Ask the Expert2018-12-05T00:40:28+00:00
Ask the Expert

QUESTION:

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a question posed like the one our QM team is discussing. The QM team here has been together for three years. We have become close and enjoy the team dynamics. And, we believe we have been quite successful. Over the past three years, the average quality scores among the agents have increased from the mid-80’s to the mid-90’s. The issue we are struggling with is this: Where do we go from here? Trying to get to QM perfection seems impossible. Any ideas?

ANSWER:

The answer I have is: Change the QM evaluation forms. A common mistake contact center management teams make is to consider their measures and goals as carved in stone and immortal. Of course, the reality is that goals change all the time, particularly at the enterprise level. What the goal for the corporation was three years ago is probably different from the goals in place today.  Why should the contact center be any different?

As circumstances change for the enterprise — new competitors, new consumer attitudes, new regulations and so on — the contact center ought to reconsider its circumstances as well.  I recognize that there might be some concern that changing the game, so to speak, might upset the center’s employees. It’s easy to imagine that the employees might balk when confronted with changes in measures and goals. After all, if they are properly engaged and motivated they are consciously working on improving their performance as measured against a set of goals. When the goals suddenly change, it’s natural for them to cry foul.

What this boils down to is change management. Like any change, people will tend to resist unless the reasons for the change are explained and communicated in a fashion that permits discussion over time so that the natural resistance is replaced by acceptance and buy-in. In your case, your current QM evaluation forms are probably more oriented to the agent’s ability to meet the call requirements your QM team has set in place. As the agents learn how to meet these requirements more consistently, the scores move higher. And while that’s good, there’s another reality to confront:

Maybe your call requirements document isn’t focused enough on customer sentiment and outcomes.  Think about changing the QM evaluation forms to reflect a greater concern for the customer’s sentiment at the end of the interaction and less about whether the agent hit all the requirements. Think about making the QM process a little less about what the agents are doing and more about how the customer perceives the enterprise’s processes and policies. Think about transforming QM from an internal focus to an external focus where the goal is to make it easier for customers to do business with you.