How courtesy can undermine agent performance

How can courtesy undermine agent performance? How does that happen? The 29 Quality Assurance Mistakes to Avoid e-book and self-assessment includes the question “Do your customers rate your agents’ level of courtesy as part of your current quality process?” The e-book contains questions that are designed to help you uncover issues with Quality Assurance programs within your customer contact center. Our desire is to help prevent you from following an industry trend of reliance on benchmarking (with the average performers) in order to evaluate your operations. We would hate to see you make a costly mistake of striving to reach average results. Nobody wants to dedicate valuable resources that undermine the ability to excel. This e-book was designed to help you sprint past mediocre; straight to the front of the pack. Continue reading

What is Inter-Rater Reliability Testing

What is inter-rater reliability testingWhat is Inter-Rater Reliability Testing?

The contact center industry is facing wide-spread instances of low employee morale and low overall customer satisfaction performance. Inter-rater Reliability (IRR) testing may help you to turn around this trend in your contact center. In order for this to occur the old method of quality monitoring calibration would need to be replaced with IRR testing.

Inter-Rater Reliability testing allows you to increase the consistency with your quality monitoring calibration process. Inter-Rater Reliability (IRR) testing for internal quality monitoring (iQM) practices is being used in leading contact centers to increase their agent performance and to address many of the chronic problems expereinced by using the traditional quality monitoring calibration process. IRR enables contact centers to be even more customer-centric by increasing the level of consistency from one agent to the next and from one grader of calls to the next. Continue reading

Videos on Contact Center Quality Assurance

Videos contact center quality assurance resources  This gallery of videos includes numerous topics related to contact center quality assurance programs (Check out the Contact Center Surveying gallery). Over the past several decades we analyzed what the best performing contact centers (high satisfaction and high cost containment) do and it is those observations that form the basis of the tutorials on contact center quality assurance contained in these videos. The topics discussed in these videos take on many of the false truths in quality assurance programs in contact centers. Some of the discussion topics will reaffirm your thoughts and some will defy long-held beliefs of what works and how to do things. Most all of these videos are less than 7-minutes in length and can be viewed individually on our YouTube page. Continue reading

Mind-blowing reality contact center agents share with doctors

In this video learn about Doctor Ava Knight and her plight with delivering the best patient (customer) experience. Ava became a doctor because she loves to help people, she loves to connect with people, she likes to build relationships, she likes to know she has made a difference in the lives of people. Ava shares a lot of similar characteristics with contact center agents, and the attributes of people that are sought out for hire by contact centers. But Ava is also experiencing the mind-blowing reality contact center agents share with doctors.

After you watch this video, you are going to think about your personal stories of the doctors you like, the time you spend in the waiting room, and the time you spend in the examining room and begin to connect your personal reality to the life and plight of contact center agents. If you are like most, you will probably laugh at this story. But it’s not going to be a laugh based in humor. It’s probably going to come from some other place that feels more uncomfortable that gives you that hair stand up on your neck feeling. Continue reading

Do customers need more empathy

Do customers need more empathy? How do you know? The 29 Quality Assurance Mistakes to Avoid e-book and self-assessment includes the question Do you include the customers’ rating of agents’ empathy to their situation as part of your current quality process?  The e-book contains reflective questions designed to uncover opportunities with Quality Assurance programs within contact centers. Identifying opportunities or detecting weaknesses is a critical step on the journey to elevate your contact center to one of undeniable importance to the organization. Let’s not get too focused on finding answers in a benchmarking report. Find your own path to excellence by leveraging your Quality Assurance program. No one has resources to waste on the assumed outcomes from a benchmark study. This e-book was designed to help you become a leader and not a follower and get a better understanding of empathy and several other topics associated with contact center quality. Continue reading

How to raise customer confidence with your contact center agents

The 29 Quality Assurance Mistakes to Avoid e-book and self-assessment includes the question “Do your customers rate their confidence in the answer provided by the agent as part of your quality process?”  The e-book contains questions designed to uncover opportunities in Quality Assurance programs within customer contact centers. A major task for management is to forever be in search of best practices, a golden ticket, and a new path to be illuminated so operations can be improved. Unfortunately, a too common trend is to look for answers via benchmarking but not all important service dynamics, such as customer confidence can be benchmarked. Many important customer experience criterion are not measured, not measured correctly, and not benchmarked. This e-book was designed to help you become the leader of the pack by not missing out on important tools.

Why is not having the customer confidence rating a problem?

Contact centers are highly complex organisms, wouldn’t you agree? Squeeze something over here and see the impact over there. As managers, we need to squeeze the right things so we get the effect that we need which is usually categorized as a better customer experience at a lower cost to provide. A customer experience with your contact center is extremely important for your brand. When a customer does not have trust in your center, well, they lose trust in the brand. Your agents have the power to be brand enhancers or brand detractors. Continue reading

How the contact center can deliver your brand promise

The 29 Quality Assurance Mistakes to Avoid e-book and self-assessment includes the question “Are your customers evaluating their level of confidence in the information provided to them as part of your quality process?”  The e-book contains a thought-provoking self-assessment that is designed to create self-awareness and leading practice awareness. Unlike benchmarking your Quality Assurance program and ending up being average or acting like someone else, you can deliver the uniqueness that customers are looking for today. Now is the time to discard activities that help you standardize performance to be mediocre. This e-book was designed to help you become a leader and better deliver on your brand promise.

Why not assessing organizational confidence is a brand promise problem?

Saying that brand matters more to Marketing is an incorrect assumption. Contact centers must fulfill the brand promise and uncover gaps in the brand’s promise. When a customer calls a customer service center, they do so with the assumption that the agent they speak with will be more knowledgeable than they themselves and are able to answer their questions. What happens when that perception is not the reality of the situation? Customers lose trust in your brand. Continue reading

Videos on Contact Center Surveying

This gallery includes numerous videos on contact center surveying (check out the Contact Center Quality gallery). Over the past several decades we have discovered many truths and disputed many falsehoods about contact center surveying and we share several findings and myth busting in the videos in this gallery. Most all of these video are less than 7-minutes in length and cover a range of topics that cover buy-in, survey scales, survey questions, survey reporting, data integrity, legal risk, and several success tips.

Please support our university-founding and share this resource openly so we can rid the world of Survey Malpractice. Use touch or your mouse to scroll the various subjects. You will find additional resources in our Contact Center Resource Library.   Continue reading

Contact Center Resources for Marketing Professionals

contact-center-resources-marketers-buttonAll of the brand promises developed by marketing professionals can be fulfilled, broken, or discovered in the contact center. More and more marketing professionals are taking keen interest in the operation and insights that can be captured in contact centers. Moments of truth, magic moments, defining moments, tipping points, perceptions, expectations, and recovery can all impact an organization’s brand and most often experienced and sensationalized and culminate in the contact center. These contact center resources for marketing professionals are focused on helping to better leverage the contact center for maximum brand impact.  Continue reading

Why consistency with QA calibration may make you inconsistent

“Do you conduct inter-rater reliability testing?” is a question that is included in the 29 Quality Assurance Mistakes to Avoid e-book and self-assessment. This e-book contains diagnostic questions to uncover common errors made within Quality Assurance programs in contact centers. Benchmarking is not always helpful if you want to break-away from the pack and deliver an exceptional customer experience. Actually, benchmarking has a tendency to hold you back to the average and can limit you from realizing your true potential. This article pinpoints one of the biggest benchmarking blunders of all time in contact centers. This e-book was developed to help you go past being average and improve your QA Calibration practices.

Why is QA calibration, instead of Inter-rater Reliability testing a problem?

Have you heard the expression about the man with only one clock? He’s the man who always knows what time it is, but the man with more than one clock is never quite sure. This is exactly how call center managers should feel when there is more than one person grading calls for internal quality assurance purposes. The answer to the drive toward consistency is one of the common not-even-close-to-best practices that have permeated the industry: QA Calibration. Continue reading

Why QA must generate a company score beyond VoC

“As part of your QA process, are you generating a score for the company?” is one of the questions included in the 29 Quality Assurance Mistakes to Avoid e-book and self-assessment. The e-book includes diagnostic questions designed to uncover opportunities with Quality Assurance in contact centers. While benchmarking reports may be an easy way to obtain reassurance that you are on the right path, we recommend that you exercise extreme caution in what you deem to be a goal. The industry is not moving fast enough to close the gap between customer-defined quality and company-defined quality, so benchmarking results in quality presents an unacceptable level of performance compared to customer-centric terms. This e-book was developed to help you gain insight into leading practices and better understand why a company score beyond VoC is so important. 

Why is not having a company score from QA a problem?

If your response was something along the lines of ‘the customer answers those questions in our Voice of the Customer program’, then this ebook will be a great tool for you. A company score is not a customer satisfaction score; it’s something that is generated from within the company, and is taken into account with your Voice of the Customer program results (BTW: an eQM program goes beyond VoC). A company score is generated from evaluating company performance using questions 1, 2, and 4 from the Four Vital Questions of Impact Quality Assurance, or iQA for short.  Continue reading

How do channels like e-mail, chat, Twitter and Facebook impact the agent

Recently Matt McConnell interviewed Jim Rembach at Customer Relationship Metrics; the original post is located on Intradiem’s blog.

are-you-generating-volume-in-one-channel-because-of-poor-service-in-anotherIn an effort to provide better customer service, contact centers have added more channels of communication. But how do channels like e-mail, chat, Twitter and Facebook impact the agent?

Ultimately, it’s a balancing act, says Jim Rembach, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Customer Relationship Metrics, an award-winning contact center managed analytics services company.

Jim tells us, “When you look at the ability of human beings and what we can handle, multi-tasking isn’t always possible. Studies have shown the brain ends up inefficiently switching focus from one activity to another. When you have all of these channels, you increase the likelihood of poor performance from your agents.”

Over the past few decades, organizations have gone back and forth between segmentation and universal agents. When too much is put on agents’ plates, the degradation of the customer experience begins and the roles are often separated again to turn around poor agent performance. Continue reading

Infographic of contact center solutions like we see on TV

Infographic of contact center solutions like we see on TVWant to solve ALL your customer experience and contact center issues TODAY? It’s easy! Get the infographic of contact center solutions like we see on TV and learn about the multivitamins you can give your agents to improve engagement energy! Or you can use the Customer Experience in a spray to instantly provide that WOW experience…

I’m obviously kidding. If only it were that simple, right? We’ve all seen those infomercials touting the latest quick-fix unbelievable products that you must have. After being in this industry for a few decades, I see some of the claims of many contact center solution vendors not falling too far from this infomercial tree.

Those with valuable experience know that meaningful transformation takes hard work and dedication, especially when it comes to your contact center. The infographic of contact center solutions like we see on TV covers employee engagement, improved customer experiences, voice of the customer needs, quality assurance wows, overcoming cross-functional barriers, difficulty in managing hold times; these are issues that plague many contact centers and truly require skilled experts to help in resolving, not some software purchase, or silly infomercial product.  Continue reading

What’s the right number of things to measure on your QA form

“Do you have less than 20 scoring criteria to grade on your internal quality monitoring form?” is a question that is included in the 29 Quality Assurance Mistakes to Avoid ebook and self-assessment. What’s the right number of things to measure on your QA form? Seeking your answers in benchmarking reports may seem like an easy way to get reassurance of direction; however, exercise extreme caution. Many people ask ‘how many things should I measure on my QA form?’, but this may not be the right question to ask. It’s too easy to focus on the number. Ultimately, nobody wants to invest in a quality program that is prohibited from delivering value. Most QA forms with more than 20 criteria to measure deliver low value.  This e-book was developed to help you get more value from your quality assurance program.

Why is having more than 20 things to measure on your QA form a problem? Continue reading

Why FCR is not a contact center metric anymore

“Do other parts of your business take responsibility for FCR performance?” is a question that was included in the 29 Quality Assurance Mistakes to Avoid ebook and self-assessment. The ebook and self-assessment includes a series of diagnostic questions to uncover long-term problems of Quality Assurance in contact centers. It’s likely that you have seen benchmarking information on FCR, but beware – it’s easy to focus on common practices that position FCR as just a contact center metric. With FCR, it’s difficult to benchmark considering that this contact center metric is not calculated in a comparative format. Benchmarking activities has resulted in a narrow Quality Assurance definition that, for most, has not developed past the middle/average service experience. This ebook was developed to help you be much more than average and position FCR as more than a contact center metric. Continue reading

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