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I often get the question, “For what size of call center (how many agents), would you recommend hiring someone specifically for the role of Quality Assurance?”
In my opinion, having a dedicated Quality Analyst or Analysts actually depends on how the organization looks at quality. Even a very small center may have that function in place if the organization has deemed the quality of service delivery is of great importance. That said, there are some who would suggest that once a center reaches around 50 agents, a dedicated Quality Analyst should be in place. However, before you make a determination, there are considerations to take into account. These would include:
Unfortunately, nothing is ever as “cut and dried” as we would like it to be!
Let me know what you think.
Susan Langwell has over 20 years call center operations experience. Her background includes domestic and international consulting as well as many years in call center leadership roles. Serving in these roles has allowed Susan to gain a broad perspective of call center management and operations as well as hands-on practical experience.
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I agree that there are many factors in deciding when Quality specialists are required. The biggest driver for us is accountability and defining roles and responsibilities. Our team leaders are responsible for their team's quality and do the monitoring and coaching. The quality specialist is responsible for ensuring that we measure quality consistently, coach and support the team leaders and ensure quality is high profile in our contact centres. We have a network of contact centres and the Quality Specialists make up a virtual global team. They share best practice and give feedback on programs. The downside of our model is that the Quality Specialists do not always have enough influence with the team leaders. We are working to improve on that.
I run a "small" center with 22 reps. In the past in bigger centers I've run, the issue is the same. If you don't have a dedicated person for QA, the reps do not get effective feedback on how they're performing. You wonder how you get anything done without having that QA position. The Quality Specialists and Team Leaders need to work together and complement one another. A Team Leader typically does not have the time to do a good job of monitoring. When we posted our QA position, we made sure to post it with someone the team leaders respected. The QA Specialist frequently has Team Leaders sit in on coaching sessions and that seems to make the direction the reps get appear more cohesive. When the Team Leaders felt like they weren't included there was some misunderstanding and resentment from feeling like they were left out of the loop. So I would argue that size does not matter. You've probably heard that before, but if you have people dealing with customers, you need a QA process. When people say they can't afford that, I guess the question is how can you afford not to have that?