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Involve Contact Center Agents in the QA Process


One of the major challenges for most contact centers these days is how to align with the agents when it comes to the internal and external scoring process. What does “good”/”pass”/”80%” look like for the people who live and breath the customers’ issues, on an hourly basis? 

Before we get into that, let’s take a step back. Imagine, if you could, you as a frontline agent. You know that you have to “make the customer happy” and “resolve their issue”, and, in some cases, work with tools and systems that are not always built for purpose, or with the customer in mind. Easy job, right?

The traditional QA process would involve a quality assistant reviewing agent calls (usually remotely) and then providing feedback to the agent using a QA scoresheet. The agent may have never seen the scoresheet before and will only see it at these coaching sessions. The QA sheet is usually created with inputs from the client and the vendor, and then launched to the sound of bells and whistles. Now, ask yourself, in most cases, is there an uplift in these metrics because of the changes to the QA sheet?

The missing piece of the puzzle is the agents. While the senior leaders from the client and the vendors are giving themselves a pat on the back, the agents are sitting there saying to themselves, “Another new QA sheet, but it doesn’t help us solve the customers’ issues. We have to do a step which is just a waste of time and impacts our AHT.”

Maybe it’s time for a change. I am a huge advocate for getting agents involved in the QA process. Yes, it’s going to be painful to mine through their suggestions on ways to improve, but I guarantee you will find a golden nugget, an “Aha” moment that will positively impact the agent’s journey and the customer’s journey.

Agents should be part of the ongoing process with QA. Let them attend internal and external QA/Calibration sessions. I would also encourage the setting up of something that I call “a listening bay” - a dedicated area somewhere off the ops floor equipped with a monitor, headphones, and a keyboard. Here, the agent will be allowed to listen to their own calls, and score using the existing QA sheet. It’s so powerful to see where you have opportunities to grow in your own performance when you can see it in black and white.

If done correctly, this retooling of the QA process will have a positive impact on all customer centric-KPIs, and make agents feel part of the process. It can also have the potential of creating a learning lab for agents to visit when they simply can’t see the forest for the trees.