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

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

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

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“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?

Does your quality monitoring form look more like a short-story or a checklist for nuclear physics than criteria to rate a customer’s call, email, or chat session? Does it take you more than twice as long to complete the monitoring evaluation form as the entire call or interaction lasted? If so, that’s a problem for so many more reasons than I can cover here. But let’s start with the obvious point I made above – do you think it’s efficient or effective to take 15-minutes to review and document an interaction that only took 5-minutes to complete?

How many hours a day or week is your team spending to answer all of those questions about the call and interactions? Does it really matter because that is, in fact, their job? Actually, their job is to contribute value to the Quality Assurance program so wasted time diminishes value – directly because of wages and indirectly because of harming the customer experience. When you assign some dollar figures to the amount of time spent with ineffectual activities, the amount of money wasted adds up quickly. Sure, you think to yourself, each supervisor (or analyst) only has to review 5 calls per agent each month, so that equates to 50 calls for my team of ten agents. But there are 300 agents in the center that somebody has to review each month.

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

What if I told you that instead of each of the 30 supervisors spending 10 minutes reviewing each call (that on average is only 5 minutes long) that you could yield better results by spending no longer than the call? That means instead of spending 500 minutes (8.33 hours!) per month evaluating calls, it could be done in only 4 hours or less and be more effective. Each supervisor would have at least four more hours each month to actually conduct call coaching with your agents to help them improve and grow. I know what you are thinking – tell me how!

What’s the right number of things to measure on your QA form? Let’s start by critically evaluating the criteria that are rated on a monitoring form. The foundation of the process is to assess whether or not the agent provided good customer service based on company guidelines. That means there are some things that are included as a standard rating item – such as did the agent execute a proper greeting to begin the experience. But what other things are you rating that are forcing you to listen to the call not from the company guidelines standpoint but as though you were the customer? For example, is the agent scored on quickly understanding the reason for the customer’s call?

Define quickly. What is quickly for me or you may not be quickly for the customer. A customer calling on their lunch break while running errands is going to have a much different definition of quickly than the person calling on their day off who is relaxing on the couch catching up on their favorite shows. How can you decide what the customer would say to that question? You shouldn’t because it’s potentially inaccurate and therefore unfair to the agent. So why are you wasting your time guessing in order to complete the checklist on the monitoring form? Delete that wasteful QA form question.

Now that you are looking at your form through those glasses, I bet you see that there are several of those types of questions that ask you to make assumptions on behalf of the customer. Unless you can read minds, get rid of them! This is just a waste of time and adding no value to the process. In fact, in most cases, it’s damaging it. As we have all learned from Six Sigma – if it doesn’t add value, we don’t do it.

Cost of too many things to measure on your QA formLooking at the table you will find results from research conducted that provides proof that certain criteria evaluated with the iQM (internal quality monitoring) form did not equal the callers’ evaluation of the service experience. In this study the iQM form included 17 items, seven of which could be directly compared to the caller evaluations (Take special note, this form only had 17 criteria, yet still had waste). We examined the iQM and eQM (external quality monitoring from customer) scores over a five-month period. There was virtually no relationship at all between the caller evaluation of the experience with the iQM scores. The only statistically significant relationship was related to perceived interest in helping and tone, and this was not a strong relationship. More details about the quality monitoring case study study are available for review.

What do you think was the result of this research on the Quality Assurance Program? The proof from the customers’ perspective that the iQM form was not effective underscored the need to let customers’ answer what the contact center should not. In addition to leveraging the right source, a significant savings was now possible. The original iQM program included 17 items scored per call, 5 per month for 2000 agents. This equated to 170,000 scores given per month, with 4 completed per hour, taking 2,500 hours (not including the feedback time). To complete 2,500 hours of scoring, 17 FTE were used at $45,000 per year for a grand total of $765,000 (again, without feedback and coaching time). Now there is a real WOW for you.


The Solution

Take a moment to get back to basics. Remove all of the unnecessary criteria from of the form and genuinely evaluate the quality of the call. Stop penalizing the agent from attempts to mind-read customers. Let customers answer for themselves with an eQM (external quality monitoring) segment in your quality assurance program. You will not only be more efficient in completing the task of evaluating calls, you will also save a lot of money in the process, while adding more value from the quality assurance program.  As an example of just how much money could be saved, let’s assign some dollars to it. Using our example above, this is what you could expect to save simply by streamlining your internal quality monitoring evaluation form:

In addition to the money saved, you also free up a lot of valuable time. As we all know extra time is a priceless commodity in a contact center so any amount of time that can be freed up is money extremely well spent. Now is the time to get the right number of things to measure on your QA form.

About Vicki Nihart

Six Sigma certified and more than 15 years experience in contact center operations. Vicki leverages contact center operations subject matter expertise and deep analytic capabilities to support clients and build relationships. Analyzing and interpreting data is a passion she converts into purpose.

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By | 2016-12-05T15:14:42+00:00 February 26th, 2014|Quality Assurance|0 Comments