution (FTR) rates
- Reduced customer waiting times
- Improved customer loyalty
- Better contact centre staff retention
- Improved compliance
In this article, we’ll run through some of the dos and don’ts of contact centre quality monitoring, and explore how you can make your customer service the best it can be. Let’s dive in.
Suggested reading: Effective quality monitoring is just one way to improve efficiency. Read our latest eBook, Improve Your Contact Centre Efficiency, to discover how else you can optimise your contact centre operations.
Don’t: Sink time into manual quality assurance checks
Although quality assurance is one of the most important processes a contact centre will follow. 46% of call centre operators recognise that their quality assurance processes are still ‘developing’, with 27% using ‘basic’ or ‘somewhat’ basic processes.2
A basic quality assurance process typically involves:
- Assessing agent calls one by one, or even at random
- Identifying moments where agents have been unable to support customers adequately
- Using these insights to inform future training sessions or discussions with agents
Not only is this process highly inefficient and based on a small sample size, it is also prone to error and missed insights. Picking calls or reviews at random is often misleading, time-consuming, and can even be considered unethical if agents are penalised for a one-off unsuccessful call.
Random quality assurance checks mean that managers never get an accurate picture of agent performance or customer satisfaction, and lack clear insights into where improvements can be made. This time consuming process can impact other areas of a business by diverting key resources away from agent training and onboarding.
Ultimately, slow, manual quality assurance checks will lead to a less compliant and more costly contact centre.
Do: Automate your quality assurance
You can build a call centre quality assurance process that begins from the very moment an interaction starts, be that a call, chat or email. Automated quality assurance tools allow managers to assess each and every customer interaction, and ensure that all required standards are met — without involving time-consuming manual checks.
Quality assurance software works by using score cards to assess calls against specific regulations or standards, which can be customised based on the needs of the contact centre using it. This allows managers to easily assess how their agents are performing, and extract specific use cases and insights as and when required.
Automated quality assurance tools also have the benefit of providing large amounts of data in a compact and readable format. You can easily see whether core targets are being met, and tailor operations decisions accordingly. When used in conjunction with other post-call analytics features, quality assurance software can be a powerful way to reach and outperform contact centre KPIs.
Don’t: Schedule generic reviews with all agents
A key element of improving customer satisfaction is agent satisfaction. The more content your agents are, the better they will perform. This makes it critical to understand the factors that lead to agent satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
Many companies approach this by scheduling regular reviews between agents and their managers or team leads. But conducting such meetings with all call centre staff is often an inefficient use of time, and can place pressure on other parts of your business.
With so many agents to cover, managers will waste time looking for issues that don’t exist with high-performing agents, while not having enough time to help those who are genuinely struggling. Unless a manager has clear visibility over each agent’s productivity and areas for improvement, these sessions will almost always be ineffective.
Do: Conduct personalised reviews based on performance
By organising agent reviews based on performance, you can optimise your time and support those agents who most need help. This approach helps get to the root causes of over or underperformance, and helps you gain clearer insights, solve agent difficulties, and drive improvements across your team.
Speech analytics tools are a simple way to give managers effective insight into their agents’ performance. These tools are able to capture data from every call, message, and email, and summarise it into relevant dashboards. This can be particularly helpful in pinpointing which agents would best benefit from a review, and what additional support they require.
This isn’t to say that high-performing agents should be ignored. They will be able to receive feedback, and, even better, receive feedback that is relevant to them. With the right tools in place, managers will be able to easily access specific statistics and call examples, and ensure quality assurance standards are consistently being met.
See for yourself how contact centres leveraging Awaken’s speech analytics tools are experiencing 300% increases in profitability.
Don’t: Uniform agent coaching
Agent performance reviews and coaching go hand in hand. Together, these systems help agents to maximise their skills and ensure the best possible outcomes for customers.
With the right coaching, your agents will be able to:
- Respond to a range of customer queries and issues
- Understand your company’s products and services inside out
- Navigate internal systems and software with ease
- Fine-tune their soft skills
- Ensure that first contact resolutions (FCRs) increase, and quality assurance standards are met
In many businesses, however, coaching is delivered on a uniform, one-size-fits-all basis.
Every agent receives the same training at the same time, regardless of their individual needs. But as we all know, every agent is different, with unique skill sets and levels of experience. This uniform agent coaching strategy is both inefficient and ineffective, with 58% of agents feeling they get very little out of their contact centre coaching.3
Do: Targeted agent coaching
By offering targeted customer service coaching, you can focus on improving agent skills on an individual level. Again, speech analytics tools can be incredibly helpful in allowing you to pinpoint what areas your agents might need to improve.
For example, you might have an agent who has deep knowledge of your core products and internal systems, but is still struggling to reach their FCR targets. Using speech analytics tools and dashboards, you can recognise that this is because they struggle to keep customers calm during calls. Instead of wasting time with generalised training, you can share relevant resources or provide one-on-one coaching to help the agent improve.
Personalised coaching plans are an effective way to close skills gaps, and can result in:
- More effective and efficient coaching
- Happier, better-equipped agents
- Lower coaching costs
- A superior customer experience with better FCRs and fewer escalations
Streamlining agent coaching is also an effective way to reduce churn rates, which average between 30% and 45% globally.4 Agents who feel that their skills are improving and that they are a valued member of their team are likely to stay in their role longer, and perform better over time.
Suggested reading: Offering consistently outstanding customer service is a competitive advantage. To find out how technology can help you, read our article: How Real-Time Agent Guidance is Transforming Customer Service Outcomes.
Don’t: Leave compliance breaches unresolved
Building contact centre compliance is an essential part of quality monitoring. With the maximum fine for data protection non-compliance under the UK GDPR reaching £17.5 million or 4% of annual turnover, whichever is highest, companies simply cannot afford to let standards slip.5
Yet despite the huge risks, roughly 50% of contact centres are still monitoring performance manually, relying on one-off checks from managers or team leaders.6 As a result, many instances of accidental non-compliance go unreported, especially in companies with high call volumes.
Where sensitive data is concerned, there is no room for error. If a business has no automated processes in place for call quality management, chances are that compliance breaches will slip under the radar, and re-emerge later down the line in the form of customer lawsuits or government fines.
The cost of letting compliance breaches go unreported is potentially huge — not just financially, but also in terms of reputation, customer satisfaction, and agent morale.
Do: Employ analytics and guidance tools
Speech and voice analytics can be used to monitor and analyse calls — not just for agent performance, but also for potential compliance breaches. When compliance is at high risk of being breached, these systems can alert managers in real-time, allowing them to intervene and prevent quality assurance standards from slipping.
Analytics tools can be especially effective when used in conjunction with agent guidance software, which is able to not only identify compliance breaches, but prevent them. With agent guidance, contact centre staff are led through each step of a customer interaction, whether on social media, the phone, or through a website, ensuring that they are maintaining compliance at all times.
Both of these quality assurance tools are highly customisable, following different regulations depending on where a contact centre is located and what quality assurance standards it follows. Awaken’s insurance conversation analytics tool, for example, adheres to GDPR, PCI-DSS, and FCA regulations, maintaining contact centre compliance across 70% of customer calls.
Don’t: Manually review information from disparate systems
Some 59.6% of contact centres use, or want to use, speech and analytics tools.7 But these tools aren’t always easy to navigate, and can even be inaccurate. This makes it harder for call centres to extract truly relevant insights from their data, as valuable time is wasted assessing inaccurate information.
There are several other downsides to collecting information from multiple systems, or straight from your telephony provider:
- Poor ROI: You may be paying for an analytics tool, but are unable to extract useful information from it and therefore are not achieving a ROI.
- Lack of guidance: Without accurate, data-driven insights, you will be unable to constructively guide your agents and improve performance.
- Difficulty sharing information: Both agents and managers benefit from analytics. Siloed systems will make it hard to share information and demonstrate where improvements are necessary.
If your data for FCR rates is kept separate from data about customer satisfaction and loyalty, for example, it can be difficult to see how one data point influences the other. This ultimately makes quality monitoring less effective as you don’t have a clear picture of where your agents are succeeding and where they could improve.
With 61% of customers saying they would switch to a new brand after a bad customer service experience, allowing contact centre insights to go to waste can have a real impact on the number of businesses employing your service.8
Do: Use visual dashboards and data insights
The key to effective quality monitoring is to use software tools with user-friendly, highly visual dashboards. This allows you to see all relevant data in one place, and understand insights in a broader, more interconnected context. For agents, it makes the process of receiving automated guidance smoother and more intuitive.
A good analytics dashboard should include:
- Daily call data breakdowns
- Visualisation of week-on-week or month-on-month changes
- Agent-specific dashboards
- High-accuracy data
- Tangible ROI
Granted, overhauling your current systems might involve additional one-off costs. But in the long term, better tech pays for itself by vastly improving your quality assurance standards, agent performance, and ultimately, customer satisfaction.
Optimise your quality monitoring with Awaken
At Awaken, we’ve pooled decades’ worth of contact centre experience to build a suite of industry-leading, cloud-based tools, including speech and voice analytics, agent guidance, scripting, and translation.
Together, these tools provide you with the data, insights, and guidance you need to optimise your quality monitoring processes — and subsequently improve customer service outcomes.
To find out how Awaken could help transform your contact centre quality monitoring, book a free demo today.