Traditional QM vs eQM (Free Monitoring Form Template)

Contact centers act as the centerpiece of patient and customer communication for many pharma companies. Analyzing these customer interactions can provide countless benefits to help ensure each touchpoint is aligned with your company’s mission, and opportunities to improve the customer experience are maximized. Unfortunately, we find so many contact center stakeholders fall short in harvesting every piece of valuable feedback from these intimate conversations with their customers.

Today, gathering timely customer feedback and reacting to it is crucial to success. According to Accenture, “research shows that leading [CX] companies are twice as likely to say they have the ability to translate customer [feedback] into actions.” So, you may ask “how does an organization go about translating this feedback into action?” At Centerfirst, we have found that one of the most effective ways to gather this rich feedback from your customers is by utilizing quality monitoring for your contact center interactions.

Many contact center stakeholders will say “our contact center partner already does quality monitoring.” If this is the case, that’s great, but we have learned that not all quality monitoring programs are built the same. Many contact centers are utilizing the same quality monitoring practices they have for years. While there are certainly situations where this traditional quality monitoring offering is sufficient, this process tends to have limitations and may leave valuable customer feedback on the table. Centerfirst’s enhanced Quality Monitoring (eQM) process is built on over a dozen years of experience monitoring hundreds of thousands of pharma contact center interactions and provides our clients with comprehensive insights at the agent, program, and customer level.

To better understand the differences between the approaches of these two quality monitoring programs, let’s dive into more detail about the benefits of each and the scenarios where they may be most applicable.

eQM vs Traditional


Traditional Quality Monitoring:

 Quality monitoring processes have been around for years and are utilized in nearly every industry. For contact centers specifically, these processes have been the primary way to provide feedback to contact center agents. When we use the term traditional quality monitoring, we are specifically speaking to the process of evaluating either a single call, or group of calls, for a specific agent with the primary purpose of highlighting strengths and opportunities for that contact center agent. This could be done via real-time, side-by-side listening by a team coach, or via a recorded interaction. The call will be evaluated based on predetermined criteria housed in a monitoring form with the results delivered to the agent for review.

 This traditional quality monitoring process can be a great start to surfacing actionable insights from contact center interactions, and it can provide numerous benefits including:

  • Evidence that monitoring is being carried out as described in compliance procedures
  • Scoring and comments that can support general process improvement or agent coaching
  • Transparent scoring of performance for agent comparison and trending over time

 We found that traditional quality monitoring programs provided sufficient feedback and oversight for certain scenarios where calls may be heavily scripted or transactional, or where only a small scale of evaluations are deemed sufficient. These scenarios may include, but are not limited to:

  • Benefit Verification Calls
  • Potential Adverse Event or Product Complaint Reporting
  • General Intake Calls (where a transfer is expected)

 If one of these scenarios fits your situation, then a traditional quality monitoring approach may be the right solution. To get you started, we are happy to share a monitoring form template that we have used to help build programs for clients in the past.

Get a taste of monitoring your contact center with our free contact center quality monitoring form.

Enhanced Quality Monitoring (eQM):BlogChart_EQM-all

Over the past few years, clients have been asking for more value and more insights from their contact center interactions. The desire to understand more about customer and patient needs and experiences has taken center-stage over compliance-driven monitoring programs of the past. This isn’t to say that compliance has lost its importance, quite the opposite, we are just seeing expectations rise from contact center leaders and assurance of regulatory compliance processes are table stakes for any monitoring program in pharma.

 This sea-change is not unexpected, as customer expectations have increased dramatically in the past decade. As Accenture research has shown, “In the past, brands competed with other brands in their space for excellence in experience, but now if an organization’s experience fails to meet standards set by companies that do not directly compete with it, then they will be seen as a failure.” Clearly the stakes are higher than ever, so to ensure our clients can harness the full value of their contact center interactions and capture the voice of their customers we developed an enhanced Quality Monitoring (eQM) process.

 The eQM process is a three-step cyclical approach that goes beyond traditional quality monitoring. Our process leverages artificial intelligence to create an agile and highly configurable interaction monitoring program that produces high-value insights and guidance for pharma contact center leaders. The three steps for designing an effective eQM program include:

QM Design: During this phase, it is crucial to set clear goals for your monitoring program to help focus your efforts and effectively analyze your performance. Since the eQM process is cyclical you can continue to iterate and adjust for each round of evaluations. Your focus may be:

  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Adherence to Business Protocols
  • Emotional indicators (e.g. empathy)

 General metrics can still be analyzed for every interaction (e.g. call handling, soft skills, etc…), but the more specific at this stage allows for more rapid and actionable feedback from your monitoring program.


QM Processing: Once goals have been set in the Design phase, we move to analyzing the interactions themselves. While this can be done via traditional human-driven monitoring, we found that the scale of analysis is often not enough to determine valuable insights in a timely manner. Instead, we recommend a human-in-the-loop (HITL) approach utilizing an artificial intelligence platform working in concert with human content experts to create rapidly accessible insights at a much larger scale.


3D Insights: We have found that the most effective quality monitoring programs are able to provide three-dimensional insights at the agent, program, and customer levels. While traditional monitoring can provide some insight into each of these categories, the insights are heavily favored towards the agent. Some additional detail for each dimension is below:

  • Agent insights are the most common output of enhanced quality monitoring and may include:
    • Agent successes and opportunities
    • Operational efficiency and effectiveness
    • Identification of top performers to establish best practices 
  • Program insights contains aggregated and correlated data from a specific group of agents. This can include the whole contact center, a specific brand or therapeutic area, or any other uniquely defined team. Program insights may include:
    • Program-wide coaching opportunities
    • Identification of gaps in program scripting or offerings
  • Customer insights are often the most valuable insights but can also be the most challenging to capture. These insights are created by capturing key components of your customer’s requests and interests, aggregating those common components, and then developing insights about your customer. These insights may include:
    • Customer testimonials
    • FAQ tracking
    • Customer sentiment analysis


Once the insights have been reviewed and feedback provided to the team, we begin the eQM process again at the design phase. At this point decisions can be made to either dive deeper into similar focus areas or explore new skills for the next iteration. This is also a great opportunity to implement any trainings or process changes from the initial feedback. The effectiveness of any modification can be tested during the next round of evaluations.

Whether you are managing a program for patient support, medical information, access and reimbursement, or inside sales, customer expectations for interactions with your contact center continue to increase which makes the insights from your interactions more valuable than ever. Quality monitoring is an effective way to organize the unsolicited feedback from your customers and act upon it.

 To learn more about how we use eQM to deliver high-value insights and guidance for your contact center, please contact us.

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