Are You Spending Enough Time on Quality Assurance?

When’s the last time you received a well-rounded view on the quality of your contact center’s procedures? If you don’t use a regular method of quality assurance to stay abreast of recurring issues—think frustrated customers and ill-informed agents—then you aren’t serving up the best possible quality of customer care.

Rather than turn a blind eye to your staff’s most pertinent pain points, tackle them head on by implementing a powerful quality assurance strategy. For example, devote time—whether it’s weekly or monthly—to address common struggles your agents experience. Moreover, continue this assessment by drilling down into the shortcoming of individual agents. By offering personalized and consistent assessments—and training for those who need it—your quality of customer care efforts will improve.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of quality assessment, let’s discuss the fundamentals. The key steps to building an effective customer care evaluation strategy involve:

  • Offering consistent basic training: As a contact center supervisor you must constantly enforce your establishment’s core competencies. This means offering best-in-class phone etiquette and quick and efficient problem solving skills, to name a few.  The only way to ensure your agents are functioning at their highest capability is to check in on their consistency in these areas. By monitoring your agents’ basic skills—and subsequently providing on-going training using automated scoring cards, online educational tools and insights gathered from speech and desktop analytics—you can assure more consistent customer care across the board.
  • Accepting feedback from external auditors: It’s always a smart idea to get a second opinion on important matters, like the quality of your contact center best practices. As such, getting an expert’s feedback—like a call center quality skills analyst who evaluates your agents’ ability—on your call center procedures will augment the impact you have on your customer care outcomes. As a supervisor you might only hear the agent’s side of the interaction at times; however, an expert whose primary goal is to provide feedback from the customer’s perspective will provide actionable and balanced insights for continued learning and improvement.
  • Providing individualized agent training: Even if an agent is showing exemplary skills, when it comes to quality of customer care, there is always room for improvement. As such, tending to the weaknesses and building on the strengths of individual agents is an important asset to a comprehensive quality assessment strategy. Without quality monitoring, it will be impossible to see whether individual agents are functioning at a high level—for example, their call queues are never full and they remain poised under pressure—while some agents are stuck in the mud. These types of agents, for example, may be unable to attend to large call volumes or difficult customers.

Ensure your quality of customer care is continuously top-notch by implementing a strategic quality assessment program. Want more customer care tips? Read more of our blogs, here.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

The Power of InfoCision’s ‘Family-oriented’ Atmosphere

At InfoCision, we take pride in our supportive, communicative workplace atmosphere. In fact, we often refer to our offices as having a rather ‘family-like’ feeling. However, these past few weeks proved that this familial environment is, actually, quite literal.

You know what they say; sometimes what you’re searching for is right under your nose. Well, that is just what happened at our Youngstown, Ohio contact center when two of our employees discovered that they were the people they’d been searching for all their lives.

Our dear employee La-Sonya Mitchell-Clark received the shock of her life when she recently found out that her birth mother, who she’d been hoping to contact for her whole life, was in fact Francine Simmons—another valued employee who has been working with us for nearly 11 years now. Imagine, Mitchell-Clark would walk into work and see Simmons, the receptionist, at the front desk; they’d offer a friendly “Hello” completely unaware that they were the missing link in each other’s lives for all this time.

What’s more, another of Simmons’ daughters Kamala Cummings works at this same location as well. She told a local news station, WYTV, “It’s just amazing that all this time we’re thinking about her and trying to find her and she was trying to find, us, too.”

Now, you might have already read this emotional, heartwarming story in Cosmo or People, but today I’d like to acknowledge this incredible event from our perspective here at InfoCision.

I’d like our readership to understand that these are very special people and the fact that they‘ve found one another is such a blessing. I was just as amazed as everyone else when I heard the news, and it’s been something special spending time with the ladies and realizing what this means for them. This experience is so touching and is surely something I’ll never forget.

What makes this story so moving for InfoCision is that our employees always comment on what a great place this is to work because of the people—specifically, the relationships they build and the special bonds they share after working together.

It’s quite incredible to now have had such an unbelievable story unfold, taking place under our very own roof. Right now, the team at InfoCision is focused on making sure we are being supportive and encouraging to the family as it has been, quite understandably, an overwhelming and emotional time.

At InfoCision, we’re very inspired by this touching story, which relays to us the power of human emotion and establishing person-to-person connections. Each day our contact center Communicators try their best to translate these fundamentals of the human experience into our quality of customer care best-practices. After all, you never know who is on the other end of the line. It could very well be possible that you could speak to someone—who you think is just a stranger—who could change your mind, your day or, perhaps, your life.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Leverage Big Data to Make a Customer-Agent Match Made in Heaven

In the not-too-distant past, customers were randomly matched with contact center agents based on the order in which their call was received—essentially like rolling the dice.

Suffice it to say, this system was less than ideal as it often resulted in mismatches between callers and agents. Research shows callers have many different preferences that need to be addressed to create positive interactions. For instance, according to the help desk comparisons firm Software Advice, an overwhelming 67 percent of customers over the age of 65 prefer communicating at a slower pace over the phone, while just 57 percent of 18 to 24 year olds do. Furthermore, urban residents are the most likely to want to speak with an agent who is close to their own age.

The study also shows that customers have varying preferences in terms of tone, with some preferring formal and others preferring more casual deliveries, as well as in regard to the geographical location of agents. For instance, just 48 percent of 18 to 24 year old Americans prefer U.S.-based agents, while 78 percent of those aged 55 to 64 do.

So, how can you play matchmaker and ensure higher quality of customer service in your contact center? It’s entirely possible by combining an advanced skills-based routing platform with the power of big data. Using these next-generation business intelligence solutions, your contact center phone system will be able to identify key demographic information at the time of a call and automatically pair customers with appropriate agents. For instance, callers over the age of 65 can be paired with older agents or those trained to speak at a slower pace.

Click here to learn more about how your business can augment its match making skills by using best-in-class business intelligence solutions.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Calling All Contact Center Managers: How to Improve Your Quality of Customer Care

A successful, customer-oriented team of contact center agents don’t get that way over night. An expert team requires expert attention from a manager who uses tactful insights and business intelligence resources to the advantage of his or her team. Why is it then, that only 31 percent of organizations closely monitor their quality of customer care? With every lost customer costing a contact center an average of $243, it’s time for mangers to implement tools that aid in monitoring customer care best practices.

Below is a list of tips and tricks to improve quality of customer care and boost profit:

Leverage Data Analytics: Do more for your customers and your employees by supporting your customer care practices with actionable data. For example, combing through large amounts of data can help you create customer profiles and make strategic forecasts and predictions. These data-driven resources will help in targeting the right consumers and offering support in the most suitable way possible for specific demographics.

Celebrate Your Employees: Most workers strive for praise and crave healthy competition. Providing positive feedback on an agent’s successful customer relation will hopefully motivate fellow employees to want to match that level. Additionally, giving praise to those highly-successful employees for the stellar work they do will only inspire them further. Offering feedback will also clearly outline what is working and what is not; for instance, if you celebrate the strategic handling of an agent’s phone call that was at first going downhill, workers will understand what to do next time they are in a similar situation.

Promote Preparedness: There is nothing worse, in the mind of your customers, than a seemingly underprepared contact center agent. Improve your quality of customer care by implementing demographic scripting—a business intelligence tool used to help agents communicate effectively to different groups of consumers.

Next time you get the feeling your quality of customer care is floundering, refer to these helpful tips to get your contact center team up and running at its most efficient pace.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.