QATC Survey Results

This article details the results of the most recent QATC quarterly survey on critical quality assurance and training topics. Sixty-nine contact center professionals representing a wide variety of industries provided insight regarding quality assurance staffing and processes.

Number of Agent Seats

The largest number of participants is from operations with over 500 seats. However, the balance is widely dispersed across ranges from under 50 agents to 500 seats. The industries represented by the participants are widely dispersed as well. This provides a good representation of all sizes of centers and industries.

Agent to Supervisor Ratio

Respondents were asked to provide the ratio of agents to supervisors. Nearly three-quarters responded with 15 or fewer agents to each supervisor (35% at 15:1 and 38% at <15:1). Another 15% reported 20:1 ratio with 7% at 25:1. The ratio is generally dependent on the complexity of the work, the tenure of the agents, and the use of lead agents to handle some of the duties that might otherwise be handled by the supervisor.

Agent to Quality Assurance Specialist Ratio

Respondents were asked to provide the ratio of agents to QA Specialists. Approximately one-quarter (26%) reported a ratio of 15 to 25:1. Another 25% reported a ratio of more than 45:1. Only 13% reported the lowest ratio of <15:1. The ratios are often dependent on the length of the contacts, the varieties of media supported, and the tenure of the agents. Another significant factor is whether the QA specialists do the agent coaching or leave this to supervisors and lead agents.

Average Handle Time

When asked to provide the average handle time for contacts, there is wide dispersion. The shortest AHTs were below 3 minutes and only 6% reported these answers. On the other end of the spectrum, 10% reported AHTs of 10 minutes or more. The bulk of the respondents are fairly evenly split between 3 to 5 minutes, 5 to 7 minutes, or 7 to 10 minutes. The AHT can have a significant impact on the number of contacts that can be reviewed by a QA specialist.

Calls Evaluated per Agent per Month

When asked how many calls are reviewed for each agent in a month, slightly over half (52%) reported between 1 and 5 calls are completed. Another 31% reported that they review 6 to 10 calls. No one responded that they do all calls and only 1% reported zero calls reviewed. It is important to note that even at 10 to 15 calls per person (out of the hundreds each agent handles), the total is not a statistically valid sample. It serves as an opportunity to identify coaching needs and excellence to be rewarded. As automated analysis of all calls becomes more prevalent, the potential value of QA reviews is likely to increase for both agent coaching and general business intelligence.

Call Evaluators

Respondents were asked who evaluates the calls. Slightly more than half (53%) reported that this is done by the quality specialists while another 33% indicated that it is done by both the QA specialist and the supervisor. Only 8% reported that the supervisor does it and another 6% indicated it is done by someone not listed as a choice. These may be done by the lead agents or an automated system.

Delivery of Results and Coaching

Survey participants were asked who delivers the evaluation results to the agents and provides the coaching. Over half (55%) indicated these are done by the supervisor while 16% reported that the QA specialist does it. Another 23% indicated that these tasks are done by both the supervisors and QA specialists.

Site of Coaching Sessions

Respondents were asked where the coaching sessions were held. The largest percentage (43%) do the coaching in a conference room. Another 26% do it at the QA or coach’s desk. However, 15% reported that it is done at the agent’s desk. It is important to hold these sessions where there will not be interruptions and where some privacy is provided. While congratulations on a job well done can be done almost anywhere and may benefit from a more public display, other coaching is best done in a private setting.

Frequency of Formal Call Coaching

Respondents were asked to report the frequency of “formal” call coaching. Monthly was the most common answer at 38% with weekly at 19% and bi-weekly at 14%. Other was the response of 20% and it is not clear if this indicates more frequently than weekly or some other option not listed. Quarterly and annually were not selected by any respondent but “never” was the response of 6%. There is little benefit in doing quality reviews if the coaching does not follow, and it may be detrimental to agent morale. It is also beneficial to do the coaching as close to the review as possible to ensure that the agent will remember the interaction being discussed and be able to match the recommendations in the coaching to specific behaviors.

Calls Replayed

Respondents were asked if they replay calls during coaching sessions. Almost two-thirds (64%) indicated that they do replay some but not all calls. Another 14% responded that they do replay calls but 22% reported that they do not use replays. It can be useful for the agent to hear specifically the interaction that is being discussed so there is little doubt about the content or how it was handled.

Conclusion

This survey provides insight into the staffing and processes applied to the quality assurance effort in the center. The ratios of supervisors and QA specialists vary widely among the survey participants but there are also wide differences in the roles of these individuals in the review and coaching processes. It is not reasonable to assume an “industry standard” applies either to the ratio or staffing or the number of calls reviewed as the circumstances can be significantly different from one center to another.

Coaching may be done by QA specialists, supervisors, both or neither. Each center must consider the staff it has available and the process that will provide the most effective use of that staff. Frequent feedback to agents is beneficial and coaching in a private setting is often best as well.

We hope you will complete the next survey, which will be available online soon.

Winter 2020

The Connection

QATC Survey Results

This article details the results of the most recent QATC quarterly survey on critical quality assurance and training topics. Sixty-nine contact center professionals representing a wide variety of industries provided insight regarding quality assurance staffing and processes.

Number of Agent Seats

The largest number of participants is from operations with over 500 seats. However, the balance is widely dispersed across ranges from under 50 agents to 500 seats. The industries represented by the participants are widely dispersed as well. This provides a good representation of all sizes of centers and industries.

Agent to Supervisor Ratio

Respondents were asked to provide the ratio of agents to supervisors. Nearly three-quarters responded with 15 or fewer agents to each supervisor (35% at 15:1 and 38% at <15:1). Another 15% reported 20:1 ratio with 7% at 25:1. The ratio is generally dependent on the complexity of the work, the tenure of the agents, and the use of lead agents to handle some of the duties that might otherwise be handled by the supervisor.

Agent to Quality Assurance Specialist Ratio

Respondents were asked to provide the ratio of agents to QA Specialists. Approximately one-quarter (26%) reported a ratio of 15 to 25:1. Another 25% reported a ratio of more than 45:1. Only 13% reported the lowest ratio of <15:1. The ratios are often dependent on the length of the contacts, the varieties of media supported, and the tenure of the agents. Another significant factor is whether the QA specialists do the agent coaching or leave this to supervisors and lead agents.

Average Handle Time

When asked to provide the average handle time for contacts, there is wide dispersion. The shortest AHTs were below 3 minutes and only 6% reported these answers. On the other end of the spectrum, 10% reported AHTs of 10 minutes or more. The bulk of the respondents are fairly evenly split between 3 to 5 minutes, 5 to 7 minutes, or 7 to 10 minutes. The AHT can have a significant impact on the number of contacts that can be reviewed by a QA specialist.

Calls Evaluated per Agent per Month

When asked how many calls are reviewed for each agent in a month, slightly over half (52%) reported between 1 and 5 calls are completed. Another 31% reported that they review 6 to 10 calls. No one responded that they do all calls and only 1% reported zero calls reviewed. It is important to note that even at 10 to 15 calls per person (out of the hundreds each agent handles), the total is not a statistically valid sample. It serves as an opportunity to identify coaching needs and excellence to be rewarded. As automated analysis of all calls becomes more prevalent, the potential value of QA reviews is likely to increase for both agent coaching and general business intelligence.

Call Evaluators

Respondents were asked who evaluates the calls. Slightly more than half (53%) reported that this is done by the quality specialists while another 33% indicated that it is done by both the QA specialist and the supervisor. Only 8% reported that the supervisor does it and another 6% indicated it is done by someone not listed as a choice. These may be done by the lead agents or an automated system.

Delivery of Results and Coaching

Survey participants were asked who delivers the evaluation results to the agents and provides the coaching. Over half (55%) indicated these are done by the supervisor while 16% reported that the QA specialist does it. Another 23% indicated that these tasks are done by both the supervisors and QA specialists.

Site of Coaching Sessions

Respondents were asked where the coaching sessions were held. The largest percentage (43%) do the coaching in a conference room. Another 26% do it at the QA or coach’s desk. However, 15% reported that it is done at the agent’s desk. It is important to hold these sessions where there will not be interruptions and where some privacy is provided. While congratulations on a job well done can be done almost anywhere and may benefit from a more public display, other coaching is best done in a private setting.

Frequency of Formal Call Coaching

Respondents were asked to report the frequency of “formal” call coaching. Monthly was the most common answer at 38% with weekly at 19% and bi-weekly at 14%. Other was the response of 20% and it is not clear if this indicates more frequently than weekly or some other option not listed. Quarterly and annually were not selected by any respondent but “never” was the response of 6%. There is little benefit in doing quality reviews if the coaching does not follow, and it may be detrimental to agent morale. It is also beneficial to do the coaching as close to the review as possible to ensure that the agent will remember the interaction being discussed and be able to match the recommendations in the coaching to specific behaviors.

Calls Replayed

Respondents were asked if they replay calls during coaching sessions. Almost two-thirds (64%) indicated that they do replay some but not all calls. Another 14% responded that they do replay calls but 22% reported that they do not use replays. It can be useful for the agent to hear specifically the interaction that is being discussed so there is little doubt about the content or how it was handled.

Conclusion

This survey provides insight into the staffing and processes applied to the quality assurance effort in the center. The ratios of supervisors and QA specialists vary widely among the survey participants but there are also wide differences in the roles of these individuals in the review and coaching processes. It is not reasonable to assume an “industry standard” applies either to the ratio or staffing or the number of calls reviewed as the circumstances can be significantly different from one center to another.

Coaching may be done by QA specialists, supervisors, both or neither. Each center must consider the staff it has available and the process that will provide the most effective use of that staff. Frequent feedback to agents is beneficial and coaching in a private setting is often best as well.

We hope you will complete the next survey, which will be available online soon.