Quality Monitoring Tip #1

qm-tips

Your program should be clear and to the point. The agents have limited time and bandwidth to absorb any feedback…they are busy!

Find more tips by going to our Quality Monitoring White Paper!

Going Global? Is your Call Center Ready?

BPA GlobalPreview

14 Quality Quotes for Call Center Managers & Agents

shutterstock_155754371 1.  “Quality is the best business plan.” ~ Jahn Lasseter, PIXAR

2.  “Be a yardstick of Quality.” ~ Steve Jobs, Apple

3.  “Quality is not an act.  It is a habit.”  ~ Aristotle

4.  “When you’re out of Quality, you’re out of business.” ~ Anon

5.  “Our innovation makes us first, our Quality makes us last.” ~ Scott Adams, US Cartoonist

6.  “We have two ears and one mouth, so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” ~ Epictetus

7.  “Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.” ~ Gucci Family Slogan

8.  “It is easier to do a job right, then to explain why you didn’t.” ~ Martin Van Buren

9.  “Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence — only in constant improvement and constant change.” ~ Tom Peters

10.  “If you build a great experience, customers tell each other about that.  Word of mouth is very powerful.” ~ Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com

11.  “Customer satisfaction is worthless.  Customer loyalty is priceless.”  ~ Jeffrey Gitomer

12.  “If you’re not serving the customer, your job is to be serving someone who is.” ~ Jan Carlzon, ex-CEO SAP Group

13.  “In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.” ~ Doug Warner

14.  “Why wait to be memorable?” ~ Tony Robbins

‘Common Sense’ Quality

Common Sense QualityAs a Global Quality Monitoring Firm, BPA Quality views numerous Quality Forms.  It is amazing when companies are asked why they are measuring certain behaviors, and they are unable to explain how it helps their customers to experience a better interaction.  There are always frequent  ‘a-ha’ moments when our team begins working with a new client.

Quality measurements need to be in line with the call centers’ goals in achieving the ultimate in Customer Experience.  Unfortunately, the misconception of Quality Teams as spies on what agents are doing incorrectly is the furthest from the truth.  Quality Analysts (Quality Evaluators) are listening to provide missed opportunities to help agents manage a sales, support or tech call easily, and give the customer an incredible experience, which he/she will yell to the world.

By monitoring calls, trends appear that create opportunities for greatness, not only by agent and team, but by overall business acumen.  Just like physically working out, one becomes stronger and healthier.  Quality gives managers the tools and knowledge to help their teams to become strong agents, and provide them with tools the agents need to provide the ultimate in Customer Service.

Everyone deserves a great customer experience, and that is what BPA Quality strives for on a Global level.  By utilizing voice of the customer through Quality Monitoring, Call Center teams can build their brand and service in one easy, successful interaction.

Looking at Quality Monitoring in a different light, and understanding the pieces of the Quality puzzle can ensure managers and supervisors have the tools needed to capture the ‘common sense’ Quality Factor.  Measure and Listen to what is important to your customer and implement training and policy changes is truly the best way to provide the ultimate in Customer Experience.

If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It …

Remote call monitoringIf you were asked to draw a line exactly 17 cm long, could you do it?  You could probably give it a good guess, but unless you had a ruler in your back pocket you just can’t be sure.

Measuring the quality of a customer contact has progressed into a science that can ultimately uncover market intelligence, training needs, process improvements and usable feedback to the agents … but only if it’s objective, fair and quantifiable.  BPA Quality believes that in order for Quality to capture beneficial information, then it must be clear and well defined … you need a Quality Ruler.

Who is BPA Quality?  BPA Quality is the leading global provider of remote call monitoring, customer satisfaction surveys, mystery calling, social media monitoring, speech analytics and training services.  With over 25 years in the study and application of Quality Call Center Science, BPA helps its clients take data and turn it into actionable observations that allow managers, supervisors and agents to modify the behaviors of call center activities to build an awesome Quality Customer Experience.

The proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes…Recently, while working with a large telecommunications company BPA developed a model to head off unnecessary in house service calls.  BPA was able to help reduce these service calls as much as 17% per month that translated into millions of dollars of potential savings.  BPA has also helped a car service company reduce customer complaints by 90% and improved a credit collections firm increase their collected accounts by 20% … all by using the science and application provided by BPA Quality.

These great results are a reflection of the BPA Quality mission statement … to be the global leader in the delivery and development of services that improve the customer experience for contact centers around the world.

This mission begins in the incredibly rich culture of the company.  “We provide services in over 45 different languages, and all of them are conducted in the native language of the analyst,” adds Craig Antonucci, VP of Client Awesomeness of BPA.  He adds, “We have analysts, managers and professionals from all over the world all with an incredible amount of experience.  The fact that we have this cultural diversity allows us to be the world leader in our market, and in the end, we help our clients deliver an awesome customer experience.” 

This rich culture started with the vision Lisa Renda, President and Founder of BPA Quality.  She noted in a recent interview, “We didn’t want BPA to just be known for excellent output, we wanted our clients to also enjoy working with the BPA staff and to feel that they were dealing with good, honest people who care.  We work hard at creating a team that is undoubtedly excellent in their field, but one which also shares common ideals and a sense of integrity.”  Even BPA Quality’s customers feel the same way about BPA:

I have worked with a number of suppliers offering similar services over the past 18 years.  None have offered the exceptional high standards, good value, passion and flexibility to a client’s needs as I experienced so far with the BPA staff.’  ~Contact Centre Manager / Samsung Electronics

Milena Maric’, Trainer and Performance Manager, said before joining the BPA team, she was a customer and that BPA became synonymous with high standards of customer service, practical ways of achieving sales and / or customer satisfaction, taking control of the call and also self reflection.  BPA taught her a lot of things, which resonated with how she wanted customer service to be.

Awesome people, rich in culture and consistently delivering results to it’s customers, BPA exemplifies that defining Call Center Quality goes beyond just a simple checklist.  Quality is a Science, a science delivered by smart experienced people.  So when you ask the question, “Without the correct ruler for measurement, how can you manage it?” the answer is BPA Quality.

bparuler

2013 in review for BPA Quality’s Blog

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Hiring for Part-Time Sales Representative

Job Title: Sales Representative
Location: Remote
Travel Required: Yes, <5%
Level/Salary Range: negotiable
Position Type: Part time
Job Purpose:
Identify and Contact prospective clients for Remote Call Monitoring and other Call Center Quality/Customer Experience Services and help manage these prospects through the sales process.
Duties:
• Lead and Contact research using various online reference tools, i.e. LinkedIn, jigsaw, etc.
• Cold calling of new prospects with no other contact method.
• Targeted email prospecting.
• Make initial contact presentation, establish full meeting and demonstration time involving the Vice President of Client Awesomeness and Director of Quality Solutions.
• Attendance at in person sales presentations and/or trade shows.
• Keeps management informed by submitting activity and results reports, such as daily call reports, weekly work plans, and monthly and annual sales forecasts.
• Monitors competition by gathering current marketplace information on pricing, products, new products, delivery schedules, merchandising techniques, etc.
• Recommends changes in products, service, and policy by evaluating results and competitive developments.
• Maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing professional publications; establishing personal networks; participating in professional societies.
• Provides historical records by maintaining records on area and customer sales.
• Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed.
Preferred Skills:
• Bachelor’s Degree
• 2-4 Years Experience in a Call Center related field.
• 2-4 Years Experience in a Sales type position.
• Knowledge of Call Center Activity and Call Center Service related products.
• Knowledge of Call Center Quality Monitoring and/or General Quality for Call Centers.
• Knowledge of general initial contact sales, ability to maintain high level of activity in the prospect stage.
• Knowledge of Salesforce.com interface and reporting.

Required Skills:
• General: Customer Service, Meeting Sales Goals, Closing Skills, Territory Management, Prospecting Skills, Negotiation, Self-Confidence, Product Knowledge, Presentation Skills, Client Relationships, Motivation for Sales

  • Working knowledge of Word, Excel & Outlook

Contact Karyn Dupree at 516.300.1236 or karyn.dupree@bpaquality.com for more information.

The Monster living in your Contact Center.

frankensteinDoes a MONSTER live in your Contact Center? 

This MONSTER consists of uncalibration, lack of constant coaching, animosity toward QA and nit picking.  The Monster is easily created, especially if the contact center is in survival mode.  The Contact Center Monster is a Quality Program that is scary enough to cause Shelley to turn in her Quill.

Grab your pitchforks and torches because here is how you catch and destroy that Contact Center Nightmare.

First weapon of defense is getting the buy-in of all agents, supervisors and management teams to the Quality Program.  The posse needs to join together and provide a unified mob.  A lot of centers make the mistake of creating an us VS. them (QA VS. managers and Agents) mentality.   The bigger the mob, the stronger it can be.

Next weapon is Calibration!  Ok – so, that is another monster, but listening and relying on great tools for success can easily tame it.  Once you have everyone knowledgeable on what is being listened for, then success is ACHIEVABLE and WANTED.

Third weapon is listening for what is important to your customer, not what is necessarily best for the bottom line.  For instance, everyone knows that sunlight kills a vampire, but it won’t work on Frankenstein.  So, why would bring a weapon that emits sunlight, if you were looking to destroy ‘ol Frankie? 

Fourth weapon is consistent coaching / training.  Look, if I were going to fight a REAL Monster, I would make sure that I worked out and trained for the fight.  That means that I would be at the gym doing crunches and attempting to lift Smart Cars to become stronger.  That is what Coaching does for agents.  It makes them stronger and more capable of providing award-winning service.  It gives them the arsenal needed to be successful.

Lastly, but definitely not least, move beyond the catching agents in doing something wrong idea of Quality.  The truth is that a great Quality program consists of providing opportunities for the agents to get even better and celebrate their awesomeness in service.  Cheer on the team and the confidence to destroy the monster will always win in the end.

Now that we are ready to destroy that MONSTER, what are you waiting for?  Oh, by the way, I hear Monsters like candy, preferably chocolate!

Happy Halloween!

The Power of Words

Change your Words.  Change your World.

Breaking the ‘negative language habit’ in the call centre

'Bear with me ...' 'Okay I will ... Wait, what? There's a bear with you?'

‘Bear with me …’
‘Okay I will … Wait, what? There’s a bear with you?’

Breaking the ‘negative language habit’ in the call centre – how to Be Positive Always in 3 simple steps

My wide-eyed baby daughter is about to chomp down toothlessly on her tiny shoe, so I start to say, No honey you can’t eat your shoe!

The first words we learn as infants are protective:  don’t , can’t, shouldn’t, stop that, put that down. And so it begins. We acquire language littered with negative words and phrases which can, in turn, lead others to perceive us as negative.

Walk through a call centre and you might hear ‘Unfortunately I can’t send that to you until tomorrow’ (which, put into positive is ‘I will definitely send that to you tomorrow’), or ‘The only one we have is…’  (‘We do have one…’) , or ‘I’m afraid we close at 6 o’clock’ (‘We close at 6 o’clock’).

Why does positive language matter so much in a contact centre?

Language shapes how customers perceive us, our products and services. My husband and I were amused when during a recent trip, we asked our hotel receptionist if we could get a travel cot for our baby and she replied: ‘I’m afraid we don’t have cots in the rooms. The only thing I can do is bring one out here for you, but you’ll have to carry it to your room’. Well, that’s pretty much what we expected, yet she somehow managed to make it seem so negative and unhelpful!

On the phone, the power of language is amplified. Consider the impression one might have of an electronics brand, when its sales agent says ‘my computer is really slow today’.  Or a courier company whose rep states that your ‘parcel should hopefully arrive by 5pm’.

One person who uses language to influence (read: ‘manipulate’), is British illusionist Derren Brown. In one trick, he uses language to subliminally guide actor Simon Pegg towards choosing a Christmas gift that is entirely different to what he wanted before their conversation. You can watch the video here.

British Meteorological Office must also know the power of language, since we’re often told to expect ‘a balmy 15c / 59f with a 20% chance of sunshine’(!)

So how do we encourage contact centre agents to pitch the glass as half full?

  • Step 1, we need to get that light bulb to switch on – we need the agents’ understanding, buy-in and vision of W.I. FM – What’s In it For Me. Answer is, increased sales and recognition that goes with it, better conflict-resolution skills and reduced customer escalations (they might not even get angry in the first place) .

But, like learning a foreign language in a classroom, training and understanding isn’t enough.

  • Step 2 is to help agents to identify which negative words and phrases they use. ‘I avoid the word obviously it’s a useless filler and sounds patronising’, one agent told me during a training session. After listening to 2 of her calls in a coaching session later though, she found that she used it 6 times! Recognition and insight into own behaviour is more than half the battle. The only way to get that is by agents frequently hearing their own calls. Not being told, but actually going through that cringeworthy feeling of listening to one’s  own call recordings. No one enjoys it at first. But it isn’t a Pop Idol audition, we’re only concerned with the words here. A good mystery shopping program or QA process will help identify relevant calls for such feedback and coaching.
  • Step 3 is how to get to Carnegie Hall… Some words or phrases we can drop – they don’t need replacements, for example, ‘basically’. Some we rephrase. Cue cards on monitors, colleagues waving at us when we say a certain word, and the old call centre favourite: hair-band worn on own wrist and flicked each time we hear ourselves saying it (go easy on that one though, I’m not recommending self-punishment).

Changing language habits takes about 6 weeks, but the rewards are measurable, just read your call centre stats!

PS. There are 2 potential side tracks:

 

  1. Some agents report feeling like they have to watch what they say now. Self-awareness is a good thing it but shouldn’t feel stifling. If that happens, check the training, make sure there is buy-in and no pressure tactics. It’s about self-development as well as job skills.
  1. Some might say they’re just being honest when they present information in a negative way. Honest is good. But what we don’t want to do is present great products and services as second rate.

*Caution

Please avoid encouraging the agents to run riot and awkwardly overuse positive words just to get points in their call quality monitoring programme. For example, ’Can I take your name Ms Customer?’  ‘It’s Gina.’  ‘Fantastic!’

It can be a little annoying.

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