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Is the Old QA Methodology Dead?

Absolutely not, if it was I wouldn’t be writing this today. In the past 9 months I have spoken to quality analysts and customer service managers working in contact centers every week who successfully use “traditional” QA methodologies. Old QA methodology has its feet firmly planted to the contact center floor! It still exists because it’s simple and it adds significant value for users.

What Traditional QA Tools Look like Today

The old QA methodology was to fill out a tick-box sheet, listen in on calls and give feedback. In essence that’s what exists in QA tools in 2014 too. But it’s evolved to listening to call recordings, using online quality scorecards, agent dashboards and self-evaluation. It’s simple, it’s quick, it’s logical and it’s exactly what a huge amount of contact centers need. It reports on trends over time, it’s fully transparent and root-cause analysis can be carried out on most good QA tools.

The lower end of the scale is the use of spreadsheets and in-house built databases to monitor the quality of customer service. While these aren’t as evolved; time consuming, lacking agent dashboards and analytic capability, for many call centers they still meet their needs.

New Features that Enhance the Traditional Model

Multiple Dynamic Scorecards

Any good QA tool today will allow for building multiple scorecards that are fit for purpose whether that means channel specific, type of interaction (billing query versus complaint) or client branded for outsourcers. Dynamic quality scorecards are easily adapted yet don’t break historical reporting. They are fully customizable so as the company grows their quality framework does too and when new trends emerge their quality system can change to meet new demand. For example, omni-channel experiences were not always the priority they are today, and dynamic QA scorecards can be built to score across more than one channel.

Agent Dashboards

Real-time feedback is in demand in the call centre of 2014, giving agents instant access to their QA scores allowing them to adapt behaviour quicker.


For a quality assurance platform to the taken seriously it needs to inform a company the moment it spots a problem. Evolved QA scoring tools have features in-built that act as red-flags when there is breech in regulation compliance or a highly prioritized section or question. The evaluation itself will highlight the “failure” but alert emails can also be set up.


Being able to monitor a customer service interaction by more than one person and systematically comparing the results helps improve the quality of evaluating agents as there is consistent monitoring from one evaluator to the next. This is helpful for outsourcers with clients who wish to score some of the interactions.


In the age of big data being able to run a multitude of reports is a minimum expectation for most tools, quality assurance is no different. Gathering the data is only useful if reports can be built and analysed to understand trends and behaviour.


For many organisations having more advanced analytics is helpful for more detailed research right down to trends by question.

All of these features identify that although the old QA methodology still exists it is heavily assisted with new functionality to allow it to compete against newer methodologies.

Speech Analytics is NOT for Every Contact Center

Not every call center is a 2,000 manned machine with a budget to plough hundreds of thousands into the latest technology. Not every contact center has the capacity to monitor 100% of calls nor do they have the man power to dedicate to setting up such an operation. For small contact centres the likes of interaction analytics is an investment too large for the potential return and therefore they stay with tools built around the old QA methodology.

Even those who use speech analytics and interaction analytics technology in contact centers often use traditional QA tools in tandem to score certain interactions in more detail.

Speech Analytics seems to sometimes be hailed as the “second-coming” and while I’m not here to tell you it doesn’t have a place in contact centers, there are alternatives that can often produce a higher return on investment and require less commitment. These alternatives are often closer to the old QA methodology and meet the need.

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