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QA: Not Just for 'Call Centers' Anymore

RecorderI would hate for any small business owner or manager to assume that call monitoring and Quality Assurance (QA) are just for "call centers". As I mentioned in a previous post, any business that has a person whose primary job is talking on the phone with customers is a call center.

Even if you have a single person, or a small team of people who spend much of their time on the phone with customers you can and should start a QA process. Each of those calls could be a make it or break it experience for your customers. The data from a quality assessment can give be beneficial to both you and your front-line agents. Let me give you a few examples from some of our Service Quality Assessment (SQA)projects:

  • Four Inside Sales representatives take orders in a business-to-business application and provide after-order support. With regular feedback and coaching, the team now has the highest quality scores we've recorded from any client in thirteen years. The company has carved a strong position in their market as the go-to company for quality, personal service. They can charge more for their products, because customers will pay more for the quality, personal service.
  • One inside sales representative started in a new position for a company. Because the company had taken the time to determine the service behaviors they expected on the phone the new associate could be trained prior to taking their first phone call. Because they had figured out a simple, economical way to record phone calls - this associate could receive immediate coaching and training regarding their service skills.
  • A single receptionist and one back-up take between 100-200 phone calls a day. Often, they must determine which department the caller needs. Misdirected calls are costly in time, customer satisfaction and internal frustration. A QA project was undertaken to measure the level of service being delivered at this initial point of contact and to determine if calls were being correctly routed. Results revealed situations where calls were easily misrouted. Efforts were then taken to train receptionists to identify these situations and ask the appropriate questions.
  • A sales team of four are tasked with spending 30 percent of their time making outbound calls to customers and leads. An SQA pilot project revealed that the team was spending far less time on sales calls, but because overall sales were good it was assumed they were working the phones. The sales team was content picking the "low hanging fruit" that was dropping their way. While the company was doing well, there was a lot of business being left on the table.

A successful QA process is about getting objective data regarding the quality of service and sales your team is providing. This data is invaluable for making tactical business decisions as well as determining specific training and coaching needs for your people.

Are you listening or are you assuming?

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