Managing the quality of customer interactions is paramount, and you can employ all kinds of strategies and technology to train staff and monitor, analyse, and improve performance - From feedback surveys to FAQs, nurture tracks, wallboards and assessment tools. What’s important is to match your quality management infrastructure to the type of business you run or the culture you want to create.

A fast-paced, highly supervised contact centre handling high volumes of calls and staff churn needs tools to train, asses and hone staff skills quickly. In this environment, call recordings, for example, can be used to teach team members how to handle common call scenarios much more quickly and effectively than hours of listening in to live calls. Call evaluation can be used to score the quality of interaction in a sample of calls, to help ensure scripts and policies are adhered to.

However, a more collaborative approach to assessment is increasingly preferred, especially in informal service environments or where answering the phone is a secondary function of a qualified job role. Think more organic and less ‘Big Brother’ if you want to retain your skilled staff and place a high price on values such as trust, relationship and transparency; values which you ultimately want your customers to benefit from. Encourage self-assessment methods, and review results and targets together as part of an ongoing dialogue about creating better communication.

Whether you opt for stick or carrot (or a mixture of both), creating great customer experience is everyone’s responsibility, and building the right assessment framework will encourage ownership and participation:

  1. Provide the right tools

Nothing is more frustrating for staff or customers than your business having no handle on communications. Call analytics will help you manage call volume to reduce waiting times, CRM integration keeps client records to hand for a more professional service, and call recording enables facts to be double-checked and misunderstandings quickly resolved.

  1. Use reference points and assessments

You need to understand the ‘where, how and if’ of better communications. Wallboards work well in busy call centres by letting staff and supervisors reference KPIs, whilst assessment tools like Clarify Quality Measurement can be used by supervisors or collaboratively to assess the quality of interactions.

  1. Training and upskilling

There are two commonly recognised training scenarios. One is where new staff need to be brought up to speed quickly, and a playlist of pre-recorded best practice examples is a highly efficient tool. The second is where learning is a continuous process of upskilling and adapting, where tools like Clarify Quality Measurement will flag up growing trends and service gaps. Clarify Notes also allows supervisors and agents to discuss captured calls to identify areas for improvement.

  1. Incentives

Wallboards are traditional motivational tools, sometimes even used to drive competition between agents to secure maximum sales. But they can also inform a more collaborative approach by encouraging teams to work together to hit targets (and thereby improve service to customers).

  1. Transparency and trust

Be clear with staff about what is captured and why. It promotes trust and you’ll likely get better results if your staff feel assessment indicators are there to ensure they get the training, support and tools to do their job well, rather than to threaten them at the first dip in their call response times.

  1. Support cross-departmental collaboration

One of the biggest hindrances to a good customer experience can be the poor flow of information between departments. Using Clarify Quality Measurement tools in the front of house and back office will help bring service up to speed. CRM integration also comes into its own: Oak’s ConnectX makes caller records available as soon as a call arrives, and notes can be added to during the conversation to keep the CRM up to date. ConnectX also uses Presence to track the availability of colleagues so customers are only transferred to someone who is ready to speak to them.

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