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6 Ways to Make a Contact Center Quality Management Program Sustainable

informalThe first part of our discussion of how to get agent buy-in for Quality Management (QM) programs included tips for how to design an agent-centric QM program. Here, we discuss how to make sure that agent goodwill for such a program is sustained.

It’s time to place a magnifying glass on every single aspect of your program to eliminate negative practices and emphasize the positive. Here are some suggestions:

Employees thrive on recognition and the acknowledgement that the work they do is important. A program that’s focused on dings and fails and ferreting out what’s wrong – WHO is wrong - is a downer. You want agents to feel like your QM program has something valuable to offer them. The best way to do that is to notice what people are doing right, and encourage more of it. All you need to do is uncover creative approaches to recognize and acknowledge employees’ accomplishments.

Here are some suggestions:

Wordsmith your QM requirements.

Word choice plays a role in steering coaching conversations in a positive, productive direction. A great place to start is to convert every “what NOT to do” on your monitoring form into a description of “what to do.” This gives coaches ready-made terminology to keep the focus on the desired behavior, rather than what the Agent did “wrong.”

Here are some examples:

Get in the habit of noticing and tracking positives.

Anyone who has ever kept a “gratitude journal” learns there’s power in intentionally noticing all the things that are going well (and it’s easy to be distracted by all the things that need “fixing”). Challenge yourself to notice all the things an Agent does right during a customer interaction and note them during evaluations, coaching sessions, and ad hoc conversations. What did the Agent bring to the call? What worked well? What should they continue? It’s easy for any of us to fall into the “fix it” trap and to fail to cultivate gratitude for the contributions and unique talents around us every day.

Create a Quality Call of the Month award.

Bonus points for a more creative award name than this. The award can be for the most meaningful, impactful, amazing call each month with a recording of the call (with sensitive data scrambled). Include why the call was so great, how it aligns with a company value, and give thanks to the Agent.

Layer in Quarterly Quality Superlatives to provide recognition and celebration for notable customer interactions.

Recognize the Agent who has made the greatest QM improvement, the most significant QM impact, or exemplary demonstration of a company value.

Ask a rotating roster of senior leaders from across the contact center and the organization to listen to a sample of pre-selected excellent calls and choose the best for a quarterly “Leadership Recognition Award”.

Then solicit a weekly “Lessons from Leadership” email where a senior leader shares what they learned while listening to an hour of calls; the lesson can include a notable agent performance.

Don’t wait for someone to knock it out of the park.

Acknowledge agents who demonstrate consistent performance, who are patient and empathetic with difficult customers, and other sometimes unnoticed-but-important behaviors.

When you close your eyes to envision a Quality Monitoring program your agent will love, you probably see positive coaching sessions, engaged conversations, and collaborative relationships. It feels good, doesn’t it? Even small changes can go a long way toward creating a positive, rewarding program your agent will embrace. 

To read Part 1 of this discussion on agent-centric Quality Management programs, click here