Let’s start with something we can probably all agree on — the quality of customer service a contact center provides can make or break a business. That’s why contact centers need quality assurance (QA) and training professionals to help agents deliver great customer service.
In my experience, however, QA and training professionals are often looking in the wrong places when trying to improve service in the contact center. They focus too much on past performance and not enough on predictive behaviors. Their time is most often spent looking back at interactions, identifying where things went wrong, and coaching employees to prevent the same mistakes from happening again. Very little time is spent reinforcing what’s going well or helping employees to reach new levels of mastery. The react and resolve style has been the long-standing and widely accepted approach but, if you ask me, it’s never really worked and it’s time for things to change.
Predictive behaviors are the future of contact center QA and performance improvement.
So, what should contact centers do instead? They should focus on developing and reinforcing predictive behaviors. Predictive behaviors are those that indicate a customer is likely to have a good or bad experience with a company. Identifying and instilling these behaviors early can help contact centers prevent bad experiences before they happen.
To identify predictive behaviors, contact centers need data-driven tools and processes that can help them understand what customers want and need. With this information, QA and training professionals can develop targeted training programs that focus on the specific skills and behaviors that will lead to better customer experiences.
For example, a contact center might learn that customers who use certain words or phrases are more likely to be satisfied with their experience. They can then train agents to listen for those same words and phrases and respond accordingly. Or they might find that customers who are put on hold for more than two minutes are more likely to hang up. In this case, they would train agents on how to handle situations where a caller needs to be placed on hold so that the caller does not become frustrated and hang up.
Data-driven tools and processes can help contact centers in other ways as well. They can be used to measure the performance of agents and identify those who need additional training. And they can help contact centers track customer satisfaction levels so that they can make necessary adjustments to their training programs.
Traditional contact center training and development doesn’t consider the customer’s journey.
Customers don’t interact with contact centers in a vacuum. They have a journey that includes multiple touchpoints with a company. Contact centers need to understand this journey and train agents accordingly. But too often, contact centers focus on isolated interactions rather than the customer’s overall journey. This results in agents who are good at some things but not others. It’s a lopsided approach to development and it doesn’t help contact centers build a deeper understanding of their customers’ wants and needs.
To truly understand the customer’s journey, contact centers need to take a holistic view of the customer experience. They need to track data across all channels and touchpoints. Only then will they be able to see the bigger picture and develop training programs that address the needs of the customer at every stage of their journey.
Traditional contact center training and development is too reactive.
Contact centers need to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to quality assurance and performance development. Too often, contact centers wait for something to go wrong before they act. This results in a lot of wasted time and effort. And it doesn’t help contact centers fix the underlying problems that are causing contact center quality issues.
Proactive contact centers use data to identify potential problems before they happen. They then develop training programs that address those problems. This approach is much more effective than the react and resolve style of contact center quality assurance.
Traditional contact center training and development is too slow.
The traditional contact center training and development process is too slow to keep up with the pace of change in the contact center industry. Contact centers need to be able to train and develop agents quickly and efficiently. But too often, contact centers are bogged down by a slow and cumbersome training and development process.
One of the biggest problems with traditional contact center training and development is that it relies heavily on manual processes. This means that contact centers must rely on people to do things like collect data, create training materials, and deliver training. This is a slow and inefficient way to train and develop agents.
Another problem with traditional contact center training and development is that it often takes months or even years to develop and implement new training programs. This is far too long for contact centers that need to be able to train and develop agents quickly to keep up with the rapidly changing needs of their customers.
The traditional contact center training and development process is also too inflexible. Contact centers need to be able to tailor their training programs to the specific needs of their agents and customers. But too often, contact centers are stuck with rigid training programs that don’t allow for much customization.
Finally, traditional contact center training and development is often too expensive. Contact centers need to be able to train and develop agents without breaking the bank. But too often, contact centers must spend a lot of money on training materials, travel, and other expenses.
Real performance improvement begins with a focus on the right data.
Data-driven tools and processes can help contact centers overcome these challenges. By automating manual processes and using data to identify training needs, contact centers can develop training programs quickly and efficiently. And by using data to tailor training programs to the specific needs of their agents and customers, contact centers can create training programs that are more effective and less expensive.
It’s time for contact center training and development to move away from traditional methods and embrace forward-thinking, data-driven approaches. If you’re a contact center quality assurance or training professional, it’s time to stop looking in the past and focus on predictive behaviors. By doing so, you can help your contact center make quantum leaps in contact center quality. And you can position your contact center for success in the future.
Join me at the QATC Annual Conference in September as I dive deeper into how contact center professionals can better leverage the right data, in the right ways, to deliver better results from quality assurance and training programs.
Justin Robbins is a QATC Board member and will be presenting multiple sessions at the QATC Annual Conference. Look for the man in the bow tie! He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.