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Initial Processes of How a Contact Center Ensures Quality Service (Part 2 of 3)

By: Audrey B.

This is the second article in our three part series tackling quality control in the call center business.  Often times, a business’ prestige relies on the quality of service that it is able to provide.  Consumers are known to choose certain products or services solely based on their experience in interacting with the company.  As the call center is often, if not the only, form of direct interaction a company has with its customers, then many consumers base purchasing decisions on how well their call was handled when they contacted the center whether it’s when they bought a product online, or when they called customer support to complain about a product.

Call monitoring is one aspect that is important for a call center to have, whether this is done by a supervisor or a quality assurance team depends on available resources.  As mentioned in the previous blog, call recordings are one way of monitoring customer calls.  But before one can do so, it is important first to consider some considerations.  Depending on the type of information that will be provided during the calls, it is a good idea to have scripts which will serve as a guide.  These scripts could include greeting the customer, introducing themselves, asking how they can help, asking for the relevant information, and asking if there is anything else they can help with.  Take note that this is only an example of the general flow of conversation that should be included in the script.  This helps make sure that all your people have an idea of how to interact with your customers, while giving enough leeway to interact more closely with the customer with comments or questions such as asking how the customer’s day is going.  One thing customer’s hate more than anything are robotic call center personnel, so having a loose script that still covers the basic information to provide or ask for is important.

Once a script has been made, listening in on calls is then an important aspect to consider.  There are several ways of approaching this and a mix of all or a few of these is advisable.  First is recording all calls that come in or are made out.  Recording these calls have numerous advantages which include having the ability to look back on points of contention on information provided during a call, having the ability to check personnel’s performance, as well as to be able to analyze calls to improve quality performance.  Of course, the drawback on relying solely on call recordings is that the feedback process is slower since recordings have to be pulled and listened to first after the call, drastically decreasing reaction times for mishandled calls.

Aside from call recordings, there are also ‘side by side’s’ or ‘buddy up’s’ which can be done, wherein a supervisor listens in on a call right beside one of his/her personnel, listening on the call while watching as the information is encoded onto the computer.  This helps track not just the quality of the call but also the quality of the information gathered during the call.  It is also a good way to track adherence to policies and procedures a center has in place in terms of the information gathered from customers.  The advantage of ‘side by side’s’ is that it allows close to real time feedback on the call, wherein a supervisor may provide instruction and feedback during or right after the call.  This helps catch errors on the part of the call center personnel.

Lastly, call centers can also employ remote real time monitoring wherein supervisors or quality assurance personnel monitor the call from a remote work station often unbeknownst to the call center personnel.  This helps keep personnel on their toes as they do not know when their calls are being monitored, unlike in side by side’s where they are aware that their supervisor is listening in.

Any call center worth its salt employs a mix of these three, and sometimes more, in order to monitor performance and ensure that a high quality of calls are maintained.  Of course monitoring is just one aspect and other details such as metrics, and coaching sessions which help keep quality at the utmost importance in the long run.  Remember that whatever the purpose of the center, it is usually ‘first call resolution’ or ‘first call delivery’ that is the goal, affording the center an air of accessibility, efficiency and reliability.