“Our quality management processes are disconnected. Agents must go to too many places to understand how they are doing.”
“Supervisors and managers are spending too much time trying to understand where agents need support – and can’t take quick action.”
“Quality is critical to customer retention and minimizing service penalties, but we don’t have an easy way to manage it.”
Does any of this sound familiar? It just might – these are some of the comments we hear from BPO and contact center leaders when it comes to quality management processes. There is no question that effective quality monitoring practices are integral to driving customer satisfaction and retention. But the process has largely been transactional, reactionary, fragmented, and painstakingly tedious for everyone involved, which minimizes its value and impact.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is technology that can improve the process for quality assurance managers, as well as supervisors, agents, and operations leaders. Centrical is taking quality assurance to a new level, making the process dynamic, personalized, actionable, and gamified, so that organizations can reap the full benefit that effective quality assurance programs bring. And because it’s part of a holistic solution for managing the employee performance experience, the impact extends further than traditional programs.
The quality monitoring evaluation process and scoring serve as a diagnostic tool to help determine areas for skills improvement, compliance adherence, and determine training opportunities. The quality assurance manager evaluates agents’ interactions with customers and sends the scores to the supervisor. Ideally, the supervisor takes the scores and speaks to the employee, giving needed coaching and training. This ultimately boosts customer retention and satisfaction.
Sounds good, right?
Well, in theory, yes. But as we said above, the traditional approach to quality assurance is riddled with issues.
A static process
The process of monitoring, evaluating, and sharing scores is often transactional, point A to point B passing of information, with no recommendations, action items, or guidance. Supervisors ideally will use the information and coach the employee. But this is usually one-directional, with no place for discussion about the quality assurance manager’s findings, contextual rationale, or really, any type of feedback loop. When feedback is provided, disputes and calibration processes are time-consuming.
A one-size-fits-all approach
Evaluation forms tend to be standard forms, with one structure following a uniform set of protocols and guidelines. For instance, a new hire (potentially also new to the industry) will be held to the same standards as a veteran agent. Conversely, that veteran agent is potentially being monitored with the same frequency as the new hire.
Lack of transparency
Employees will often have no insight into the findings of their quality assurance monitoring until they have a scheduled coaching session with their supervisor. This coaching session might not go in the right direction if the supervisor doesn’t have a holistic, contextual view of the opportunity areas or any guidance on recommending actionable next steps. Additionally, these coaching sessions could be scheduled weeks out. When coaching isn’t delivered right away, this can result in agents repeating mistakes and prolonging issues until they are addressed.
Discord and disconnect
Quality assurance evaluations can live anywhere, and it can be difficult for an agent to proactively examine their own scores and understand where they need improvement. These evaluations also lack context and root causes, such as training gaps (e.g., explaining why an agent continually puts customers on hold). Additionally, when there is no transparency in scoring, they might consider their score to be unfair, leaving them feeling defeated, disengaged, and unmotivated. When this happens too much, it can contribute to a negative impact on engagement and ultimately contribute to already-high attrition rates.
A transactional day for quality assurance managers
The quality assurance manager’s day can be on the tough and tedious side. Analysts tend to evaluate, note, and submit (then lather, rinse, repeat) in a vacuum. Transactional, reactive processes and the lack of a feedback loop and intrinsic and extrinsic motivators can lead to boredom and derail motivation and engagement.
Centrical takes a modern approach to quality monitoring and evaluations to better engage quality assurance teams, supervisors, and agents in a continuous feedback loop that drives continuous improvement. The process is dynamic, proactive, personalized, actionable, and gamified. Our approach to quality assurance is also integrated as part of a holistic employee performance experience, that supports real-time coaching and performance management, adaptive microlearning, voice of the employee and other strategies that drive both EX and CX.
An evolved evaluation form
Evaluation forms will always be a part of the process, but using the right form is key. Our approach enables QM managers to ditch the standard approach and support their clients and processes across channels with customizable, scalable forms. Quality assurance managers have a number of options available, including:
Quality assurance managers may also add instructions and guidelines for evaluators on the forms that include guidelines to follow when scoring. This helps ensure consistency between evaluators and supervisors and minimizes disputes.
Standardized forms also enable better quality assurance tracking later on when looking for common (and critical) errors. Evaluations are also editable, which helps with the feedback loop after supervisors and agents have a post-evaluation coaching session, which we’ll go into.
Customizable evaluation forms
Personalization and scale
The Centrical platform enables smart segmentation, which takes into account employees’ tenure, performance history, knowledge, and other criteria to ensure the proper cadence of evaluations. This tailored approach gives a better idea of evaluation expectations and monitor cadence – and can be customized across various clients in the BPO setting. This way, employees are monitored at an appropriate cadence (e.g. twice a week for new hires and twice a month for longer-term employees). Agents are also scored on relevant areas, enabling better coaching and training recommendations.
Identifying the root cause of errors and failure is essential to help agents improve. But the process can be cumbersome. Our approach enables better, more efficient analysis to identify common issues and recommend the best, most appropriate training and coaching. When the form is submitted by the evaluator, the supervisor and agent will not only be able to see the score but also the rationale behind it – which leads to more productive coaching and targeted training. Let’s say that Amy, a customer service agent, received a lower score on her evaluation and failed an area. Amy’s supervisor speaks with her, and the discussion reveals the context around the errors and the root cause behind the failure. Amy’s supervisor can edit the evaluation, remove the failure, and add comments. The supervisor then recommends the training that Amy needs and sends that microlearning module automatically. This “single pane of glass” approach is inclusive, integrated, and lends itself to constructive, productive discussions and better outcomes.
A gamified approach
Quality assurance managers like to have fun like everyone else! A gamified approach helps to alleviate the tedious, transactional, and disconnected nature of the role. Like agents, quality assurance managers can turn their work into a game, with KPIs for completing required evaluations that can earn them redeemable points, to keep them motivated and engaged.
Manage and track employee progress
QM is a critical element for any large organization, especially in BPOs and enterprise contact centers. While the process typically measures internal factors, such as compliance and regulatory adherence, the ultimate outcome is to provide an outstanding customer experience and to retain customers. To optimize the full value that quality management can provide to the overall organization and its customers, the process must be personalized, dynamic, integrated, and actionable. Below is a quick recap of how the Centrical platform enables this:
The QA Team: Personalizing and Scaling
Supervisors: Driving Greater Coaching Impact
Employees: Ownership of Success
Operations: Discovery and Risk Mitigation
Employees can own their progress and success
Ready to get started? Learn more about how the Centrical platform can modernize your quality assurance processes by requesting your personalized demo today. One of our engagement experts will walk you through the complete experience, from quality assurance capabilities to augmented coaching to targeted learning. Speaking of learning, we invite you to learn more about how your organization can leverage generative AI to transform your how you create training content with the ability to create microlearning content and quizzes in mere seconds with our new capability, AI Microlearning, powered by ChatGPT.