4 Reasons to Consider Outsourced Contact Center Quality Assurance
We all know that quality monitoring/assurance — followed up with high-quality coaching — is a key tool to drive efficiencies and effectiveness within the contact center. There are many advantages to conducting quality monitoring using internal resources, including detailed knowledge of processes, policies, and products. However, these same advantages can also be shortcomings that can skew your internal results and present a false picture of the reality customers are facing.
That’s why more and more companies are considering the advantages (including cost savings) of Outsourced Quality Assurance for their internal or outsourced contact center. Here are the top reasons why best practice organizations choose this path:
1. Free Up Valuable Internal Resources
Contact center quality monitoring, given the nature of the work, requires the time and attention of some of your most valuable resources. In addition to the cost associated with each FTE (salaries, training, overhead, etc.) these particular individuals are highly valued in a contact center environment. They possess the knowledge and experience to handle difficult clients and complex situations. They have valuable insight to add to continuous improvement projects.
And, with the right coaching/training, they make excellent coaches and subject matter experts. As more customers choose self-serve options, more complex and challenging requests will find their way into the contact center — requiring greater agent sophistication.
Are you making the most of these valuable resources?
What other things could these individuals be doing to add real value to the organization?
2. Ensure Coaching Happens
One of the things that make frontline managers great is that they are tapped into what is driving the customer’s experience and focus their coaching efforts there. That’s why we should always make sure frontline managers, supervisors, team leads, etc., have the time to review calls, emails, and chat sessions. If you don't have the ability to establish a dedicated QA team, then you are trading off listening to a large number of interactions to get the sample size you need, only to uncover a handful of 'coaching opportunities'.
High-volume call listening is not where you want these high-value, frontline resources to be spending their time. We want them to be spending their time coaching to the outcomes that may be identified by quality monitoring.
In addition, when resources are stretched thin, and there is a crisis on the frontline (at the exact time when you should be doing more quality monitoring), frontline managers do not have the time to spend hours listening to routine calls.
Best practice environments deliver opportunities for coaching to the frontline management team in a ‘just-in-time’ manner so they can review fewer, more complex or specific interactions that offer coaching opportunities and still have time to do the coaching.
Are you saving money or improving coaching effectiveness by having frontline managers do their own quality monitoring?
What could you gain in terms of an improved customer experience or sales results by devoting that time to coaching?
3. Eliminate Internal Bias from Quality Assurance Results
We all know the mythical story of the fox being asked to guard the hen-house. We all know how that turned out! And while that situation is extreme, we can’t ignore the issue of potential conflict of interest.
No matter how much calibrating you do, it is challenging to eliminate the bias from internal quality assurance results completely. Internal teams simply know too much… It is difficult (we say impossible) for them to evaluate an interaction without taking into account what they know about the agent, their understanding of a process, or even the business environment.
It is a well-known fact that internal Quality Assurance teams tend to score agent performance as much as 30% higher than an independent third party. The unintended consequence is that your business may miss valuable feedback and market information. In order to run effectively, your business needs a dependable, unbiased perspective that can only come from an independent third-party call center QA provider whose only vested interest is in the accuracy of their reporting.
And so, if you depend on your quality monitoring to be a reflection of the customer’s experience, then you need to remove bias from evaluations. The only way to do that is to move it outside of the organization. That doesn’t mean you have to move ALL of your quality monitoring to a third party — but enough to be able to gauge whether or not your internal team is reflecting reality.
How much bias is too much? Are we making decisions based on false information about the customer’s experience?
Are agents being rewarded for delivering a great experience to the customer regardless of the circumstances or are they being given a ‘pass’ because of an internal bias?
4. Get More Timely Business Insight From Outsourced Quality Assurance Tools
Internal Quality Assurance teams typically rely on the tools that come with the call, email, or chat systems to capture quality monitoring results. Outsourced QA companies — given that this is their area of expertise — typically have developed tools that are highly specialized in both capturing agent performance metrics as well as those related to the customer’s experience and business drivers.
No matter how you handle your quality monitoring, whether it is internal or outsourced, it makes a lot of sense to leverage what you learn from each and every interaction to both lift agent performance AND provide critical insight into how to improve the customer’s experience.
What additional added-value can a third-party quality monitoring partner provide to your organization?
How can you leverage the quality monitoring work you are doing to bring the voice-of-the-customer to the various stakeholders in the organization?
In order to make well-informed decisions about where to take your business, you need accurate, independently verified information – which is exactly what an external call center QA provider can offer. And, when your call center budget is already stretched, outsourced QA can typically help save you money.
Get in touch for a no-obligation QA assessment of your internal quality monitoring efforts and see for yourself what is possible.
While your organization may have many other reasons to outsource your contact center’s quality monitoring efforts, we hear these four reasons time and time again:
1. “The Quality Team has some of our most experienced agents. We need to free them up!” In today’s tight budgetary environment, you need to make sure that every resource you have on the payroll is delivering the optimal value. From our experience, transitioning quality monitoring to an external resource — particularly for quality and customer experience evaluations — is straightforward with immediate results.
2. “I need to find more time for frontline managers to coach.” Coaching is definitely the #1 activity you can do to change agent behavior and improve the overall customer experience. Frontline managers tell us that they can never find enough time to do the coaching they know needs to be done. Free up some of their time by outsourcing what you can.
3. “Our internal Quality results (or those reported by our outsourced call center partner) are not reflecting what we are seeing in customer survey results.” Bias is a natural occurrence in an internal QM environment. Importantly, if you outsource your call center operations, it makes a lot of sense to have an independent third party conduct random sampling to give you the peace of mind that they are representing your brand well.
4. “Our current technology doesn’t support multiple contact center channels or call center sites. Nor does it allow others from outside the call center to tap into what our customers are saying.” There are lots of companies that offer outsourced QA services. The company you choose should be able to add real value to your organization beyond checking the boxes.
Sharon Oatway is President & Chief Experience Officer of VereQuest. Sharon 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. Sharon and her team at VereQuest 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.
Established in 2002, VereQuest provides organizations with a wide range of customer experience services, including a robust contact center quality monitoring offering. Working with businesses throughout North America, VereQuest provides a unique perspective on a complex, ever-changing customer environment.
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