Call Center QA in the Digital Age: How to Do More with Less and Achieve Better Results
In many companies, the old way of doing call center QA is still the way.
- Pull a few random interactions each week.
- Score performance based on how well a call center QA leader believes the agent has adhered to the brand’s service standards.
- Bring the agent in for periodic reviews; offer general observations and advice.
- Get pushback from agents who disagree with their scores.
What do brands get in return for all this busy-ness? Low morale, high churn, high operating costs, and a negligible (or negative) impact on agent performance and customer satisfaction.
Let’s face it: the old way of doing QA is broken.
If you’re tired of spinning your wheels and getting nowhere, it’s time to upgrade to a more efficient, more powerful QA model. This new model has two basic components: a real-time VoC data stream and a digital QA platform, both integrated with the CRM platform. Once it’s up and running, this model will forever change how you do and view QA.
We’ve witnessed firsthand how well QA can work and what it can do for customer service operations and brands. You’ll be surprised how easily, and how much, a simple change in setup can jump-start your progress.
Why Is Old-School Call Center QA So Dysfunctional?
The biggest problem with traditional QA is insufficient data. Call center QA leaders fly blind, choosing at random a few calls per agent to evaluate and score. Out of hundreds of contacts in a given week, what are the chances that two or three calls are representative of an agent’s overall performance?
It’s also impossible to determine which agents need more help. QA leaders take a one-size-fits-all approach, subjecting every agent to the same number of audits and QA reviews. Not only is this approach a waste of resources, but it’s a real downer for top performers. And struggling agents don’t get the extra support they need.
Then there’s the issue of relevance. When agents earn high scores based on behaviors customers don’t care about, or customer concerns aren’t reflected on the scorecard, QA isn’t delivering much value. Is the brand’s definition of quality the same as the customer’s? Without enough of the right kind of data, there’s no way to answer that question.
To Drive Results with QA, Use Customer Data as Fuel
Customer feedback, delivered in real time to the front line, has big benefits for customer service teams. With unheard-of response rates of 30–50%, agent-level feedback offers unparalleled visibility into agents’ performance. Even a large QA team working overtime couldn’t achieve this level of insight.
A VoC data stream not only simplifies the QA process, but also helps agents and QA leaders see eye to eye—a big cultural shift in the contact center. The end result is a much more precise and effective performance management tool.
Enlightened agents are invested in the QA process
It’s one thing to hear from a manager that you need to improve, it’s another thing altogether to hear directly from the source – a customer. As customer ratings, comments, and areas of excellence/improvement flow into their individual dashboards, agents can see at a glance what they’re doing well and what performance issues they need to work on. This feedback motivates agents to self-correct; more importantly, agents and QA leaders are united in their concern for meeting customers’ service standards.
When agents receive low ratings they don’t understand, they take steps to troubleshoot the problem and avoid it in the future. They come to QA reviews with a collaborative mindset, prepared to discuss tricky interactions and get actionable advice. With access to the same performance data, both agents and QA leaders know what to expect. Meetings are cordial, productive, and valuable.
Additionally, with the right QA tool and agent coaching dashboards, QA can become something that enables everyone to be their best selves. The right set up can actually improve team dynamics, as opposed to acting as a stream of negative feedback.
Empowered call center QA leaders optimize results
Front-line VoC data eliminates random, across-the-board QA practices. QA leaders can zero in on teams, agents, performance issues, and specific interactions that are highest priority.
- Through their company trends dashboards, QA leaders can immediately determine which teams are ranked lowest, which have the highest number of negative interactions, and which are most in decline. From there, they can click through to team trends and individual agent dashboards and use specific filters to find interactions in need of review.
- QA leaders can receive notifications of negative customer ratings (1- or 2-star). Alerts can be customized to include any number of criteria including CRM tags, areas of excellence or improvement, and keywords that appear in customer comments.
- During formal reviews, QA leaders can point to agents’ current performance, how it has trended over time, and how it compares with that of other agents. This macro data, presented in conjunction with micro data (individual interactions), gives agents a better sense of where they stand and makes it easy to set performance goals.
Keep the QA Process Running at Its Peak
The QA process should be perfectly aligned, at all times, with what’s happening on the front line. As agents’ customer ratings move up and down, and new performance issues surface, call center QA leaders need the ability to ensure so no time is wasted and no agents fall through the cracks.
You can eliminate those costly inefficiencies and gaps by pairing front-line feedback with an automated QA management program like MaestroQA.
As VoC data drive and recalibrate QA in real time, the QA platform streamlines the process by making it less burdensome. Customizable alerts and easy scheduling tools allow QA leaders to eliminate time-consuming manual functions and ensure each agent is receiving the right number of audits at any given time.
Data, Automation, and Adaptability: The Future of Call Center QA Is Here
Digital platforms that allow call center QA leaders to easily monitor performance and allocate their time wisely not only reduce operational burdens, but unleash the potential of front-line teams. Working in sync, these tools remove traditional barriers to progress and generate meaningful, measurable results.