The Quality Revolution Key #5: Certification and Continuous Improvement
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The Quality Revolution Key #5: Certification and Continuous Improvement

A Quality Revolution has been emerging in the last two years, transforming underleveraged and underperforming Quality & Call Monitoring Programs into predictors and drivers of performance improvement. The centerpiece of the revolution is Strategic Quality Assurance (sQA), and it works because it blends equal parts art and science.

The preceding articles in this series introduced each of the components of sQA.

This article will focus on how to maintain a healthy Quality program over time, improving it every year as you continually strive to improve your Customer Experience, Sales, First Call Resolution, or other KPIs.

Certifying your Quality Organization

I recommend establishing a regular certification schedule (either once or twice per year) to maintain a healthy Strategic Quality Assurance program. Certification allows an organization to inspect each of the Keys of sQA, and determine how different sites, teams, and individuals are performing, so that you can use this data to improve sQA.

1. Behaviors & Correlations: The first component of certification is to inspect whether or not your behavior correlations are strong, and if they are getting stronger. (For more on Behavior Correlations, see Key #2: Correlations.) This could be as simple as running your Correlations report regularly.

The goal is to continually improve your Correlations as your Quality staff becomes more skilled at capturing the essence of customer interactions.

You’re also looking for consistent Correlations across sites. Inconsistencies could suggest that your sites are different in how they measure Quality, or that different markets with different customers demand a different customer experience.

2. Calibration: The next component of certification is to inspect how well calibrated each site, team, and individual is. (This is particularly easy if you are Automating Calibration, as we covered in a previous article). Set a goal for each team and individual to be 90% calibrated; only those teams and individuals that reach that goal are certified in sQA for that certification period. Establish a path to improve those teams and individuals that don’t achieve the 90% goal.

But you’re also looking for something else in the Calibration data. Use Heat Maps to identify which behaviors are consistently least calibrated. Those are the behaviors that your organization should spend more time investigating, defining, and calibrating on. Those may the most valuable behaviors, but they may also be the “fuzziest” to truly calibrate on.

3. Front Line Feedback: A well-oiled Strategic Quality Assurance program should result in Reps craving Quality’s feedback. You can measure this by conducting a Front Line survey each certification period, asking questions such as “To what degree does Quality’s feedback help you improve your performance”. A Front Line that is indifferent or resistant to the value of Quality is a serious problem; it suggests that they don’t believe your behavior correlations, that Quality has been ineffective at acting as a trusted advisor with Supervisors, or that the Supervisors are ineffective at coaching.

4. Behavioral Improvement: Your ultimate goal is to improve Reps’ performance on behaviors and KPIs. Strategic Quality Assurance should play an important role here, in defining the most meaningful behaviors, and providing accurate data and insights about how well each Rep is executing those behaviors. But once your sQA program is in place, if the behaviors are not improving, this suggests weak coaching skills among Supervisors. 

Join the Quality Revolution!

A strong Certification and Continuous Improvement effort puts rigor behind your Strategic Quality Assurance program, ensuring that the “art” remains balanced with “science,” and that all ingredients are healthy and contributing to performance improvement in your contact center.

This blend of art and science is the heart of Strategic Quality Assurance. The companies who had paved the way for the Quality Revolution recognize that capturing the essence of customer interactions requires art, and that measuring and quantifying the impact of Quality requires science. The combination of those elements has the potential to transform conventional quality into a strategic lever for performance improvement.

About Weber Associates

Weber Associates is a Columbus, OH based consulting firm. The company delivers customer-centric strategies and drives execution of those strategies at the frontline with call center, field sales, marketing and quality assurance programs and software. Weber Associates works with companies of all sizes, helping them deliver on their customer promise in every touch point they have with their customers.  For more information on Weber Associates visit www.weberassoc.com.

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Topics: Learning & Development

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