Top Reasons the Quality and Training Programs Must Integrate

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“Are your quality and training programs integrated?” is a question that was included in the 29 Quality Assurance Mistakes to Avoid ebook and self-assessment. The ebook and self-assessment includes diagnostic questions to uncover common problems of the long history of Quality Assurance in contact centers. As a fallback, it’s natural to seek benchmarking reports for reassurance of direction, but beware – it’s too easy to focus on common practices that will get average outcomes. No one wants to be in a class that is taught-to-the-middle. 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.

Why not integrating the Quality and Training programs (deep enough) is a problem?

It is possible that many perceive they have integrated their quality and training departments, when, in fact, they have not; at least not to the depths that are necessary for contact centers to do today. Positioning these two functional groups to report to a Manager of Quality and Training does not represent a high-performing integration.

It is (somewhat) easy to determine if your quality and training departments have integrated in the manner that is needed to deliver high-value in the context of customer experience optimization. If they have indeed integrated to the level you need, there will be direct evidence in the use of analytics by the training department in constructing their lesson plans and for use in their instructional design. The integration of the Quality department with the Training Department is entirely symbiotic with Quality being an input AND a measure of the output. If the depth of the integration is deep enough, you have analytics from Quality Assurance quantitatively outlining process improvements and relationship enhancing behaviors QUICKLY being incorporated into incumbent (mini) training modules. Analytics will follow to prove the impact of the training (before and after date of the training) on the customer experience. It’s straightforward when you think about one of the main purposes of the Training Department is to prepare agents to enhance the relationship with the organization. It’s not simply to get a high score on call monitoring forms.

Let’s talk Quality Assurance. What’s your first reaction when someone asks you how confident you are that the investment in your QA program provides a positive impact on your company? Is your confidence in the impact of the QA program tied to the high scores from your call monitoring activities? Do you say that X number of calls is monitored each month and callers are 93.5% satisfied? If so, then you are not delivering value.

If the Quality team, aka call analysts, focus merely on delivering results back to the agents, it’s not enough. If you’d love for them to spend time coaching from the results, but the reality is that there is not enough quality (meaning effective) time for this process, that’s still not enough. If it’s about all they can do to complete the number required to be monitored, to circle back with the agents, to deliver the scores, and to field requests to reconsider points, that’s not enough.

The Solution

We all know Quality Assurance must be more than call monitoring and the QA team includes at least one customer service expert. To improve the customer experience, a development process must be integrated into quality analysis for improvements to actually be made. (To improve the customer experience, a development process must be integrated via analysis.) Measuring compliance and expecting agents to self-correct, is incorrect thinking. Along with teaching agents technical training, you must teach them how to improve their emotional intelligence to build better rapport with customers. Experiences are based on emotions, and emotional intelligence is made up of a specific set of observable and measurable emotional and social skills that impact the way agents (people) perceive and express themselves, develop and maintain relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way. Emotional Intelligence can be developed and a (deep) QA and Training integration can exploit it.

Analytics come in many forms and can be converted into action plans both at the individual, team, and center levels. Desktop activity, speech, customer experience, and operational analytics must be in the tool box for the high-performing training group (deeply integrated into your QA program) of today. In the past, trainers did not have to be skilled in analytics, but those days are over.

So go back and answer the question again. “Are your quality and training programs integrated?” Did your answer change? If it did, you need to get busy, your competition is knocking.

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