Published: April 14, 2015 | Comments
One of the most valuable functions of call center quality assurance is to give direction for required training.
Designing training programs to upskill employees without assessing their performance is like playing a guessing game. It involves assumptions, intuition and generalizations. You may be designing a training program that is completely unnecessary. Quality Assurance is where all good trainers should start when designing training programs.
Designing training courses without fully assessing the need
Imagine you have a suspicion that employees need to be trained on a particular aspect. Your suspicion arose when you casually questioned agents about the topic but none seemed to be that knowledgeable on the area. You devise a wonderful training program, deliver it and are satisfied that it was a worthwhile exercise.
To demonstrate the effect you decide to review quality scores before and after. Unfortunately you are disappointed because there is no apparent difference.
Upon closer inspection you see that there are only approximately two questions on scorecards that relate to your training. More surprisingly for those two questions there is very little change from before and after the training and the scores before the training are above average. Listening to the calls associated with the scores confirms that the agents are meeting requirements.
You consult the Head of Customer Service in a bid to increase the number of questions related to the topic (and to validate the relevancy in your training course). However again you’re faced with disappointment as you are reminded of the bigger picture and the customer service priorities, your topic is not at the top of the pecking order. You’re forced to retreat and annoyed at yourself for wasting your time and your agents for carrying out what seems to be irrelevant training.
It was doomed for failure from the get-go because the need did not exist and you failed to do enough homework on the topic. Had your first step been to consult the quality scores you would have known that performance was up to standard and that there was no need for it to be at a higher level. You would have quickly moved to the lower performing and higher weighting areas of the scorecards.
QA highlights Training Gaps
QA is a primary resource of information on performance and trainers need to look at it every time they are planning training sessions, even if it’s for a new product. For upskilling a trainer can quickly identify the main knowledge gaps and areas of expertise and don’t require upskilling. By drilling further and studying quality scores in detail they will find smaller areas that need to be worked on.
Trainers might notice pertinent questions that aren’t being asked and recommend changes to the quality scorecard so that in future these can be monitored.
Individual Strengths and Weaknesses
A trainer’s role will often be focused on improving individual performances and training will be carried out on a one-to-one basis. QA is highly valuable in this instance because the trainer can go directly to the quality scores of individuals and check what trends are occurring, where their performance is doing very well and where they need help. The trainer can develop programs specifically for problem areas maximising the benefit of training sessions.
Test the Training
QA is a great levelling tool for trainers to evaluate whether their training programs are making a difference. They can track performance before and after training to assess if the training has changed agent behavior. This is great for training in new call center agents and ensuring they are up to speed.
Let High Fliers Lead
With QA you can see at a glance the highest performers across the board and for each section. So if for example you are preparing a training session for one particular section a good idea is to get help from those who are preforming the best in that section. They obviously know this area in detail and execute it well. The benefit of getting agents themselves to help deliver training sessions is that there is added trust from their peers. The agent will have a better insight into what it is like to answer customer queries so they can bring their own experiences to the table and bring the lessons to life.
Low performers – let those present Difficulties and Challenges
In a similar fashion it’s easy to spot the low performers so why not get them involved and ask them to play devil’s advocate and showcase potential issues and challenges. If you get high and low performers paired together they can come up with difficult scenarios and creative solutions.
Do you use information from QA to direct your training? Let us know about it in the comments section.