Leading Practices in Quality Management

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  • Document all existing transaction procedures and policies so that the contact center staff knows the appropriate steps for handling all types of inquiries. Give examples of the right and wrong way QA specialists/supervisors can also use the procedures and policies as a standard to make sure that they are evaluating different transactions properly. It’s important to set up a process that keeps the policies and procedures up‐to‐date.
  • Specify the criteria to apply when evaluating transactions and performing evaluations. The criteria should define what QA specialists/supervisors are looking for in each type of contact center transaction. The easiest way to create criteria is to use the contact center’s documented procedures and policies and note on each the most important aspects for each type of transaction. It’s also a good idea to identify agent actions that would cause them to lose points in a quality evaluation.
  • Define the mechanics of the QA program, including who (manager, supervisor, team leader, QA specialist, trainer) is responsible for conducting evaluations, the number and frequency of evaluations, how many coaching sessions per agent per month, and how to select calls, emails and chat sessions for evaluation. (If a QA application is being used, most of the mechanics will be automated, including the transaction selection process.)
  • Training: Establish a closed‐loop training process that addresses new content, system issues, updates and agent performance issues. The trainers and QA staff must work closely together to ensure that the staff is fully trained. (In many small/mid‐sized contact centers, the same people do both QA and training.) Prior to kicking off a QA program, all contact center staff – agents, supervisors, QA specialists, trainers, managers – must be fully trained so that they know how to handle all types of customer interactions. If new or enhanced procedures and policies are drafted to support the QA program, they should be reviewed with the staff before starting the QA program. In addition to agent procedural training, it’s important to build a training program that introduces the new or enhanced QA program to the staff. The more informed the staff is about the program, the more effective the initiative.
  • Coaching: Feedback should address where agents are performing well and areas where they have opportunities to improve. Coaching is one of the critical success factors in QM programs and plays a very important role in agent satisfaction and retention. However, as it can be very challenging to provide negative feedback to agents, it’s important to train the QA staff to produce effective coaching sessions and to make sure that management delivers coaching sessions consistently.
  • Calibration is the process of teaching all people involved in performing QA evaluations how to score transactions on a consistent and equitable basis. To make a QA program fair for agents, it’s essential for all QA reviewers to agree on the meaning and value of each question in a monitoring form. To achieve consistency, it’s important to run calibration sessions where all reviewers listen to the same call, score it, identify variance in scoring approaches, reconcile their differences, and set a standard measurement that all will use going forward. The only way to reach consensus is to run calibration sessions. Calibration is an ongoing process and should be run on a monthly basis. It’s also a good idea to involve agents in the calibration process so that they can appreciate the challenges associated with consistently evaluating transactions.
  • Evaluation feedback: Provide a process to facilitate two‐way communication between agents and reviewers. Agents need to have a mechanism for responding to their quality evaluations so that they feel empowered and not “put upon.” They also need a formal process for filing complaints when they believe that a QA reviewer is not being fair or is not listening to their input. QA reviewers should welcome discourse, as it will ultimately yield a better and more effective program.
  • The best way to know if customers are satisfied with the quality of an organization’s products, services, processes and agents is to ask them. QA measures how well agents adhere to internal policies and procedures; it provides an internal view. Surveying captures the customer perspective; the external view. When survey feedback is combined with QA results the company learns what customers consider good service and specifically, which agents provide it. They also find out what processes and policies need to be changed. When done right, sharing customer survey information about agent performance can help improve quality. Agents find it helpful when they see survey results and read or hear customer feedback first‐hand. It helps them appreciate how their performance impacts customer satisfaction and the customer’s perception of their company. Customer experience monitoring is intended to provide insights into the total customer experience. Typically, contact center managers use this process to track and review interactions that have multiple segments, are put on hold, transferred, required conferences, or are repeat calls. Customer experience monitoring is done to evaluate the overall customer experience, not just call segments. Analyze how quality monitoring measures relate to what the organization is learning through customer feedback methods (such as surveys). This correlation analysis can help you see whether agents are being directed and incented to perform in ways that improve customer satisfaction.
  • Once enriched by the inclusion of customer feedback and correlation with customer satisfaction information, your quality monitoring processes will enable the contact center to become far more strategic. By sharing information, the contact center can, for example, help Marketing develop more effective campaigns, enable manufacturing or other operational areas to identify and fix problems and give corporate executives early warning of potential legal or public relations problems.
  • Customer preferences change over time; if you set quality measures and methods in concrete, they will eventually become out-of-date. Develop a culture that encourages continuous improvement of quality monitoring processes, including the gathering of information about customer satisfaction. Make sure that models and processes are well documented so that they can be more easily changed.
  • Recognizing and rewarding top performers is essential for the success of a QA program. While agents should deliver outstanding performance because it’s their job, recognizing when they do encourages them to keep up the good work and motivates others to strive for recognition, as well. Rewards do not have to be large; they could include a plaque, a parking spot, lunch with the CEO, a gift card, movie tickets, etc.
  • Leading Practices in Quality Management

    1. 1. Leading Practices in Quality Management<br />Wendy Fowler, Certified Consultant<br />
    2. 2. Wendy Fowler – Certified Consultant<br /><ul><li>As a seasoned industry expert, Wendy has a successful track record of implementing and reengineering successful, world-class call center and processes and teams for companies of all sizes.
    3. 3. In her 22 years as a customer service professional, she has held various positions responsible for all aspects of contact center operations – from CSR to call center manager to WFM director.
    4. 4. She has a clear passion for Customer Service and a talent for being able to identify opportunities quickly within an organization and provide the necessary design to make cost-effective, data driven change.</li></li></ul><li>About ICMI<br />The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), has been in business for 26 years and is a leading global provider of comprehensive resources for customer management professionals–from frontline agents to executives–who wish to improve contact center operations, empower contact center employees and enhance customer loyalty. <br />
    5. 5. Why Are We Here?<br />The purpose of this session is to:<br />Share leading practices every Quality Management (QM) Program should have.<br />Discuss the benefits of adopting these practices<br />Share information on additional resources for enhancing your QM Program.<br />
    6. 6. Practice # 1<br />Identify the strategic objective of the quality monitoring program. <br /><ul><li>ACTION:
    7. 7. Identify the company’s reasons for performing quality management processes.
    8. 8. BENEFIT:
    9. 9. Creates a strategic vision for developing and administering the QM program.
    10. 10. Ensures consistency
    11. 11. Helps manage the Cost of Quality</li></li></ul><li>Practice # 2<br />Determine and analyze the Cost of Quality (CoQ). <br /><ul><li>ACTION:
    12. 12. Analyze spending on quality, including a thorough analysis of costs per call and other factors like complaints and rework
    13. 13. BENEFIT:
    14. 14. Allows you to correlate spending with Customer Satisfaction
    15. 15. Assess where resources should be applied to gain the highest business value</li></li></ul><li>Practice # 3<br />Document policies and procedures: <br /><ul><li>ACTION:
    16. 16. Document all existing transaction policies and procedures
    17. 17. Set up a process that keeps policies and procedures up‐to‐date.
    18. 18. BENEFIT:
    19. 19. Ensures consistency among contact center staff and QA specialists/supervisors
    20. 20. Decreases errors
    21. 21. Improves training time</li></li></ul><li>Practice # 4<br />Develop QM criteria and guidelines <br /><ul><li>ACTION:
    22. 22. Specify the criteria to apply when evaluating transactions and performing evaluations
    23. 23. Provide examples of the right and wrong way to perform tasks
    24. 24. Can be incorporated as a component of policies and procedures
    25. 25. BENEFIT:
    26. 26. Provide clarity on scoring and expectations
    27. 27. Aids in calibration
    28. 28. Improves training time</li></li></ul><li>Practice # 5<br />Define program mechanics <br /><ul><li>ACTION:
    29. 29. Who, what, when, how many and how
    30. 30. BENEFIT:
    31. 31. Improves communication
    32. 32. Sets expectations
    33. 33. Guide for setting up parameters in a QM system (if available)</li></li></ul><li>Practice # 6<br />Establish a closed‐loop training process<br /><ul><li>ACTION:
    34. 34. Establish a closed‐loop training process that addresses new content, system issues, updates and agent performance issues.
    35. 35. Train everyone on the QM program and how to handle customer interactions and
    36. 36. BENEFIT:
    37. 37. Improves communication and ensures training and QA staff work together
    38. 38. Improves the effectiveness of the QM program</li></li></ul><li>Practice # 7<br />Provide frequent feedback to agents about their performance. <br /><ul><li>ACTION:
    39. 39. Ensure QA staff/supervisors can provide effective, consistent coaching sessions
    40. 40. Feedback should include where agents are performing well and areas where they have opportunities to improve.
    41. 41. BENEFIT:
    42. 42. Enhances employee development
    43. 43. Improves morale
    44. 44. Improves customer satisfaction</li></li></ul><li>Practice # 8<br />Build consistency into the QA program through calibration. <br /><ul><li>ACTION:
    45. 45. All reviewers must listen to the same call, score it, identify variance in scoring approaches, reconcile their differences, and set a standard measurement that all will use going forward.
    46. 46. Calibrate monthly
    47. 47. Include agents in the process
    48. 48. BENEFIT:
    49. 49. Ensures consistency and equity
    50. 50. Improves the effectiveness of the QM program
    51. 51. Helps agents appreciate the challenges associated with consistently evaluating transactions. </li></li></ul><li>Practice # 9<br />Provide a process to facilitate two‐way communication between agents and reviewers<br /><ul><li>ACTION:
    52. 52. A mechanism for responding to their quality evaluations so that they feel empowered and heard.
    53. 53. Include a process for filing complaints
    54. 54. BENEFIT:
    55. 55. Improves employee morale and communication
    56. 56. Yields a better and more effective QM program</li></li></ul><li>Practice # 10<br />Incorporate the customer’s experience into the monitoring process.<br /><ul><li>ACTION:
    57. 57. Survey your customers to see how satisfied they are with the quality of an organization’s products, services, processes and agents.
    58. 58. Track interactions to see if the customer was are put on hold, transferred, required conferences, or was a repeat caller.
    59. 59. Correlate quality monitoring results to customer feedback
    60. 60. BENEFIT:
    61. 61. Improves customer satisfaction
    62. 62. Lowers operating costs/increases revenue</li></li></ul><li>Practice # 11<br />Share monitoring information with other business departments.<br /><ul><li>ACTION:
    63. 63. Share essential information with stakeholders through call recordings.
    64. 64. Invite stakeholders and executives to conduct side by side monitoring sessions
    65. 65. BENEFIT:
    66. 66. Improves customer satisfaction
    67. 67. Improves products, services and lowers risk</li></li></ul><li>Practice # 12<br />Develop a cycle of continuous improvement.<br /><ul><li>ACTION
    68. 68. Develop a culture and processes that support and encourage continuous improvement of quality monitoring processes, including the gathering of information about customer satisfaction.
    69. 69. BENEFITS
    70. 70. Lowers costs
    71. 71. Increases customer satisfaction
    72. 72. Empowers employees</li></li></ul><li>Practice # 13<br />Recognize and reward top performers.<br /><ul><li>ACTION
    73. 73. Include a rewards and recognition as part of the QA program
    74. 74. BENEFITS
    75. 75. Encourages good work
    76. 76. Motivates employees</li></li></ul><li>Additional Resources<br /><ul><li>Want a copy of this presentation? Hand me a business card and I’ll email you a copy after the show.
    77. 77. Complimentary online Quality Self-Assessment Scorecard</li></ul>icmi.com/qualityscorecard<br /><ul><li>Complimentary whitepaper on Quality Management and the Cost of Quality</li></ul>icmi.com/qualitywhitepaper<br /><ul><li>Need assistance implementing or improving your QM Program? Visit the ICMI booth today!</li></li></ul><li>Questions<br />wendyf@icmi.com<br />

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