3 Quality Benchmarking Lessons from Facebook

3 Quality Benchmarking Lessons from Facebook

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Social media outlets like Facebook provide a continuous update on how fabulous everyone’s life is. At any moment of the day there’s a new post about something fabulous. But beware of trying to compare the happy summaries you see to your own life. It’s crazy to get sucked into that comparison game and it can lead to self-imposed depression. Don’t use Facebook to quality benchmark life.

Creating Quality Benchmarking in contact centers is much like using Facebook to quality benchmark life. The data points are not an accurate picture of reality. Why would you use benchmarking information to determine whether your center quality is world-class or not?

When I was discussing with my team question 18 (Is your customer defining the definition of world-class quality assurance?) in the 29 Mistakes to Avoid with Quality Assurance self-assessment, it made me think about this Facebook “life-quality” parallel problem. The similarity reminded me of three reasons quality benchmarking in contact centers leads to a self-imposed depression.

Three Reasons Quality Benchmarking Creates Depression

When not letting your customer define world-class quality it’s incorrect to use benchmarking to put a stake into the ground against which to judge performance. The risk associated with such a practice is not small. You need to know that:

  1. 3 Quality Benchmarking Lessons from FacebookOperational Metrics do not define Quality – Benchmarking your call center performance against others’ operational metrics does not define the Quality of your contact center. The case seems to be logical on the surface. If our ASA, average talk time, abandoned call percentage, ACW, transferred calls %, agent turnover, and agent occupancy are in the top Quartile of our peers, it means that Quality is good. Right? At this point, your comparison is based on self-reported data with some level of inconsistent definitions. This sounds very much like a case of Facebook Benchmarking.
  2. Internal Quality Monitoring (iQM) does not define Quality – iQM scores are another common definition of Quality. How is your center doing on its performance self-assessment? It’s likely that you are doing “very well” and maybe even extremely well and that you are reporting this to C-level management. How much of that iQM score is the same as a positive-slanted Facebook post? Now take an iQM score and make it part of a benchmark data base. iQM is a lot more subjective than operational metrics making a comparison rather meaningless.
  3. Executives do not define Quality – It’s very trendy to pay for participation in those fancy awards programs. Corporate leaders want to see that trophy logo in their advertising. Well, spend the money to be part of the study but realize that it’s just a benchmarking project that has all of the benchmarking flaws. Those awards do not define Quality but do announce that your organization is probably overstating performance. Will your customers trust you more or less?

customers-grade-the-callsIt’s depression in the making to assume that self-reported benchmarking information is accurate so do not hold a benchmark up as goal to exceed or as a roadmap for performance improvement. The customers’ perspective is the one that defines Quality. Customer-defined Quality is the outcome you seek and you do that by developing models that quantitatively set your performance goals for operational metrics and for Internal Quality Monitoring.

If you don’t, your Quality is nothing more than a foolish activity, just like quality benchmarking the value of your life using Facebook.

About Dr. Jodie Monger

Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics and a pioneer in voice of the customer research for the contact center industry. Before creating CRMetrics, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University’s Center for Customer-Driven Quality.

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