For someone who is a part of a call centre in any way, be it an employee or manager, the most important aspect to consider is what the client wants. Then, the question that follows is: are we satisfying these needs?
“We all need feedback. That’s how we improve.” These are the words of the one and only—Mr. Bill Gates, on the importance of customer reviews. Quality and feedback always go hand-in-hand. After all, the best way to improve is by knowing what your customers feel about you.
Constructive criticism will also improve your agents’ performance drastically. However, delivering corrective feedback comes with its own challenges. Unfortunately, there are a number of loopholes that can derail this process, such as:
(a) Lack of Confidence
Confronting employees with the results of their feedback or potential issues can be tough. While some managers do it with grace, others may doubt their ability to handle such situations. This greatly impacts the transparency of feedback.
(b) Vague Feedback
Managers providing vague or non-specific feedback often fail to motivate their agents to do better or point them in the right direction. Non-targeted feedback often fails to provide real-time examples and actionable suggestions, vital for improving overall performance.
Providing timely, effective and transparent feedback plays a very important role in employee engagement and improving their work satisfaction as well. To empower call centre leaders and improve agent performance, we’ve curated some effective practices that will help deliver impactful feedback.
(1) Consider Customer Feedback as a ‘Starting Point’ Towards Better Customer Service
If you want to implement a continuous improvement plan for your call centre’s service quality, the best place to start would be by gathering consumers’ responses to build an assessment. This practice helps understand the current scenario and design new experiences.
(2) Effective Feedback is a Two-way Street
While customer critiques hold enormous value and we believe all feedback is good feedback, you’ve only truly won if you heed the responses and act on them promptly. When we say feedback should be a two-way street, we mean that it should also be acted upon and not just listened to.
(3) Be Consistent with Feedback
They say there’s no better time than now. Reflect upon a situation is as soon as it happens. If you see something positive, say it then and there. For example, when you see an agent doing well on call, do not wait for a month-end meeting —instead do a little thumbs up right away to let them know.
This puts employees in a positive frame of mind and they act accordingly. It also makes the employee feel valued and boosts their energy and confidence to perform even better in the future.
(4) Let Agents Self-evaluate
When someone initiates the conversation of self-evaluation, be it employees or companies, things tend to flow seamlessly. Both the parties remain open to feedback compared to when it’s a unilateral process.
Impactful feedback is more than just the communication of client comments. It requires meaningful dialogue and parties who are open to encouragement as well as criticism.
Of course, the art of giving criticism is just as important as the ability to receive it.
So How can You Effectively Phrase Feedback to Measure Call Centre Performance?
- Be neutral and objective: Feedback should be free of personal bias and emotions. Base your comments on observations, data and concrete figures so that your agents do not feel dumbfounded or cornered.
- Empathise: Never forget to listen to the other party’s point of view during a feedback session. This makes agents feel understood and they are more receptive towards implementation of the feedback given.
- Start with praise: In case it’s negative feedback, don’t jump to criticism right away. Instead, start with the aspects of their performance that you do appreciate and then segue into critical aspects of it.
- Pair feedback with real-time examples: Call centre performance evaluation must include relevant examples to help drive home your point.
Simply put, feedback is important at every step of the quality evaluation process. Now that the features of an effective feedback session are clear, let’s move on to creating a call centre quality evaluation process that works for you.
(a) Call Analysis
While it’s ideal to trust the capabilities of your agents, there will always be scope for improvement––for them to deliver a service that fits the company culture perfectly.
Call monitoring is the first step towards setting up an effective quality assurance method. By keeping a record of customer-agent interactions, you get to know the quality of the conversations firsthand.
Other important aspects that are highlighted by call monitoring are:
- Impactful service delivery methods
- If the agent’s tone is in line with the company
- If issues are being identified and resolved within stipulated time
Based on the results of these recordings, managers can also create personalised and targeted sessions to improve specific skill sets and train new recruits.
(b) Leveraging Reports to Enhance Quality
Comprehensive and graphic reports based on call centre data enable managers to decipher the service levels better. They also let you sort the data and metrics using filters for specific quality parameters.
Call centre performance needs a holistic approach across departments and agents, and putting data at your fingertips helps make informed decisions.
(c) Consistent Training
Training should be a consistent and on-going aspect rather than being an occasional effort, and call centre quality management lets you do just that.
Implementing a timely and personalised learning process equips your agents with essential tools and eliminates the fluff that can otherwise can go unnoticed.
However, don’t try to measure everything
We are living in an information-intensive environment. By including and measuring all the KPIs under the sun, it makes it very difficult to evaluate what really matters.
The transition of quality management from conventional scoring to measuring the overall quality of the interaction.
By focusing heavily on rigid measurements, your quality assurance framework might be right but you may miss out on other important aspects. Smart organisations realise that checkbox approaches such as “Did you say customer’s name at least thrice on a call?” never result in great customer experiences.
Instead, companies should concentrate on the overall outcome of customer delight. Flexibility is key and providing agents with the autonomy to conduct themselves over calls boosts confidence and motivation, and in turn, the overall outcome of customer satisfaction.
Opt for Cloud Solutions for a 360-degree Feedback System
To stay updated on the technology front, you need to look for solutions that are highly flexible and, yet, scalable at the same time. Cloud services provide you with a robust analytics system and real-time feedback. They offer features such as call recording and data insights which are vital to performance evaluation.
Quick wins that Quality Assurance Managers can Implement Easily
Introducing a comprehensive cycle of collecting data, analysing it and training the agents surely guarantees excellent quality assurance. However, if you want to start slow, begin with these practices for immediate results:
- Ensure that your metrics and KPIs really contribute towards quality assurance. Consider Average Call Handling Time or AHT. A commonly used metric, it can actually be detrimental to the quality assessment process if agents are focussed on the duration of call rather than customer satisfaction.
- Keep a holistic approach when it comes to customer communication. Scripts should only be used as references. Real value lies in looking at a conversation from the customer’s point of view. If they’re happy with the outcome, you should be too.
- Make sure that the insights you collect are not only negative but positive too. Agents should feel comfortable about the feedback session rather than just having their shortcomings pointed out to them. A little praise takes everyone a long way.
By following these strategies, your call centre will have a more motivated and focussed workforce. Your agents will experience a higher level of engagement and, hence, job satisfaction. Effective quality assurance practices will also boost productivity and collaboration so that your organisation works together like a well-oiled machine.
There is no shortage of latest technologies and tools to aid ideal quality assurance processes. However, with a lack of appropriate strategies or goal understanding, these tools can fall short of their objectives.
If you wish to implement a robust quality management for your call center, talk to our experts at 1800-120-4132. Start now to deliver exceptional quality for your customers.