As customer centricity in businesses continues to increase, the importance of call centers and agent-customer interactions has come into sharper focus. Customer experience management is increasingly becoming the determining factor in whether the customer in question will continue to do business with you or switch to the competition. As is evident, it has become imperative for business owners to invest their energies in employing best practices to focus on customer retention and manage effective interactions.
Things, however, are especially bad with the banking and financial sector in Australia. The recent Royal Commission inquiry has revealed gross malpractices on the part of call center employees of some of the front-line Australian banking and insurance companies.
Apparently, the culture of heavily incentivizing agents for bagging policy sales has led them to flout basic norms and ethics during customer interactions on call. Some made admissions that sales staff gave personal advice or opinions to consumers when selling life insurance over the phone. It was also revealed that the company’s quality assurance system did not mark calls as non-compliant when a medium or high-risk operational requirement was not met.
As technology advances, NLP based applications such as Cognitive Insights with that uses Natural Language Processing for functionalities such as, Automated Regulatory Compliance and Sentiment & Tone Analysis to enhance customer interaction experience, are increasingly being employed by Call Centre Managers to handle quality issues and improve agent performance.
However, these applications are just part of a long and lasting set of integrated solutions called, Call Monitoring and Call Evaluation.
Call Monitoring, Scoring and Evaluation
Monitoring, Scoring and Evaluating calls is the sure-fire way for call center managers to keep track of their agents’ performances. With this scientific and elaborate method, they can easily spot and discover problems within their teams by monitoring their interactions against set standards, thereby boosting quality standards, compliance, and overall customer satisfaction levels.
Steps to ensure Quality Control at your Call Centre
1. Setting Quality Goals: At the pre-monitoring stage, set a baseline of metrics to measure against. This will help compare the current state of the call center against the desired state. Ask questions like: What standards should be put in place? What areas are functioning perfectly?
2. The Monitoring Process: Develop a quality monitoring scorecard that takes into account not only the agreed upon metrics but also other indicators that will be instrumental in driving financial stability and improved customer experiences. Some things to be considered while building the ideal scorecard are:
a. Metrics should be aligned with company policy, customer expectations, KPI’s and external benchmarking
b. Maintain clarity on the definition and measurement of Quality Interactions (how/what will be measured?)
c. Comprehensive understanding of customer expectations through data collected via interviews, surveys and focus groups
d. Identification and listing of excellent, average and poor quality examples of behaviors to be assessed
e. Continual reassessment of scorecards to detect scope for improvements
3. Training Managers and Agents: Conduct Manager-Agent coaching sessions to update the team about metrics and expected codes of behavior in customer interactions.
4. Analysing Calls for Data: Make calls with the metrics in place and monitor them against existing scorecard. Analysing each call will reveal if existing scorecard is working or not. While it is impossible to monitor each call, the ideal scenario is to strategically select calls prioritized by importance and criticality i.e. new agent calls, high-value prospect calls, calls to those with negative experiences in the past and so on.
5. Repeat and Update: Review and update processes according to monitoring experiences.
As a business owner, Call Monitoring and Scoring can directly impact your revenues by influencing customer retention rates and much more. Here’s why you shouldn’t be thinking twice about it:
· Improves Agent Productivity by successfully spotting his flaws in interactions
· Provides Insightful Feedback through Manager-Agent coaching sessions
· Helps Goal Setting by taking action on qualitative/quantitative data culled through call data mining
· Tracks Progress through scientific Call Monitoring and Call Scoring
· Expedites Skill Building by pinpointing agent problem areas
· Improves Customer Satisfaction by improving service quality
To ensure consistent call delivery quality, it is important to invest in standardized call monitoring practices. This will increase agent effectiveness and remarkably reduce compliance issues while decreasing agent turnover and costs. That’s a small investment for big returns!