“Does your quality team include customer experience experts?” 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 many of the problems that have been perpetuated over the decades-long history of Quality Assurance in contact centers. Benchmarking makes it easy to focus on the common practices that yield average outcomes (or worse). This has resulted in a narrow Quality Assurance definition that, for most, has not developed past the ho-hum average service experience. This ebook was developed to help counteract the ho-hum.
Why is not having a customer experience expert on your quality team a problem?
Fielding a Quality Assurance team in your center is not a small feat. Think of yourself as David Poile, the General Manager of the 2014 US Men’s Hockey Team. How can you recruit the right players that are going to yield a team that can win the Gold Metal? And avoid investing your resources in people and processes that will not create a quality assurance program that delivers an IMPACT? It’s not easy or everyone would be doing it. Instead, most are replicating the common practices, thinking they are “best practices”, just as they have been doing for the past 20 years in the contact center industry. What I see is that contact centers continue to manage to the middle, so to speak, instead of building Quality Assurance to win it all for the company and customers. Without even knowing, they end up settling for another season with a team that can’t possibly compete for the podium.
You may be like many who are unable to field an Olympic team that will win the Gold Metal of Customer Experience because your strategy for Quality Assurance is the one used by those that have never won. Unfortunately, Quality Assurance is synonymous with Quality Monitoring, which is then narrowly defined as Call Monitoring. Think about how you recruit for your QM team. What skills are needed to listen to calls? You put a QM person in place to do a specific task for the team, like a goal tender. You focus on QM (or goal tending) by developing and following the best process to have a strong group of agents (or goalies). But, Quality Assurance is much more than the internal quality monitoring (iQM) of calls.
In today’s service-differentiation world, Quality Assurance has to include the evaluation of the experience by the customer to complement the iQM evaluations. Inclusion of this external quality monitoring (eQM) perspective cannot simply be added to an agents (goalies) list of responsibilities. Those people need to have right-winger skills too. The customer experience perspective needs a scientific approach and should at least be designed by a Customer Experience expert. Measurement of the customer experience is research, which is much more than a comment-card customer feedback type project. The analysis of the customer experience when accurately conducted is more than a summary of scores. Predictive models should be built to determine how agent behavior and company processes are affecting the customer experience. Without the customer experience evaluations, the iQM information is only somewhat useful (forget the podium).
Here’s a puck in your face. Without the ability to analyze the iQM data along with the eQM data and to overlay these onto the operational metrics, the Quality Assurance program is blinded (puck smack). The skill set necessary to accomplish the iQM and eQM blend cannot be accomplished by someone who is not skillfully trained in eQM.
To develop, implement, and operate the critical components of the modern Quality Assurance methods, a customer experience expert is needed. Just like a hockey coach needs skilled players at each position (goalie, right wing, left wing, etc.), the QA team has to be just as diverse with skilled members. In order for your contact center to be more than podium-watchers and to have your own Miracle on Ice, like the 1980 US Hockey team, you need skilled position players. Sure, you can continue with your current game plan, focused mostly on iQM, or you can complete in the Olympics and give your Quality Assurance program a chance to go for the Gold.