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Eight Ideas to Put Quality Management at the Heart of Your Contact Center

look at thisYour quality management (QM) program is probably well-established, with guidelines and definitions, rules, and ratings. But does it have a heart, one that contributes meaning and spark to how we think about customer interactions?

Here are eight ideas to make sure the heart of your quality management program is healthy and pulsing with life:

1. Position quality results and micro-trends front and center.

Walk into any contact center and you’ll see real-time and recent operational results posted everywhere, but where are the quality results?

Boost the quality focus by making real-time, daily and weekly quality trends visible, and use them to tell a compelling story. How is our quality today? What happened yesterday? What are quality micro-trends? Where are we excelling? What are we hearing from customers this week? How are we using what we learn to inform our business and serve customers better?

2. Create a quality public relations campaign.

Take a page from marketing and craft a persuasive campaign to communicate your unique quality brand. Create a fun video to orient new hires to the quality process. Host a dessert bar when you hit a quality milestone. Survey stakeholders to gauge buy-in and engagement. Create a crowdsourced quality vision statement. Complete an annual report highlighting continuous improvement achievements, explaining how quality supports the business, and sharing goals for the coming year.

3. Add a quality twist to your celebrations.

Incorporate frequent, creative, and spontaneous recognition and celebration of quality accomplishments into daily life. Quality should be part of the air we breathe at work – and the more we find opportunities to celebrate our accomplishments, the more we will associate quality with positive feelings of accomplishment and achievement.

Here are some suggestions to do this:

  • Create an employee-nominated award for employees who made a meaningful contribution to the quality vision each month. Share nominee stories, create a photo display, and end the year with a lunch for winners.
  • Develop an on-the-spot QM recognition program. Give employees 5 to 10 monthly “on the spot” kudo cards to award when they witness notable, quality-related moments of truth.
    Never let a celebration go to waste. Sure, Halloween is fun, but it’s even more fun when you challenge teams to compete in a quality-themed celebration.

4. Host your own contact quality confab.

Create a quarterly customer “listening” event which includes every company employee who is connected to the contact center or the customer. There are unlimited variations on the confab to account for space and time restrictions.

Here are two ideas:

  • Post three customer interaction recordings, set a deadline, and invite participants to share their insights using a surveying tool like SurveyMonkey. What were the Quality strengths and opportunities in this interaction? How can we improve the customer experience? Analyze the feedback and share the insights with participants.
  • Schedule a quarterly “week of listening” which offers mix-and-match opportunities for everyone in the contact center or adjacent to the customer experience to side-by-side, listen to recordings, or attend hosted listening sessions. All of this “listening” can be synthesized into a comprehensive “what we heard” and “what we can do with it” summary presentation.

5. Add more show and less tell into Quality Management processes.

The more time agents spend observing interactions, the more they learn what works and what doesn’t. Most QM forms describe what we want to hear, but our employees learn best through real life experiences and examples. Build in 2 to 3 hours a month for agents to listen, discuss, and analyze a wide range of customer interactions. Rather than describing the QM process, break out the form and a recording and give Agents the change to interact with the QM criteria and scoring.

6. Organize an agent quality roundtable.

While quality team members are “stewards” of quality, agents own it. The ownership mentality doesn’t always come naturally, though. Create a supportive framework for agents to take the lead, flex their leadership skills, and learn more about their role as “quality owners” with a rotating Agent Quality Roundtable, where agents can observe and discuss interactions, and brainstorm solutions to solve for entrenched quality barriers, and bring insights back to their teams.

7. Cultivate quality champions.

Employees look to senior leadership to set priorities and demonstrate what’s important. When leaders advocate for the quality vision, endorse the Agent Quality Roundtable, sponsor the Contact Quality Confab and quality-focused celebrations – this clearly communicates the expectation that quality is at the heart of the contact center. To jumpstart a team of quality champions, draft a QM vision to appeal to senior leadership’s existing priorities and connect QM impact with company goals.

8. Craft a quality champion wish list.

Prioritize and clearly communicate where your champions can make the biggest impact. Create a monthly schedule for side-by-sides and participation in quality confabs, send an executive summary of monthly quality results with relevant context, and communicate your gratitude for their contributions. Everyone – even senior leaders – loves recognition, so make sure they know how important their involvement is and how much you value it.

When you envision your contact center with quality at its heart, and aspire to spark QM engagement in every customer-focused employee, you not only extract more value from customer listening, but you have the potential to unite every employee around what matters most to your business.