Are You Considering How to Launch a Quality Program?

Starting a quality initiative may seem like a daunting task but there are few approaches to introducing quality initiatives that help turn attention to organizational objectives and begin the work of modifying behavior to match customer service goals. 

Start with you! Build credibility among the target audience by using long calls and high hold times to identify the call types that require leadership action to improve resources and or training. 

Listening workshops. Grant CSRs the opportunity to hear themselves.  This is a common strategy for improving performance; however, targeted listening has a much greater impact.  Time is the greatest challenge to this initiative but it is by far the most productive approach to engaging CSRs positively in the quality initiative.  

Example: Select 2 calls per CSR based on call times of 8-10 minutes or hold instances of 3 or more.  Provide the CSR with a simplified quality form to rate themselves according to the 3 key measurements: security, accuracy, and courtesy. Listen for the CSR’s perspective of the call and what worked and what did not. Schedule the session for 30 minutes and hold to the time assigned. 

Coach for success. Develop a goal to highlight success in the call reviews as the first round of calls is assessed.  Allow the effects of the positive behavior reinforcement to proliferate throughout the call center before tackling the challenges.

Collaborate. As you discover opportunities to improve training and/or user instructions, consider creating an CSR task force to vet the revised materials.  Allowing users to participate in developing the materials that will be used to evaluate performance is a sure fire way to enlist their support once implemented. 

Reinforce what matters. Align quality goals with the organizational objective and make sure that what is highlighted is directly tied to the same. 

Amnesty for errors?  As errors surface from processes, use the tools available through the quality program to provide skill building for the CSR.  If the interaction was not a direct output of the quality program, allow CSRs the opportunity to improve without affecting quality goals.

Promote Kindness! My favorite tag line in the call center is that there is no learning curve for courtesy.  Courteousness is the one skill that every applicant brings to the business. It is not a part of the business training or resource development. As professionals in the service industry, there is no cause for discourteous communication and behavior.

Note:  This tip is provided QATC Board Member Penny Tootle of Utilligent.  She may be reached at

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