5 Steps to Successful Quality Monitoring
One common interest that all of our clients share is a deep desire to learn more from their contact center interactions. Whether their focus is on regulatory compliance, process improvement, or gaining a better understanding of their customer’s needs, they all recognize the value of analyzing these interactions and harvesting the insights contained within them.
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While there are many methods for gathering feedback from your customers, we have found that a strong quality monitoring approach delivers a nice balance between providing assurances in your contact center performance and creating an opportunity to gather customer preferences and insights. Regardless of your preferred method for gathering feedback from your customers, there are some keys to success that we have identified from our experience to ensure your program is productive and beneficial to your organization:
1. Set Clear Goals From the Start:
As Jim Collins stated “If you have more than 3 priorities, you have no priorities.” This statement holds true for gathering contact center insights as well. The best way to learn the most from monitoring contact center interactions is not just collecting as much background information as possible, but having a plan for how you will collect this data. Establishing a goal for your data before you begin gathering it allows monitoring staff to focus their efforts and guide the quality monitoring process.
When in doubt, we recommend keeping it simple. If you are focused on regulatory compliance, build your program in a way that provides testing of your processes and procedures to provide you assurances that no surprises await during inspection. If you are more interested in customer insights, build your program around listening; capturing feedback and pain points directly from your customers.
2. Determine Your Sample Size:
Once goals have been established, the next step is to determine just what volume of interactions you should look to gather to accomplish your goals. Whether you are gathering feedback via live or retroactive calls, or through surveys, we have found that setting sample volume expectations early helps to build confidence that the results will be representative and valid.
Of course, no two programs are built the same, so the sample size should be determined based on your program’s goals and the comfort of your organization. Here are few pointers we have picked up from our experience to get you started:
- If regulatory compliance is your core focus, we have found that a majority of our clients prefer a representative sample built around the 95% confidence interval for their contact center volume. This volume of evaluations provides confidence and helps ensure contact center processes are in control for FDA inspection readiness.
- If you are looking to compare your agents’ performance within your center, or compare your program with industry benchmarks, we have found that anywhere from 2-4 evaluations per agent per month can be sufficient to fulfill this goal.
- When your primary focus is gathering customer insights, we find that the more interactions evaluated the better. Traditionally, it has been logistically challenging and costly to review large amounts of interactions, but with the advancement of AI solutions, like Discover, we now recommend that clients evaluate the full universe of calls to help develop an accurate representation of the customer’s voice.
3. Building the Right Metrics:
When it comes to determining exactly what data should be collected when gathering feedback from your contact center, we suggest revisiting your goals for your program and aligning your metrics to them. As this Forbes article states, one of the key objectives to choosing the right metrics is to ensure they “definitively provide intelligence to make better decisions.” We couldn’t agree more, and from our experience, less is often more when it comes to determining metrics. Too many and the data becomes challenging to collect and cumbersome to sift through and analyze.
For a program focused on customer experience, consider tracking metrics around call handling and empathy. We have also found it valuable to track customer testimonials and unanswered questions as a way to find opportunities to improve your program. If regulatory compliance is your primary area of interest, keeping a clear focus on the identification and handling of potential adverse events and product complaints may be all you need.
A clear focus with your metrics will help set you up for success faster. Combining your metrics with the metadata from your calls will provide access to a wealth of information about your customers. One final note though, it is important to continue to evaluate your metrics throughout your program and iterate as needed to ensure they stay aligned with your goals, which may change along the way.
4. Gathering the Right Insights:
Once you kickoff your program and begin gathering information, the first step will be to confirm your metrics are providing you with the right information to help you make the right decisions to accomplish your original goals. Once you are confident your metrics are well matched with your original goals, then you can begin to dive in to better understand how your contact center is performing.
Are there clear areas of opportunity that can be addressed by a quick training of agents, or a simple process adjustment? When we start a new engagement with a client, we find the first few months are about taking inventory and finding the readily available opportunities that can be remedied fairly quickly. As we progress with our client relationships, we begin to move from a focus on “treating” issues into a “preventative” mindset. By gathering the right information, you can begin to anticipate your customer’s challenges before they become issues.
One of the key ways we begin making this shift in mindset is through searching for correlations in the data and determining if there are any leading indicators for success. No matter your program type, there are likely leading indicators within your data. For example, we worked on an inside sales program for a client and identified two leading indicator metrics that led to higher customer sentiment and ultimately more sales. Instead of waiting for the sales data (lagging indicator) these metrics could be tracked and coached to provide immediate course corrections.
Similar to metrics, we find that gathering the right insights rather than the most insights is paramount to the success of your program.
5. Turning Insights into Action:
With technology advancements, gaining access to insights, dashboards, and metrics has never been easier. Despite the accessibility of this information, we often hear from prospective clients that they don’t know what to do with it. As author Peter Drucker stated, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans” We tend to see in these situations that the team has not taken the time to gain commitment from stakeholders, and therefore has no plan to share insights and feedback to improve their programs.
When working with our clients, we find that setting clear expectations with all stakeholders during the initial goal setting discussion helps to set a program up for success. When all team members have an opportunity to contribute and voice their concerns early, they are much more likely to actively participate and be open to feedback throughout the process. Those clients and their contact center partners that exhibit this vulnerability consistently deliver programs with the best experiences for their customers.
Feedback is paramount for success in any organization. As Bill Gates once said, “we all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” Building an effective program to collect, analyze, and utilize your customer’s feedback helps to ensure you are building products, services, and support to continue to meet the needs of your customers.
If you have questions or would like additional support setting up a program for gathering feedback from your customers, please contact us anytime.
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