Contact Centre Quality: All data, no action?

Contact Centre Quality: All data, no action?

Do quality programmes in contact centres really make any difference?

Spend enough time in most contact centres today and it won’t be long until the following sentiment is uttered “Nothing ever actually comes from our Quality monitoring”. Worse still is that this sentiment is shared by both key operational stakeholders and the actual Quality team themselves. Talk about a dampener on morale.

But why is this the case when businesses are so committed to the process of measuring Quality that they continue to invest heavily in it?

The 2017 Dimension Data Global Customer Experience Benchmarking report indicates that there was a whopping 95.9% application rate for businesses assessing Quality on telephone interactions in 2017. It also indicated that Quality measures are still ranked amongst the top 3 agent performance metrics.

Organisations must focus on building effective cross-functional support service teams as a matter of priority.

“It’s really a case of all data and no action,” says Taryn Jordaan, Head of Quality at Merchants, “most organisations are fully committed to the process of Quality Monitoring. Many are actually over-investing in excessive sampling practices yet, they fail to give any attention to the actual mechanisms needed for effective operational deployment.”

While the best Quality teams work diligently to assess a valid sample of customer interactions, analyse the outputs and compile meaningful quality recommendations for both individual agent and total contact centre improvement, the sum of their efforts is usually a detailed Quality Findings Report. This is either distributed or presented to key operational stakeholders on a monthly basis and then left to gather dust.

“This is not due to lack of commitment or desire to affect change” says Jordaan, “and it is also not just a quality problem. Operational stakeholders within the contact centre are bombarded with an inordinate amount of information daily, arriving for multiple channels from multiple sources including Workforce Management, Management Information, Business Improvement and Training. There is simply not enough time to review, prioritise and action so many singularly focused items”.

Contact centre managers’ attention is split and distracted at a time when it could not be more imperative for it to be resolutely focused on clearly defined Customer and Business objectives.

So, what is the solution?

Organisations must focus on building effective cross-functional support service teams as a matter of priority” says Jordaan, “with the rise in complexity, driven by omni-channel interactions and the need to compete solely on responsiveness to customer expectations, contact centres need omni-channel support services that combine to deliver one source of refined and concentrated active intelligence to highlight key customer and business improvement priorities.”

“Customer experiences are not taking place in siloes, so contact centres can’t afford to be working in them either” says Jordaan.

This approach, coupled with an operational deployment framework, where actions are first prioritised against key customer and business objectives and then categorised by work stream for People, Process, Product and Technology improvements, ensures alignment of the entire contact centre to a set of clearly defined improvement objectives.

“Picture a prism”, says Jordaan “where one concentrated source of pure active intelligence is dispersed into a spectrum of targeted, measured activity.

Customer experiences are not taking place in siloes so contact centres can’t afford to be working in them either.

“Each work stream owner manages a cross-functional project team to deploy the actions assigned within their work stream, within the allocated time frame. This ensures one clear line of accountability per work stream and an even focus in addressing all priorities. Quality monitoring then becomes a key enabler to assess the effectiveness of the deployment.

“Businesses should continue investing in Quality – especially on digitally-assisted transactions – but with a cross-functional deployment framework as the cornerstone”.

This approach is an imperative if contact centres are going to be in a position to tackle the challenges of the rapidly changing digital landscape effectively.

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