What the Experts Say About Customer-Centric Quality Monitoring

usan-michael-gregorio

Michael Gregorio, Director, Product Development

Contact Center Pipeline recently published a great article in their October issue about Quality Monitoring. The piece provides advice and best practices for a customer-centric quality monitoring approach, and Contact Center Pipeline solicited input from customer contact technology experts, including USAN’s director of product management Michael Gregorio.

You can check out the entire article Contact Center Pipeline full magazine, but we’ve put all of Michael’s responses right here for easy access. Michael was also featured in the June edition of the magazine, again serving as an industry expert and advising on omni-channel strategy and channel prioritization.

Contact Center Pipeline: How can call centers incorporate customer feedback into the QM process?

Michael Gregorio: With social media, this is the age of instant feedback. Waiting for a customer to post a review or calling the call center is like rolling the dice on the company’s reputation. More often companies have no other option than to always be in reactive “damage control” mode.

Customer feedback needs to be part of the overall company culture. I think of my experience with a truly ‘customer-centric’ company culture (not one that just claims to be). They typically have a system in place to escalate any complaints to someone that could not only fix my situation, but could also assess whether it warranted further investigation. Customers want a channel through which they can be heard, but they also want to know their issues will be resolved. And if the company passes this test, the customer will return the favor with their loyalty and even recommending others to your brand.

Creating a feedback loop with proactive survey tools and personalized interactions enables a business to receive positive praise or fix issues before the customer calls―and possibly more important, deterring potential negative feedback about the customer experience. Most customers complain when they are having a truly horrible experience. But there are many more dissatisfied that don’t speak up, and these are the ones companies need to encourage to provide feedback. By doing so, the company is also likely to hear from all those customers that think your brand is great.

Contact Center Pipeline: Should agent self-evaluation be included in the QM process? what is the best approach for doing so?

Michael Gregorio: Winning employee engagement and self-evaluation involvement from early on in the monitoring process is essential.

When monitoring is introduced, there’s a tendency for some people to think it will be critical and tend to focus on meeting the call center metrics, rather than focusing on the customer experience. On the other hand, a self-evaluation monitoring approach that is flexible and collaborative, rather than authoritarian and rigid, can lead to more acceptance and co-operation. Every customer call is unique and having the flexibility to self-evaluate will empower the call center agent to provide the ‘ultimate’ customer experience.

Contact Center Pipeline: How can centers incorporate “above-and-beyond” or “wow” service delivery into QM scoring?

Michael Gregorio: Call centers that incorporate an interaction-aware omni-channel strategy deliver higher service delivery QM scores than those that do not.

Such an omni-channel infrastructure is aware of customer interactions the moment they begin, and it immediately kicks into action. Business rules make the right decisions for the specific customer and circumstances. And this can all happen instantly and automatically: no time lags waiting for responses, and no agent has been involved.

The omni-channel continually monitors all interactions across all channels, and is executing strategies that drive faster, more efficient customer service, opens new selling and service opportunities, and creates a fully personalized and personal experience for the customer.

In the end, the customer should have a simple, satisfying and highly personalized service experience and the business should be able to attain high QM scores.

Contact Center Pipeline: What’s the best way to build frontline trust and buy-in for the QM process?

Michael Gregorio: Top performing call center agents demand that you keep score for accountability. Under a data-based monitoring approach, they will have fewer surprises because their performance level, successes and errors will be measured and reported to them continuously.

Fortunately, call center agents are almost always focused on the numbers, so data can be used to influence them and change their behavior. It’s essential that agents are directly provided with feedback that has been proven to make them more compliant and effective, always with the aim of improving the customer experience.

The QA monitoring process should be objective, using a method of scoring and self-evaluating that is fair and agreed by all in advance, and it must be consistent and regular. Most importantly, a call center agent should be made to feel they are contributing to the customer resolution. Not only does this encourage their buy-in to the process, but the agent’s comments and suggestions are often extremely insightful.