4 Easy Steps to Great Call Evaluations

headphone-3_s600x600Up close and personal with your QA Team

As a behaviour science student, financing my way through university by working in a contact centre, I often got to thinking about human behaviour analysis in this environment.

Quality Analysis (QA), in fact, equates to a partially covert observation study of a subject’s (the agent’s) behavior which then provides that subject (the agent) with a warts-and-all report.

For a contact centre agent, receiving feedback about the quality of their calls can feel like walking right into a department store mirror when you least expect it and seeing that you have that less-than-attractive expression on your face. And then hearing the mirror give you a grade on a percentage scale. Loudly.

It’s no wonder feedback can feel intimidating, and for some agents, downright uncomfortable. So how can feedback and feedback sessions become more comfortable and therefore effective?

The Human Element

One of the key elements of a good QA system is that its analysts realise that they are human behaviour analysts and that their findings and feedback will be used by humans to develop their careers.

Chances are, the Quality Analyst and the agent may never meet face to face and somewhere along the line, the evaluation will be added to a big pot of figures and percentages and graphs and charts, but ultimately, the QA has the important role of annotating their observations in a way which motivates and encourages development of another human being.

Here are four easy steps which both good in-house and outsourced QA programmes can follow when annotating call evaluations:

1)     Comment on positives: most customer service calls will showcase at least one positive behaviour, however not all QA forms will measure it.  The trick is to think outside of the monitoring form. If an agent does something well, and there is no criteria to measure that behaviour, it’s good practice to comment on it anyway.

2)     Mind the phraseology: remaining objective is key. Comment on the behaviour and not the personality of the agent. Avoid subjective interpretations. For example, instead of ‘agent seems unconfident’, it would be more objective to say ‘at 2 minutes 35 seconds, the agent says ‘I’m not sure what this product does’.  Same goes for ‘bored/uninterested/friendly/enthusiastic’ etc. Highlighting the behaviour will make the feedback that much more user-friendly. Also, avoid dogmatic statements such as should/must/need to.

3)     Give a reason. For example, ‘the agent could use verbal nods throughout the call to ensure that the customer knows that they are listening’.

4)     Give alternatives and suggestions such as ‘instead of ‘I don’t know’, the agent could say ‘let me find out for you’.

by:  Milena Maric’, Research Team Trainer and Performance Manager at BPA Quality UK

3 thoughts on “4 Easy Steps to Great Call Evaluations

  1. When I read this I assume the quality analyst and the agent never meet in this process. If that is the case, the call evaluations have to overcome a massive barrier for it to be great. As human behavior analysis will reveal, building a rapport in any environment where feedback is expected to be received in a positive position that performance enhancing manner the four step you mention are but a few elements that need to be included. The quality analysts have to be given more personal characteristics and an awareness of credentials for evaluating the agent performance.

    If they never meet, I wold include a photo of the analyst, their certifications as an analyst, their length of experience, and a personal message about their commitment to excellence.

    Start building a checklist of what would make an agent comfortable with a human interaction of this sort and include it in your process.

    In addition, if the evaluation is not connected to coaching and development activities than don’t evaluate at all, it will never be great.

  2. It can be difficult for an agent to hear criticism, which is why the phrasing is important. Agents should feel comfortable in their position and understand that the criticism is ultimately for their own good. The way that they take it is all in how it is delivered.

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