Taking an Honest Look at Your Customer Service When the Holidays Are Over

During busy season, business hours are typically extended and the volume of customers reaching out to call centers to ask questions or make purchases increases dramatically. As the atmosphere inside companies grows hectic, many executives and their employees simply put their heads down and work towards the finish line, rarely taking even a second to catch their breath.

Taking a hard look at your quality of customer service right in the middle of the holiday rush is probably unrealistic—every department in your organization is simply too busy. When busy season dies down and gives way to a new year, however, that is the perfect time to evaluate the experiences your customers received.

You might be asking why you need to begin the reflection process so early. After all, you have another 11 months before the holiday season revs up again, and you probably would like to take it easy for a little while after the rollercoaster you’ve been on since Thanksgiving. But in truth, it takes time to build a culture that encourages and rewards outstanding customer service not just for the holidays, but for the entire year. And you can’t begin to make course corrections in your best practices before you have a clear idea of what worked well and what didn’t during the holiday season.

Conducting an honest assessment of performance can be a little uncomfortable, as it forces you to acknowledge that there are areas where your organization can improve. But at the same time, it is critically important that you never stop working towards making your company great because complacency is the enemy of innovation and business success. That’s why in business, as in life, honesty is the best policy.

You can achieve InfoCision quality in your call centers even if you don’t use our contact center services. Click here to learn how InfoCision’s Quality Check Monitoring Systems help you take an honest look at your quality of customer service.

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 American Teleservices Association (ATA). 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 higher honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

The Importance of Call Center Compliance

As every business leader knows, there are always going to be times when an organization must take risks.  However, when it comes to regulatory compliance in the call center industry, taking risks should never be an option.  Capital One Financial Corp, which has been working exclusively with low-cost offshore call center vendors, was recently fined $210 million dollars by the Consumer Protection Bureau for deceptive marketing tactics undertaken by their offshore call center partner.  Unfortunately, because the call center was short cutting training and quality processes, the client has become responsible for significant fines resulting from the fraudulent practices by their offshore call center agents.

Capital One released a statement in response, “Capital One’s third-party vendors did not always adhere to company sales scripts and sales policies for payment protection and credit-monitoring products, and the bank did not adequately monitor their activities.”

Compliance at InfoCision
No company should ever have to issue a statement like this because of the unethical practices of their marketing partner.  Here at InfoCision, our policy is that WE, not our clients, are primarily responsible for meeting the state and federal requirements for every program that takes place in one of our call centers.  We provide our clients with a dedicated team of regulatory compliance experts to give them peace of mind in all aspects of the management of their campaign.  As a company, your reputation is too important to leave to chance.

More than lip service: Quality involves detailed analysis

InfoCision’s commitment to quality never wavered through its growth and expansion. “Our goal is to deliver our clients the highest possible return on investment, and our commitment to quality has enabled us to produce superior results,” says Brian Feisthamel, director of quality assurance at InfoCision.

InfoCision actively demonstrates its belief in quality through its quality assurance process called Q3®, an evaluation system that provides instantaneous feedback to call center employees.

Quality monitoring is invaluable because it provides feedback for Communicators so they understand how to improve, which can lead to increased sales or donations, or higher customer service levels. The ability to customize a program on the fly to meet client needs is a key differentiator for InfoCision. In fact, it played a role in InfoCision securing a multimillion dollar contract with a leading national wireless provider; now one of InfoCision’s largest clients.

Quality assurance also plays a part in InfoCision’s ability to expand rapidly to meet client demand. In the last 10 years, InfoCision has added 24 call centers and more than 3,000 employees. Being able to match the quality and performance of its existing centers within the first month of operation is a real game changer.

The Q3® system involves a threetiered evaluation process, Feisthamel explains. The process scores call center agents at multiple levels and involves 112 individuals across all InfoCision locations.

To ensure consistency among these three sets of evaluators, InfoCision conducts monthly calibration exercises and accuracy ratings. “The Q3® system was developed to ensure we have checks and balances in place and that all procedures, corporately as well as for our clients, are handled properly,” he noted.

This is an excerpt from InfoCision Marketing Solutions Magazine, Fall 2011.