Call Center Quality Assurance

Call center quality assurance should be the number one priority for all companies  that provide this service to their customers.

When thinking about quality  assurance in general, it’s always a good idea to consider the well-known golden  rule: do unto others as you would have  them do unto you.

As a customer, you have  probably had an unhappy encounter with what I think of as “phone mail hell,”  which is the excruciating experience of dealing with a synthesized computer  voice instructing you to push a variety of buttons and/or speak your responses  (usually several times) to get the desired (or any!) result.

There are many systems  available today that are designed to monitor call times, number of call  responses, etc. These systems are created by well-intentioned individuals and  companies for the purpose of monitoring and potentially improving Call center quality assurance procedures.

To that end, they track and  maintain a variety of statistics that can be analyzed and used to make call  center procedures more efficient and effective. Without detailing the features  of these systems, they probably all have some merit. Automated system aside however, I believe  that the most important aspect of Call  center quality assurance is the focus on creating happy clients via  personal human contact.

Some of the automated “push  1 for this choice, push 2 for the other choice” systems can potentially be  replaced by a simple checklist/questioning strategy read by a real live human  being.  While I realize that for large  call centers that take thousands of calls per day, this may seem like an  impractical suggestion, the customer should at least be given the option to  speak to a person upon request.

Whatever the methodology  used, periodic customer surveys are also a good method of assessing the  effectiveness Call center quality  assurance procedures.  While  automated call systems will give you statistics on average wait times, duration  of calls, etc., surveys will give you a better idea of the customer’s  impression of your service, which ultimately may have a great impact on client  retention.

Here are some suggested categories for a survey:

The value of the  information received/relevance to job function

The courtesy and professionalism of the support staff.

The amount of  wait time and whether it was well used (i.e., “dead air”, music, or useful  recorded information provided?)

Follow-up/turnaround time for call backs

Those are just a few general  categories to get you started on Call center QA improvements. Notice that the questions are  subjective because they are meant to determine the customers mindset as opposed  to simply gathering facts and figures.   Ultimately, the decision to buy (or remain a customer) is based on  emotion, not facts.