Quality Monitoring for Outsourced Contact Centers


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Avoid Outsourcing Surprises

You decided to outsource your contact center so you could focus on other key areas. Great idea! You put out an RFP and did your due diligence. You carefully considered the key drivers of success: retention of agents, training excellence, quality monitoring, coaching, flexibility, technology, culture and of course cost. You spoke with other (satisfied) clients and investigated their track record over time. And you carefully considered how this provider would/could represent your brand. You made a well-informed, logical choice.

Now think ahead 3-6 months. The outsourced contact center you chose brings on another, larger account or two. The great management team who worked with you through the launch move on. Or the high-quality agents you initially trained move on. Or both. The cost savings you counted on aren’t quite there given longer talk times or lower first call resolution rates. The internal quality scores that your outsourced contact center is providing don’t align with what you are hearing yourself or customer survey results. That happens. Frequently. You need to plan for it all.

You outsourced your contact center because you wanted to free up internal resources for other important tasks. After all, you are paying your outsourced partner to manage things for you. Right?

Well, the reality is that outsourcing your contact center doesn’t mean you can step completely away. You need to stay engaged. Even the best outsourced contact center providers have inconsistent results from time to time. The key is to stay on top of what is happening in the contact center so you can address concerns ‘just-in-time’. To tap into your customer’s experience with each agent.

The most obvious way to do this is via quality monitoring — evaluating and mining each customer interaction for valuable insight into individual agent performance and more. However, can you trust the outsourcer to provide insight that is objective and transparent? It is only human nature that they would want to protect you (and their reputation) from ‘bad news’.

How Much is Peace of Mind Worth?

You’ve seen the value of outsourcing your contact center. Now is the time to leverage an independent, third-party perspective of quality in your outsourced contact center. That’s where outsourced quality monitoring comes into play.

We aren’t suggesting that you replace the outsourcer’s quality monitoring but rather augment it. You can do this for just a fraction of what you are paying your outsourcer. Think of it as insurance for consistently good outsourced contact center performance – and your peace of mind. These 3 steps will help you stay informed and highlight opportunities for improvement:

1 – Hire a qualified outsourced QA provider to conduct incremental evaluations of randomly-selected calls across a category (e.g. service, sales, brand, product, etc.). Don’t forget to include email and chat!
2 – Leverage the results to receive real-time updates as well as calibrate with the outsourced contact center’s QA results so you can build ‘trust’ in their internal reporting and give you the assurance that your brand is being well-represented.
3 – Capture other insight (that may not be related directly to agent performance) like customer demeanor, business insights, high effort, etc. to inform process improvement. Or analyze results to focus in on those skills that matter most to improving the customer’s experience.

The net result is that you will be well informed and in a better position to work with your outsourced contact center partner.

Download a FREE copy of the Contact Center QA Checklist to determine whether or not you are getting the most out of your Outsourced Contact Center QA effort.

Managing Possible Tension Between Your Partners

Of course, you might be worried that bringing in a third-party quality monitoring provider into your relationship might put your contact center outsourcer’s nose out of joint. What if they become defensive and insist that their QA efforts are just fine? Certainly the conversation needs to be respectful, positive and open… and here’s something else to keep in mind: if your contact center is truly committed to continuous improvement they will welcome the opportunity presented by the additional support. The best partners are the ones who are constantly asking “What else can we be doing to reduce cost and improve performance?” and “How can we better engage the customer?”

The common denominator in all of this is that the most important partnership you have is not with any third-party provider, it is with your customer.

Sharon Oatway
Sharon Oatway is a Customer Service, Sales and Marketing professional with more than three decades of hands-on experience elevating the overall customer experience along with multi-channel contact center performance.As President & Chief Experience Officer of VereQuest, Sharon and her team have listened to/read and analyzed several million customer interactions for some of North America’s leading brands.As a result, Sharon is a recognized thought-leader in what it takes to build and sustain great customer experiences.


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