Five Steps to Resolve Agent Evaluation Disputes

By Tanya Juarez-Sweeney, Calabrio

Picture this: you get a call from one of your agents and they don’t agree with their evaluation score. As a contact center manager, you’ve mostly likely been here. So, what steps can you take to resolve the situation and make sure your agents are happy and aligned on contact center best practices? Here are some helpful tips from Calabrio experts on coaching and addressing the concerns of an agent who doesn’t agree with an evaluation score.

Oh, hey Nick, what’s up? Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Let’s find some time to look into that together. I’ll send you an email before lunch and let you know what the first steps are. Talk to you soon, Nick.

Nick did not seem too happy about that evaluation.

I’m sure this has happened to you — a contact center agent comes to you and they’re not too jazzed about a recent evaluation. They want to talk to set the record straight. So what are some best practices to use if this happens to you? 

STEP 1: Review, Calibrate, And Assess

The first thing you want to do is go back to the beginning and have the original evaluator review the call. You can do this a couple of different ways.

  • Agent assigns a review task to the evaluator.  You could have the agent assign that evaluator a review task. This will give the evaluator a chance to review the call. And maybe you could even encourage them to talk to each other and come to a mutual understanding. That way your employees work it out together.  Now maybe that doesn’t work for you…
  • You assign a calibration task to the evaluator.  The other thing that you can do is assign that evaluator a calibration task so that they calibrate the call themselves. This really gives them a chance to re-listen to the call, make sure they didn’t miss checking a box, and confirm their initial assessment. Now the dispute could end here if the evaluator changes something and the agent is suddenly happy.

But if not, the next thing you want to do is…

  • You assign a calibration task to the agent.  Have that agent do a self-evaluation of the call. Do this by assigning them a calibration task. (Tip: you need to have the agent’s role configured for self-calibration.) That will give them a chance to listen to the call with the evaluation form in front of them.

A few different things could happen. The agent might listen to the call and decide, “oh shoot, I really missed something there” or “I didn’t catch that.” They might be really hard on themselves. The other end of that is they might listen to the call and think they did everything perfectly and that they are a call center rock star. Either way, what you are really trying to do is see where they are coming from.

Before you schedule that coaching session …

  • Assign yourself a calibration task.  Before you schedule that coaching session, make sure you give yourself a chance to evaluate the call as well. Assign yourself a calibration, go through the form, and come to your own conclusions about the call.

STEP 2: Meet With The Agent

The next step is to schedule a time to meet with the agent to go over the evaluation. Here’s a suggested agenda that you can have for this meeting:

  • Use calibration report results. Now you have 3 different evaluation scores to work with. You can run a calibration report and use that to compare and contrast the three scores: the original evaluation, the agent’s self-evaluation, and the one you just did. Look for where you align and look for some discrepancies as well.
  • Verify the agent understands intent and purpose. The places on the report where there are discrepancies are real opportunities for you. Ask yourself, “Do my agents really understand what we are looking for?”
  • Identify growth opportunities. Take a look at the report and pull out the things that don’t jive. Use those as teaching points for your one-on-one with the agent. That will be a chance to really dig deeper into a question and unveil the meaning behind it and what you really need from that agent. It might also be that you’re just pointing out something really simple that they overlooked. 
  • Identify strengths. Don’t forget to find the things the agent did well and share a specific example with the agent. Something like “I noticed that you always point our customers to the online resources we have available. That’s really awesome – it gives them additional resources and it drives a lot of traffic to our website. We really appreciate that.”
  • Come to a mutual agreement on the score. Try to come to a mutual agreement on what the score should be by the end of your coaching session.  And when you land there, be sure to have the original evaluator update and approve the evaluation in the system. That way the agent’s stats and gamification rewards are all up to speed and it will boost the morale of the agent.

STEP 3: Check-in With Your Evaluation Team

After you’ve spoken with your agent, this is a great time to check in with your team of evaluators as well. Have one or two of those evaluators calibrate that same call. Check and see where they are in alignment and make sure that they also understand the questions on the form.

Depending on what trends and issues you uncover, this might be a good time to take a step back and do a wider calibration session with the entire team, or maybe do some training or coaching with your team of evaluators. It’s a great opportunity to check in with them.

STEP 4: Pat Yourself On The Back

Congrats! You not only addressed the agent’s concerns, you also improved the quality of future calls, and you aligned your evaluation team! Nice work.

STEP 5: Find Out What Else Is Out There To Improve Your Contact Center

For more tips like this from our Calabrio experts, check out our Customer Success Center! You’ll find everything from videos like this to white papers to ebooks to user guides- all sorts of information and innovative ideas to improve your contact center! For more information about Calabrio, go to