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“This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes.” Every time you hear this don’t you want to tell that automated message: “and I will be monitoring this call for quality purposes too”? Don’t lie, you know you do it. Let it be known, your customers are doing this too.

I think contact center leaders are both the most critical and yet the most understanding customers when it comes to receiving service from other contact centers. I find myself giving contact center agents that are trying hard more benefit-of-the-doubt and I want them to be successful. Your customers are not as forgiving or as understanding.

Customers Evaluate your Service on Social Media

Unfortunately the “quality assurance purposes…” message is played all of the time and many customers know the purposes for the monitoring and recording isn’t for their benefit. They know this because they are not given the same invitation to participate in using the call for quality assurance purposes. They are not included in the process.

Until the wide spread use of social media customers had to put up with being cut out of the quality assurance process. Again don’t lie, you know they are cut out. The only thing they were able to do was ask for a supervisor and get the “policy” response or tell their small circle of friends about the low quality assurance score you earned.

Social Media has given the customers the power in knowledge and price and it has also given the customer power in contact center quality assurance. Regardless of you allowing customers to participate in the quality assurance process, they are doing it for themselves (Bob Smith’s QA, Rachel Jones QA, Your Brand QA) – and are sharing it with world.

Voice of the Customer Programs are Poor Quality Assurance Tools

QA, quality monitoring, social media

Many organizations have implemented voice of the customer programs or customer feedback programs in their contact centers with poor results. Internally, voice of the customer programs are perceived to allow customers the opportunity to evaluate the service they receive, but I rarely see voice of the customer programs constructed like a quality assurance program. For example, I recently reviewed a post-call IVR-survey script that contained the question, “How long did you wait on hold?” Then the customer was asked to give their feedback by selecting a response from several choices that included time increments. Customers were asked to pick from responses from 1 minute to over five minutes. Sound like a good idea?

Remember, your telephone switch can give you wait time information. You have to ask, does the answer to this question give customers the opportunity to monitor quality and their perception of service delivery? Heck no, it’s a foolish waste of time and brain real estate. The answer to this question will provide information, but it is not actionable. The answer to that question has little value to anyone.

Think External Quality Monitoring for Quality Assurance, not VOC
The most skilled contact centers proactively give customers control to evaluate the call for quality assurance purposes. By incorporating customers into the process you give them a sense of empowerment and they are more engaged because you brought them into your quality assurance program. Also, you can prevent the social media negative sentiment.

customers-grade-the-callsWhen you implement an external quality monitoring process the message is more like this, “We may monitor or record this call for quality assurance purposes and when it is over you may evaluate this call for quality assurance purposes too.”

WOW, hello customer-centricity!

By doing this you can give customers the perception of equal footing with your company and that you are transparent and will not attempt to deny any promise that has been or is going to be made. You want a customer service differentiator? There it is.
You don’t want to do that? Hey, if you don’t give customers a level playing field they will create one for themselves. They will turn the tables on your quality assurance program and give you your evaluation score and ding you to death. Who will be running your quality assurance program then?

External Quality Monitoring program design is much more effective in delivering actionable insights than is voice of the customer or customer feedback program design. External Quality Monitoring programs cut right to the central elements that customers feel are needed for a call to have good quality

Don’t Guess at It

What are the elements? You have to conduct a customer interaction analysis to determine the high-level drivers of the customer experience. If you only guess, you end up with stupid questions like, “How long did you wait?”

 

About Jim Rembach

Jim Rembach is a panel expert with the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and an SVP for Customer Relationship Metrics (CRM). Jim spent many years in contact center operations and leverages this to help others. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence (EQ) practitioner and frequently quoted industry expert. Call Jim at 336-288-8226 if you need help with customer-centric enhancements.

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