Call MOT (USA = Car Inspection)

“Your call may be recorded for training and quality purposes” ­– almost every IVR these days plays this message but do you ever wonder what happens to your call if it’s the one that is selected?

Organizations have various approaches to using call information to improve customer service and enhance agents’ performance. As an example, here at BPA we work with lots of International companies to help them in maximizing the impact of this vital information.

So what happens? Well, some of these calls are directed to us, at BPA, many of them pretty quickly. The recorded call journey is ready to begin.

The first stage, at BPA, resembles slightly a service station (or garage, as we often prefer to say). Our highly trained call analysts will pick up a call and carefully listen to it – like a car mechanic will pick up a car, indulging themselves in its motor’s sound and diagnostics.

The analysis begins. The MOT list contains lots of boxes that will be ticked (or not), based on the outcome of the check. Nothing can be omitted, everything has to be scrutinized. If needed, the car will be dismantled, repaired and put back together again.

The driver and the passengers’ safety on the road will hugely depend on this. The “finished product” will only then be returned to its legitimate owner.

Our Quality Analyst’s list (or as we prefer to call it – evaluation form) is equally long and detailed. The call will be listened to, every area of the call will be analyzed and assessed accordingly. If needed, the call will be “dismantled”: paused, replayed, re-listened and evaluated according to the very high and specific pre-set criteria. The feedback will be entered, both good and bad (we’d rather call it “positive” and “constructive”); comments will be added, valuable insight will be gained.

The call centre and company’s success in their market will hugely depend on this feedback and insight. It is vital that the feedback is checked and calibrated before the “finished product” is returned to the center that undertook the original transaction.

Next, the owner (our client) will soon coach the call assistant of the “dismantled call” on specific areas to improve their performance.

These days, cars are sophisticated and service stations will often specialize in looking after one particular make only. There may be little point taking your Vauxhall into Citroen’s garage. If you want to maximize performance, you go to the experts.

When it comes to call analysis, compliance and insight – we at BPA are specialists.

We don’t pick up just any call – we specialize.

Each team is professionally and highly trained to work for an assigned Client. But that’s not all. Clients may need to address particular aspects of monitoring in more detail, each of them requiring further level of specialization – we offer it; our projects are multiple.

Many of our Clients are global, with call centers all over the world, speaking multiple languages – that’s not a problem for us, either. With a great range of native speakers from each part of the world, we simply can do it!

How do we do it? – Well, that’s another story.

 

 

By Ewa Murphy_July 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Is Service a priority in your Quality Program?

I get tIMG_0271o help with quality dilemmas every day.  I field questions about how agents can better connect with customers, deliver service excellence, and show they care.  Leaders tell me “I want the customer to feel like we are on their side and that we are listening to them.” There is no doubt in today’s highly competitive market that great customer service is king.   Why is it so difficult to achieve?

Here are three areas to check to help determine if service excellence is a priority in your quality program:

The Evaluation Form:  Generally 90% of evaluation forms measure agent’s adherence to processes, knowledge of systems, and ability to locate resolutions.  It’s not uncommon to see one, maybe two questions that measure how well the agent serve the customer.  This sends a clear message to agents about what is most important, and of course agents are going to focus on processes and systems.  While it is vital your teams provide resolutions and fix problems, it’s how the agent does it that really matters to the customer.  How many questions on your evaluation form focus on connecting with and listening to the customer?

Training:  When new employees join your organization, what percentage of the training is focused on delivering customer service? We often see the same percentage when we look at the how agents are trained to perform their job, with 90% of the training focused on how to utilize systems, understand the processes, and document accounts. All of these areas are important for an agent to effectively do what the customer needs, but it sends a clear message about the priorities and that service is a nice afterthought.  How much of your training, new hire and ongoing, reinforces delivering service and showing customers you care?

Objectivity:  Agents and customers both despise scripting.  You hire smart people who are more than capable of talking with customers, and customers can tell they are being read a script in the first three words – so don’t do it!  Objectively measure behaviors that are service driven.  Leave out opinion based words such as ‘friendly,’ ‘nice,’ and ‘pleasant.’  Yes you can objectively measure service skills!  Do questions about how the agent connected with the customer objectively measure the behaviors you want demonstrated on every call?

BPA Quality has more than 25 years of experience in human behavior research and we are experts at how to optimize your service delivery, whether in person or over the phone. If you have challenges in these areas, definitely give us a call or Email me for a complimentary, 30 minute review of your evaluation form.

Stephanie Taylor has more than twenty years’ experience helping organizations deliver great service.  Formerly a client of BPA Quality, she has worked with this great company for six years and is Director of Client Services for North America. She can be reached at Stephanie.Taylor@BPAQuality.com 

UK Contact Centre Leaders Share Their View on Quality

What is Quality in a Contact Centre context?

According to Wikipedia the definition for quality in business “has a pragmatic interpretation as the non-inferiority or superiority of something; it is also defined as fitness for purpose.

Quality is a perceptual, conditional, and somewhat subjective attribute and may be understood differently by different people.”

With that in mind I decided to contact four of the eminent commentators and experts in our industry for their views and to pose one simple question……..

What does ‘Quality’ mean for you in the Contact Centre Industry?

martinhillwilson

 

Martin Hill Wilson

Service, Customer Experience & Digital Business Strategist – Author, Keynote Speaking & Masterclasses

 

 

A water company I have recently been working with produced the following working defintion of quality, which I would not disagree with:

“Culture of care which delivers what matters; when it matters to our customers. Reflecting each moment of truth and recognising quality isn’t absolute but is relative to each customer journey.”


 

annmariestagg

 

Ann-Marie Stagg

Chief Executive of Call Centre Management Association (UK)

 

 

 

“Quality means never having to say sorry – know the customer and their history with your organisation, deliver the service that the customer expects and then repeat the experience every time they contact you using whatever channel they choose.”


 

robwilkinson

 

Rob Wilkinson

Award Winning Call Centre Leader | Trainer | Recruiter | Blogger & Speaker

 

 

 

It’s so easy to over engineer this and so many contact centres make things more complicated than they need to be, often focussing on what they think their customers want instead of what they know their customers want.

For me its best kept simple because that means it’s easier for our agents to understand, easier to measure and easier to improve.

Poor quality = not delivering. Good quality = delivering. Great quality = exceeding.

This makes the first step to improving quality easy too = learn what your customers expect from you.  This applies to any industry & product, both sales & service.


 

 

Andrew Mutch

Chief Customer Officer UK & EMEA at BPA Quality with over 30 years Conatct Centre experience

 

 

“Quality underpins everything, from identifying customer expectations and having a culture and processes in place that ensure that these expectations are met and exceeded, to constantly strive for continuous improvement and evolution”   


 

In Summary

Wikipedia stated that quality in business is a subjective attribute understood differently by different people, the views of these four key people in the contact centre industry both confirms the validity of that statement but also highlights that for each person there is a common theme.

For all quality is about consistently delivering against your customer’s expectations and for that to happen the processes in place have to be rigorously applied.

It is reassuring to know that in an ever competitive and challenging industry quality delivery remains key to the ongoing success and development of our industry to meet ever growing demands of clients and customers.

 

By:  Martin Teasdale, Quality Solutions Director ( UK & EMEA ) at BPA Quality UK

“When is my next coaching session?”

Effective coaching is at the heart of what we do here at BPA, it is a key part of our daily life. It is a process that enables our Independent Quality Evaluators (IQEs) to learn and develop, to improve their performance, to simply achieve their full potential. Our unique coaching process also ensures that our Clients’ needs are not only met but also regularly exceeded.

So why is our coaching so effective?

Coaching at BPA is not regarded as a task to be completed but as a way to really enhance performance and development within the team, it really is in our DNA! It is performed on a regular basis, individually with each member of our project team and is regarded as the number one priority for our Team Managers. Under ‘coaching’ in this instance I don’t mean Corporate or Executive Coaching; I refer here to the coaching sessions that are part of our project monitoring and development.

This is the coaching process where the coaches are the direct Team Managers who therefore know very well their team members, their daily job routines and the project challenges they face. The Team Managers have an insight into their team members’ individual needs, strengths and weaknesses, and finally – or most importantly – into their unique personality.

This close relationship ensures that the exploration of team member’s needs, desires, skills and motivations takes a very detailed and personalised approach. We don’t deliver a general programme or group-tailored advice. We explore, on a one-to-one basis, the entire performance process. Through detailed and joint analysis of multiple calibration sessions and quality assurance checks, we identify and discuss the areas of strength, as well as scope for development. Yes, both – not only the aspects in need of further development.

We believe that identifying your strengths is a key part of the success – if you realise how you came to be successful in one area, you already have a great tool in hand to be used to achieve the same success elsewhere. It’s not about telling the team members where they are underachieving or pinpointing their weaknesses – this can only result in an opposite and unsolicited effect. It’s about making the team members aware of how good and successful they already are and encourage them to use the same technique in other areas that can be developed and soon become equally successful. It’s also about sharing this experience, ideas and insight with others. It’s about setting specific and measurable goals, for an agreed period of time. The goal is being closely monitored and revisited by the set up deadline. Upon successful completion another new goal is set up, if more work is required, the goal will be repeated.

The key is analysing, feedback, practice, repeat. To take a sporting context, the more you practise, the easier the activity becomes, you become more skilled, more experienced and you are able to recognise what you are doing that is having a positive and negative impact on your performance. The focus is on repeating the positives and using this experience to overcome the negatives. Success doesn’t occur instantly, it’s achieved through strenuous and systematic repetition and training, as you strive to achieve your goal. As the golfer Ben Hogan said, “The more I practise, the luckier I get”.

Our journey through the coaching process is not that distant from this picture and it is a journey that certainly pays off. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, it also gives our IQEs an overview of their individual ‘status-quo’, the much needed guidance and reassurance of how important and valued their daily jobs are.

To show how much our coaching sessions matter to our evaluators, our success in embedding a coaching culture and their hunger for feedback there is a mantra across the BPA teams:

“When is my next coaching session?”

———————————————————————-

Ewa 3   By Ewa Murphy, June 2015

 

 

Are you winning the Customer Experience World Cup?

As in all team sports, players either all win or all lose. The same goes for any call center …

While watching the 2015 Women’s Soccer World Cup, USA and Australia were battling to edge ahead in the dreaded D group. Most people believe that having a superior offense wins championships in soccer. Although the USA team put goals on the board, there were countless saves by the defense, especially by goalie, Hope Solo.

How does this relate to a call center, you may ask? Well, in a call center there are many departments that handle every aspect of the customer experience. If the sales department did a fantastic job taking care of the customer, but then punts the customer to the mediocre service department, then the company may just lose the “game.”

Every touch a call center has on the customer reflects the overall customer experience. So, how can a contact center calibrate across all channels of service? Well, let’s talk a bit more about soccer, or as my team in the BPA Quality UK Research Center  would refer to as FOOTBALL!

Field of Play

By understanding the entire process from first touch to goal, call center agents can provide the customer with a play-by-play report.  The customer is never left wondering what happens next.  If you know the game and the role you play within the team, then it will be effortless to win.

Assist

A team is only as good as the sum of its parts.  Call center agents need great leaders that provide them with meaningful coaching and knowledge, so they can achieve the goal (providing memorable customer service).  Also considering outside experts to evaluate agents with a customer-centric point-of-view can up the playing advantage.

Dribbling

In some circumstances, a customer may need a bit of “dribbling” or “hand holding,” and the call center must embrace that average handle time or other KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) will be affected.  Understanding of those changes in agents’ quality scores can be circumstantial and provide leadership with a “shot on goal” in grasping the customer journey, effort and/or experience.

The dreaded offside

Working in and around call centers for the past nine years, I have actually witnessed leadership stepping over the line of defense to try and make that “easy” goal.  When that has happened, the customer, the agent and ultimately the company loses.  Play fair with customers and they will return and recommend the company to their friends and with agents because they are the first and only touch to the customer.  To win a customer does not mean they will be  one for life, it could only be for the moment.  Once they are lost, no telling how many more will be lost.

Shots on goal & GOAL!

Once the call center is working together to provide incredible customer service, then the “shots on goal” will increase and eventually the customer becomes not only loyal, but an advocate too.  GOAL!

When evaluating the call center, make sure to step back or have a third party  understand the “field of play” as the customer.  For example, as a fan of the USA women’s soccer team, it is much simpler for me to recognize why Abby Wambach missed last night’s header into the goal.  If she had my outside vantage point, she may have put a goal on the board.  Luckily for the USA Team,  she is a part of a capable, successful team to get the win for USA.

I’m willing to bet that #20 (Abby Wambach) and her team will review the recording of that missed header to evaluate how do to it better the next time.

As a call center team, are you ready for the customer experience “World Cup?”  If not, the competition is …

Go #USWNT & #USA!

usfa logo

A Moving Journey – Customer Effort in the Contact Center

Originally posted on BPA Quality | David Blackwell:

I recently moved into a new house and my experiences were an eye opener on customer service in a country that is renowned for the quality of service it delivers. To be fair, my initial contact with three of the vendors I came into contact with confirmed that image. Staff at each of the companies was excellent. Where things started to go wrong was when it came time to deliver the products or services that I had purchased.

We need not here go into the painful details of each of the transactions suffice it to say that end of the day each did a pretty good job of resolving the situations. The pain in each instance was caused by the time and effort involved in getting to that resolution. In our business of quality monitoring, we call this Customer Effort. This is the amount of effort or work that a customer…

View original 387 more words

Was “The Matrix” right, are your customers naturally miserable?

Originally posted on BPA QUALITY: Expert Series By The Professor:

In a tense scene in the epic movie, “The Matrix,” Agent Smith shares the secret to what makes the Matrix tick during his interrogation of Morpheus, one of the main characters:

Agent Smith: Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from. Which is why the Matrix was redesigned to this: the peak of your civilization.

This begs the question…was he right, and how does it apply to your customer base? Think hard…how many of your customers…

View original 373 more words

The Spinal Tap Approach to Customer Service

Originally posted on BPA QUALITY: Expert Series By The Professor:

As a child of the 80’s and an avid musician, one of the most impactful rockumentaries I ever watched was “This is Spinal Tap,” a story of a fictitious bumbling heavy metal band, directed by everyone’s favorite meathead, Rob Reiner. If you loved the music of this era or are a musician yourself, you would instantly connect to the absurd hilarity of the situations the band encounters. Musicians and bands through the years have found similarities in this movie to their own experiences…and so should we in the world of customer service.

Black Album Cover – The band released a “less than PG” album cover to which the record company quickly changed into a solid black nothingness cover. THE LESSON: Just because you think something is clever doesn’t mean your customers will feel the same way. Test out your ideas on some customers before committing to anything borderline risky and…

View original 500 more words

The Do’s and Don’ts of a “Quality” Quality Assurance Program

Originally posted on Call Center Coaching & Training:

Most professionals in the Contact Center industry have seen many Quality Assurance programs come and go throughout their career. Often describing the programs as nit-picky, scripted or simply a checklist.

Even more concerning, you may have noticed some agents or supervisors just going through the motions – waiting for the current program to be replaced with the next new fad in Contact Center communication.

Some Quality Assurance Programs have become so complicated and scripted that they have lost focus of the most important aspect – The Customer.

So what does it take to ensure a “Quality” Quality Assurance Program?

Research shows that producing outstanding interactions with Customers is much easier when there is a Customer Centered Culture within the organization. Think about how some of those organizations that have a reputation for outstanding Customer Service. An essential part of their training is intertwining this Customer Centered Culture with…

View original 233 more words

Featured Image -- 1176

When a spectator sees more of the game

Originally posted on Alex Bobba's Quality Insights:

Image downloaded from Shutterstock. Image downloaded from Shutterstock.

Less than 150 days to go until England hosts the Rugby World Cup 2015. This is the third largest sporting event in the world, after the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics, and the excitement around the country is beginning to build up.

Whilst many organisations across industries are focused on creating high achievement cultures to deliver a competitive advantage, the 2015 RWC provides an opportunity to draw some parallels between the sport’s elite performers and our businesses.

So, what can we learn from the All Blacks?

Probably the most successful sport team in the world, with an incredible 86% winning record between 2004 and 2011, at the heart of the New Zealand All Blacks’ story is the relentless focus on developing ‘a high-performing, vision and values-based culture’.

In business it can often be difficult to prove to what extent the brand­ – the vision, values…

View original 790 more words